Posts Tagged ‘Millville’

Atlantic City Press: You Can Go Home Again

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

The AC Press ran this story today.  Writer Juliet Fletcher focused on my experience growing up and laughed when I told her how important reptiles were to us as children.  “I’ve heard that from other people here,” she said. 

On the trail of animal smugglers
A childhood passion for reptiles sets author on the trail of ‘The Lizard King’
By JULIET FLETCHER Staff Writer, 609-272-7251
(Published: Wednesday, March 18, 2009)

When Bryan Christy used to trade reptiles between his friends in Millville, he knew how to hold them, show them off and learned the values of creatures as if they were baseball cards. As he put it, “A pickerel frog got you a box turtle.”

But as his prize snake, a pet Burmese python, grew to a staggering 14 feet, he never stopped to ask where such reptiles hailed from.

“I had no idea,” he said Monday. “That was the great unanswered mystery.”

His first book, “The Lizard King,” due in paperback this summer, goes to the heart of that question, tracking the story of a well-known animal dealer, Mike van Nostrand, and a multimillion-dollar ring of traffickers who bring in illegal creatures, including rare and endangered species to the U.S. But Christy, who lived in southern New Jersey until he moved away for school, explains how the urge to write the book originated with those unlikely childhood pets. (more…)