Animal Spy: Animal Welfare Behind Enemy Lines by Terry Spamer;Gordon Thorburn

By Terry Spamer;Gordon Thorburn

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Extra resources for Animal Spy: Animal Welfare Behind Enemy Lines

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They are extra attractive to reptile enthusiasts because they have a bite which can kill you and they are pretty with it, in forest-floor camouflage geometric patterns of primary colours, rather than the dull greys and browns of the rock and desert dwellers. Also, they have a slow and lazy way of life and tend not to 37 ANIMAL SPY attack humans unless, taking a walk in the woods over the colourful carpet of leaves, you happen to tread on one. Your viper would be lying in wait for its prey rather than chasing it.

I knew this from my long history of dealing with villains, toerags, scallywags and shysters so, on balance, I believed we would get what we wanted. After a swim in the pool and a self-congratulatory chat over a last beer, Bryn and I retired feeling well satisfied with the story so far. Ernie picked us up next morning and he seemed a different man from the cocky, hail-fellow-well-met we’d been with the night before. Decidedly on edge, he was, and dressed in collar and tie. His reputation was at stake on this meeting, as well as a lifelong supply of cash.

I couldn’t see my bosses at the RSPCA getting excited either, not even if we did what Albert wanted, which was to take some baby vipers back with us in our hand luggage. He tipped some of the little rhino vipers out of a bowl into the palm of his hand to show us how harmless they were, and told us that no customs officer was going to search through a collection of snakes like this to make sure there wasn’t a CITES endangered species among them. This was how he got the rarer snakes into the USA he said, by shipping them with the more common and deadly types.

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