Bryan Christy, author of The Lizard King, talks about the illicit reptile trade and his adventures researching this underworld. He tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme about the massive challenges in stopping the trade and also what it’s like to have a monkey (literally!) on your back. Bryan Christy is an investigative journalist and author. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Cornell, the University of Michigan Law School and was a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Tokyo Law School. His most recent story, The Kingpin, profiled illegal wildlife trader Anson Wong for the January 2010 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Before becoming a journalist, Bryan was a lawyer in Washington, DC specializing in international trade law and policy. He worked on such issues as US-Japan Supercomputer negotiations, Norwegian Whaling, and sales of lightwater nuclear reactors to North Korea. He also worked in the Executive Office of the President. Mr. Christy is the author of The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers. In researching that book, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula, and ejaculated on by a Bengal tiger. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on April 26, 2010.
Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia Regional Director for the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW), discusses tiger farming and the international tiger trade. She reveals to “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme how the international trade in tiger parts works and why it has spawned a booming industry of tiger farming in China that is truly killing to make a living. After joining the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 1997, Grace Ge Gabriel established the IFAW China office where she managed and directed an array of wildlife conservation campaigns and projects in China and Asia. For over a decade, she’s been actively involved in the global campaign to end the tiger trade and has personally investigated the illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives. She’s also spearheaded numerous campaigns, including those to protect Tibetan antelope, reduce trade of wildlife and products including bears, tigers, elephants, and others that improved the status of companion animals through legislation and education. She’s also been involved in projects to conserve Asian elephant habitat, provide emergency relief to animals in disasters and establish China’s first raptor rescue center. She was born and grew up in China. She received her degrees in journalism and communications both in China and the United States. She is fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English. This episode of “The WildLife” aired on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on March 15, 2010. Article and transcript available on Mongabay.com.