Krista's Reviews > Animal Underworld: Inside America's Black Market for Rare & Exotic Species

Animal Underworld by Alan Green
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Feb 17, 10

bookshelves: library-find
Read in February, 2010

I had seen this book in a library in MT ages ago and finally tracked it down. Initially, I was concerned because I thought it would be filled with anti-zoo sentiment, but was pleased to find that the author was a volunteer keeper with the National Zoo. So not anti-zoo, but definatly anti-zoo policy (which is justified). There were lots of stories about how zoos "dispose" of their unwanted animals, both old and young. So many that they blended together and each chapter was very similar to the last. Many of the stories were repeated over and over like a series in a newspaper (a pet peeve).

It definatly made me wonder about how zoos get and pass along their animals. It highlighted the weaknesses of current policy of exotic species law (sickening routine oversights and ridiculous loopholes). A reassessment of the current exotic species laws is definatly needed as well as zoo policies of animal disposal. I was left quite impressed with the author (obtaining these records, nevermind writing the book was quite a feat) but wanted to know more about the psychological state of these "collectors". Much of the focus was on mammals: ungulates, carnivores and primates, but I was interested in hearing abou birds and reptiles too. Overall, a really fascinating book.
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