Sick of science

As a child, Charles O. Handley, Jr. (1924-2000) envied explorers who discovered new oceans, continents, mountains and rivers, and dreamt of becoming an ornithologist. Son of a life-long bird watcher, with every bird he spotted by his father’s side he imagined discovering and naming a new species. But he was born about 200 years too late for that. So instead of ornithology, he studied mammalogy and more than fulfilled his dreams of becoming an explorer; he named many species of lemmings, hares, bats, an armadillo, an agouti, and of course the pygmy sloth. This extremely rare and critically endangered animal is only found on one island in the whole world, and I almost died going there to see it. Almost dying is not the same as dying, so since I didn’t, I can now tell the story.
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Winged Obsession

coverThe Pursuit of the World’s Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler: Winged Obsession (2011)

by Jessica Speart

This is the story of Yoshi Kojima, a criminal who gets his way  smuggling endangered butterflies and insects in and out of practically every country, whenever he pleases, because he works for National Geographic. Except he doesn’t. Collecting the rarest specimens from Central America to Madagascar to Papua New Guinea to the Grand Canyon, he eventually gets caught because of the sexual attachment he develops (over the internet) to the undercover US Fish and Wildlife  Special Agent Ed Newcomer; not because of his M.O. Lucky for the planet, Newcomer’s obsession with putting Kojima behind bars quickly surpasses Kojima’s obsession with possessing the rarest butterflies (and as many of them as possible).

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