Herps & alleged perps
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1996:
Third World cruelty prosecutions are almost
unheard of, and prosecutions for cruelty to reptiles are rare
everywhere, but Zimbabwe SPCA manager Merryl Harrison
vowed September 18 to bring Harare Snake Park crocodile
keeper Smart Bester to justice and save the 79-year-old male
croc who finally bit his arm off, six years after the SPCA
began receiving complaints about Bester jabbing the croc
with a stick to make him snap his jaws and lash his tail.
A three-year U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
probe of imports of endangered snakes and tortoises from
Madagascar on August 22 brought 16-count indictments
against alleged traffickers Frank Lehmeyer, Wolfgang Kloe,
Olaf Strohmann, and Roland Werner, all of Germany; Rick
Truant, of Canada; and Simon Harris, of South Africa.
The six allegedly smuggled 94 tree boas, 51 radiated tortoises,
and 25 spider tortoises, for sale as pets. Harris, 25, and
Kloe, 33, were arrested earlier in the week when they tried
to take some of the smuggled reptiles to the National Reptile
Breeders Expo in Orlando, Florida.
Sean Bell, 14, of Hillsboro, Oregon, and Jason
Williamson, 13, of Gardnerville, Nevada, were to be sentenced
in September for starting a $3 million forest fire when
they tried to burn a lizard alive. Admitting to the offense,
both boys were “very remorseful and contrite, and realized
the magnitude of what they had done,” according to deputy
district attorney Kris Brown.
Tucson biologist Dale Turner has sued the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, seeking action on his 1993 petition
seeking Endangered Species Act protection of the flattailed
horned lizard. In California, an estimated 95% of the
lizard’s optimal habitat is jeopardized by development.