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

By Terry Spamer;Gordon Thorburn

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Additional info for Animal Spy: Animal Welfare Behind Enemy Lines by Terry Spamer (2007-09-27)

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We worked out our camera angles and rehearsed our cover story and our parts in it. My colleague Bryn would be doing most of the talking, partly because that was his strong suit 19 ANIMAL SPY and partly because he, our logistics manager at Interfauna, not present at the first meeting, the posh lunch, could more realistically ask some of the same questions. We took it in turns to keep a secret eye out for Ernie’s arrival. We wanted to appear cool, settled and thoroughly acclimatised when he walked in, which he did on time in a cocksure manner wearing a lurid yellow-and-blue Hawaiian shirt.

Our friend John was not at all disappointed; he could see a much bigger earner coming up. He was a lad in shorts and car-tyre flip flops. One day he wanted to possess a suit, a car with a full set of tyres and a lawn-fringed bungalow, and we could help him on his way. He asked us to come back to the Cultural 42 A CARGO OF IVORY AND A CASE OF POISON Centre next morning, when he would have arranged for one of the very big dealers to be there to meet us. Ernie had disappeared for the moment. Perhaps he’d heard that we’d taken him at his word and gone in search of invisible ivory middlemen in the far, far bushlands and so we might not be in the best of moods.

Your viper would be lying in wait for its prey rather than chasing it. Usually dinner is a rodent although they are partial to the smallest antelope, the royal, Neotragus pygmaeus, which, at about 10 inches high at the shoulder and about 7 pounds in weight, makes a very nice meal, swallowed whole, naturally, head first. The Gaboon, much the bigger snake, relies on quantity of venom and may, despite the risk, hold on to its prey until it dies. The rhino viper has neurotoxic as well as haemotoxic venom and a small dose is enough.

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Categories: Zoology