These Endangered Animals Are Why a Texas Professor is Now the One in Danger
News broke yesterday about an associate professor of Biology at West Texas A&M who is accused of violating the Endangered Species Act, namely importing and smuggling wildlife.
I did some poking around and dug up the court documents, which include the dates and animals in question. And whooo. Looking down that list of strange animal names, I realized I had no idea what most of them looked like.
Take a gander at the exotic animals that have landed an area academic in some serious hot water with the federal government.
1. Golden Jackal
While we're all pretty familiar with what a jakal is, I wouldn't be able to pull a golden one out a line up.
They're "wolf-like" and are native to parts of Asia and Europe.
God help me, I freaking love those ears. These are mostly native to the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, parts of Pakistan, and parts of northwestern India.
3. Eurasian Otter
I don't know a single person alive who doesn't love otters. They're cute, and sometimes vicious. Much like the first boyfriend or girlfriend you had in college.
These otters are mostly native to...you guessed it...Eurasia.
4. Vervet Monkey
Who doesn't love a monkey? Monkeys are awesome.
Most of the time.
These guys are mostly native to sub-Saharan Africa. They have been found living in more urban areas where they can steal food from farmers. They also have troops that will fight for territory. It's like a monkey version of West Side Story, just without the singing, dancing, and snapping.
5. Red-Billed Leiothrix
These birds are beautiful. They're native to southern China and the Himalayas. They can be a tad noisy, and have an infamous "scolding" sound they make.
6. Chinese Hwamei
These birds are native to eastern Asia and are popular because of their "beautiful" song. Also, their name supposedly means "painted eyebrow." This is in reference to the markings around their eyes.
It doesn't have anything to do with that one friend we all had in middle school who had a hard time with their makeup.
7. Crab-Eating Fox
I love foxes. I'm not sure why, but I do. I also enjoy eating crab. Maybe this is why I feel a deep connection to these guys.
The Crab-Eating Fox is mostly native to central South America. And yes, they do eat crabs. A lot of them.
8. Masked Palm Civet
Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent are where these cuties call home. They like to mostly go-it alone, and hide out in trees.
9. Mountain Weasel
Yeah, these guys are absolutely adorable. As the name would suggest, they live at high altitudes. Almost every place you can find them has a different name for them. They're also mostly solitary animals, until it's time for mating...wink wink.
10. King Bird-Of-Paradise
These birds look a little...odd. However, they're still gorgeous. They're mostly found in New Guinea and western satellite islands. It's nickname is the "living gem." It's the smallest of the birds-of-paradise.
11. African Harrier Hawk
These guys look mean. Real mean. You can find them...you guessed it...in Africa. Mostly south of the Sahara.
Not one that I want to run into in a dark alley.
12. Greater Naked-Tailed Armadillo
Honestly, I was surprised to find out that not all armadillos are the same. I thought if you'd seen one, you'd seen them all. That's not necessarily true.
These dillas are mostly found in South America.
13. Horsfield's Treeshrews
And here we are again with yet another incredibly adorable entry on the list. They're mostly found in Sumatra, Bali, and other Indonesian islands.
14. Eurasian Lynx
As you might have been able to piece together thanks to your brilliant powers of deduction, these are native to areas of Europe and Asia. They're the largest of the lynx species.
They look so cute and cuddly, until they show their teeth.
You Can Actually Own Exotic Animals In Texas, If You Do It Right
By "do it right," I mean follow the rules. There are some strict ones when it comes to owning exotic animals in the state of Texas.
The associate professor that has found himself in hot water is accused of importing "wildlife items" that include skulls, taxidermy mounts, and skeletons.
If you daydream about owning exotic animals, keep reading for some things you need to keep in mind...