the dragon behind the glass a true story of power obsession and the worlds most coveted fish

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The Dragon Behind The Glass

Author : Emily Voigt
ISBN : 9781451678963
Genre : Nature
File Size : 59. 90 MB
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A FINALIST FOR THE 2017 PEN/E. O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR “[A] curiously edifying book.” —The New York Times Book Review “With the taut suspense of a spy novel, Voigt paints a vivid world of murder, black market deals, and habitat destruction surrounding a fish that's considered, ironically, to be a good-luck charm.” —Discover “[An] immensely satisfying story, full of surprises and suspense....Things get weird fast.” —The Wall Street Journal A riveting journey into the bizarre world of the Asian arowana or “dragon fish”—the world’s most expensive aquarium fish—reveals a surprising history with profound implications for the future of wild animals and human beings alike. A young man is murdered for his prized pet fish. An Asian tycoon buys a single specimen for $150,000. Meanwhile, a pet detective chases smugglers through the streets of New York. Delving into an outlandish realm of obsession, paranoia, and criminality, The Dragon Behind the Glass tells the story of a fish like none other: a powerful predator dating to the age of the dinosaurs. Treasured as a status symbol believed to bring good luck, the Asian arowana is bred on high-security farms in Southeast Asia and sold by the hundreds of thousands each year. In the United States, however, it’s protected by the Endangered Species Act and illegal to bring into the country—though it remains the object of a thriving black market. From the South Bronx to Singapore, journalist Emily Voigt follows the trail of the fish, ultimately embarking on a years-long quest to find the arowana in the wild, venturing deep into some of the last remaining tropical wildernesses on earth. With a captivating blend of personal reporting, history, and science, The Dragon Behind the Glass traces our modern fascination with aquarium fish back to the era of exploration when intrepid naturalists stood on the cutting edge of modern science, discovering new and wondrous species in jungles all over the world. In an age when freshwater fish now comprise one of the most rapidly vanishing groups of animals on the planet, Voigt unearths a paradoxical truth behind the dragon fish’s rise to fame—one that calls into question how we protect the world’s rarest species. An elegant exploration of the human conquest of nature, The Dragon Behind the Glass revels in the sheer wonder of life’s diversity and lays bare our deepest desire—to hold onto what is wild.

The Dragon Behind The Glass

Author : Emily Voigt
ISBN : 9781451678949
Genre : Nature
File Size : 40. 72 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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A journalist's quest to find a wild Asian arowana--the world's most expensive aquarium fish--takes her on a global tour through the bizarre realm of ornamental fish hobbyists to some of the most remote jungles on the planet.

Stolen World

Author : Jennie Erin Smith
ISBN : 9780307720269
Genre : True Crime
File Size : 43. 91 MB
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Tortoises disappear from a Madagascar reserve and reappear in the Bronx Zoo. A dead iguana floats in a jar, awaiting its unveiling in a Florida court. A viper causes mayhem from Ethiopia to Virginia. In Stolen World, Jennie Erin Smith takes the reader on an unforgettable journey, a dark adventure over five decades and six continents. In 1965, Hank Molt, a young cheese salesman from Philadelphia, reinvented himself as a “specialist dealer in rare fauna,” traveling the world to collect exquisite reptiles for zoos and museums. By the end of the decade that followed, new endangered species laws had turned Molt into a convicted smuggler, and an unrepentant one, who went on to provide many of the same rare reptiles to many of the same institutions, covertly. But Molt soon found a rival in Tommy Crutchfield, a Florida carpet salesman with every intention of usurping Molt as the most accomplished reptile smuggler in the country. Like Molt, Crutchfield had modeled himself after an earlier generation of natural-history collectors celebrated for their service to science, an ideal that, for Molt and Crutchfield, eclipsed the realities of the new wildlife-protection laws. Zoo curators, caught between a desire for rare animals and the conservation-minded focus of their institutions, became the smugglers’ antagonists in court but also their best customers, sometimes simultaneously. Crutchfield forged ties with a criminally inclined Malaysian wildlife trader and emerged a millionaire, beloved by some of the finest zoos in the world. Molt, following a string of inventive but disastrous smuggling schemes in New Guinea, was reduced to hanging around Crutchfield’s Florida compound, plotting Crutchfield’s demise. The fallout from their feud would result in a major federal investigation with tentacles in Germany, Madagascar, Holland, and Malaysia. And yet even after prison, personal ruin, and the depredations of age, Molt and Crutchfield never stopped scheming, never stopped longing for the snake or lizard that would earn each his rightful place in a world that had forgotten them—or rather, had never recognized them to begin with.

