Parrots, Pythons and Pet Shops – Perils of the Wildlife Trade

Burmese python in Everglades (native of Southeast Asia).
Photo by Christopher Scott Boykin's camera

My favorite memories from living and working in the Suriname rainforest are of wildlife. A brilliant slash of red signaling a scarlet macaw darting through the jungle canopy. Giant Tegu lizards scattering for cover. Green iguanas fighting for food in our compost pile. Capuchin monkeys leaping and twisting and swinging playfully on the forest floor.

One of my least favorite memories, however, was riding an old, U-Haul type truck from the interior to the coast. It was a crowded local bus, with gaping holes for windows, school bus seats soldered to the floor, and shrieking parrots packed tightly into mesh wire cages just behind my head. The only positive was that once the truck moved, winding its way along the bumpy road towards Paramaribo, the din of scraping metal pieces drowned out the chatter of frightened birds. Read Full Blog.

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