River Monsters

Author : Jeremy Wade
ISBN : 9780857820020
Genre : Nature
File Size : 39. 40 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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A tale of obsession and very big fish from Jeremy Wade, the presenter of ITV's RIVER MONSTERS. Over ten feet long, it weighs in at nearly a quarter of a ton. Covering its back are armoured plates made of bone. Five hundred stiletto-sharp teeth line its long crocodilian jaws. It's a prehistoric beast of staggering proportions; a fearsome creature from the time of the dinosaurs. But the Alligator Gar, an air-breathing survivor from the Cretaceous period is still with us today, patrolling inland rivers, hunting in murky waters shared by human communities. And for Jeremy Wade, described as the 'greatest angling explorer of his generation', the Gar and other outlandish freshwater predators have been an obsession for all his adult life. With names like Arapaima, Snakehead, Goonch, Goliath Tigerfish and Electric Eel, many of them have acquired an almost mythical status. In a quest that has taken him from the Amazon to the Congo, and from North America to the mountains of India, Wade has pursued the truth about these little known, often misunderstood animals. Along the way he's survived a plane crash, malaria and a fish-inflicted blow to the chest that, according to a later scan, caused permanent scarring to his heart. In RIVER MONSTERS, Wade delivers a sometimes jaw-dropping blend of adventure, natural history, legend and detective work. It reads like a hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. But it's all true. These are fisherman's tales like you've never heard before. The stories of the ones that didn't get away ...

Tangled Vines

Author : Frances Dinkelspiel
ISBN : 9781250033215
Genre : True Crime
File Size : 67. 3 MB
Format : PDF
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On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks. With a propane torch and a bucket of gasoline-soaked rags, Anderson annihilated entire California vineyard libraries as well as bottles of some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of Port and Angelica from one of the oldest vineyards in California made by Frances Dinkelspiel's great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875. Sadly, Mark Anderson was not the first to harm the industry. The history of the California wine trade, dating back to the 19th Century, is a story of vineyards with dark and bloody pasts, tales of rich men, strangling monopolies, the brutal enslavement of vineyard workers and murder. Five of the wine trade murders were associated with Isaias Hellman's vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga beginning with the killing of John Rains who owned the land at the time. He was shot several times, dragged from a wagon and left off the main road for the coyotes to feed on. In her new book, Frances Dinkelspiel looks beneath the casually elegant veneer of California's wine regions to find the obsession, greed and violence lying in wait. Few people sipping a fine California Cabernet can even guess at the Tangled Vines where its life began.

The Lizard King

Author : Bryan Christy
ISBN : 9780446537902
Genre : True Crime
File Size : 24. 47 MB
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Imagine The Sopranos, with snakes! The Lizard King is a fascinating account of a father and son family business suspected of smuggling reptiles, and the federal agent who tried to take them down. When Bryan Christy began to investigate the world of reptile smuggling, he had no idea what he would be in for. In the course of his research, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, and sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula. But perhaps more dangerous was coming face to face with Michael J. Van Nostrand, owner of Strictly Reptiles, a thriving family business in Hollywood, Florida. Van Nostrand imports as many as 300,000 iguanas each year (over half the total of America's most popular imported reptile), as well as hundreds of thousands of snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders, and scorpions. Van Nostrand was suspected of being a reptile smuggler by Special Agent Chip Bepler of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who devoted years of his life in an obsessive quest to expose The Lizard King's cold-blooded crimes. How this cat-and-mouse game ended is engrossing and surprising.

Elephant Destiny

Author : Martin Meredith
ISBN : 1586482335
Genre : Nature
File Size : 29. 62 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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For thousands of years, the majestic elephant has roamed the African continent, as beloved by man as it has been preyed upon. But centuries of exploitation and ivory hunting have taken their toll: now, as wars and poachers continue to ravage its habitat, as disease and political strife deflect attention from its plight, the African elephant faces imminent extinction. What will become of these magnificent beasts? As the elephant's future looms ever darker, Martin Meredith's concise and richly illustrated biography traces the elephant's history from the first ivory expeditions of the Egyptian pharaohs 2500 years ago to today, exploring along the way the indelible imprint the African elephant has made in art, literature, culture, and society. He shares recent extraordinary discoveries about the elephant's sophisticated family and community structure and reveals the remarkable ways in which elephants show compassion and loyalty to each other. Elegant, illuminating, and urgent, Elephant Destiny offers a beautiful and important tribute to one of earth's most magisterial creatures at the very moment it threatens to vanish from being.

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