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An Inside Look at the Exotic Animal Trade: Profiles by VICE

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Wildlife trafficking is estimated to be a $19 billion per year global business, surpassed only by black-market sales and trafficking of drugs, humans, and firearms. In the United States, regulation of private ownership of exotic animals is determined by each state, allowing for loopholes and oversight. Animals are bought and traded through auctions, backyard breeders, illicit online sales and more. The industry is growing right in our backyards. VICE travels to Ohio to rescue a cougar, then to Texas for an exotic livestock auction and undercover visit to a gaming ranch where the animals are sold and hunted for up to $15,000 a piece. Check out the next VICE Profiles "ResERECTION: The Penis Implant" - http://www.vice.com/vice-profiles/reserection-the-penis-implant Check Out "Slut-Shaming Preacher" - http://www.vice.com/vice-profiles/slut-shaming-preacher Subscribe to VICE here! http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/VICE-Videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Read our tumblr: http://vicemag.tumblr.com
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Text Comments (3593)
Camryn Brennan (5 days ago)
Please STOP! This cruel, disgusting, horrible, illegal, awful, horrifying, sick, horrendous, mean, revolting, etc. MAKE IT STOP NOW! STOP THIS! Imagine you are this animal, stuck in a cage, feeling claustrophobic, pacing because you are going mentally insane. This is the worst case of animal abuse I have ever seen. The sad thing is, not a lot of people care, and it's NOT RIGHT! Fight for their rights, YOU are their voice. Animals can't talk, but YOU can. MAKE a difference. Thank you.
marky mark (6 days ago)
im sad for this animals yet i wan't some
Stephan X (7 days ago)
The Majority of people commenting and saying how much they hate humans are the same ones who eat 🐮 🐔 and 🐠
Stephan X (7 days ago)
Hi Hi!!
Jonathan Franklin (8 days ago)
Humans. We, are, scum.
Brian Garcia (10 days ago)
Love the fact that they destroy ivory, makes it worth millions, very lucrative business
Ash Wood (10 days ago)
Humans are fucking assholes we need another plague
-emily - (11 days ago)
animals such as big cats, elephants or any of the such should have proper care and alot of space no wonder they are aggressive
Pet Talks (12 days ago)
what the FUCK
Laura Perry (13 days ago)
This makes my heart hurt 😞 domestic animals already get neglected and abused daily, now these endangered animals, it never stops
T w (14 days ago)
Humans are disgusting
Rhythm F. (14 days ago)
So sad
Im Yonder (14 days ago)
fuck anyone that hurts or mistreats animals
Dolce Luxe (15 days ago)
There’s this “zoo” in myrtle beach called Waccama, and I recently went there on a trip with my family and checked out this zoo. I’m not sure really how it could be legal to run this establishment, and the reviews on trip advisor certainly seem to agree. It looked to be some sort of backyard operation with bears, tigers, lions, servals, zebras, miniature horses, camels, cheetahs, etc. and the whole place REEKED. it smelled like death and feces, and the animals were clearly distressed, constantly pacing in their tiny cages with no room to run and some of the monkeys and cats were biting and gnawing at themselves. The proximity of the cages was alarming also, a cage of piglets and chickens was three feet away from a cage full of panthers servals and other wildcats. It was clearly stressful for the tenants in both cages, almost like a taunt. One of the monkeys’ cages had clearly seen some sort of accident, as the entire side of the metal cage was completely crushed inward, and looked to be repaired with some DIY remedies. But the saddest sight was the bear. He was a large bear in a disgustingly tiny cage in which he couldn’t stand up or walk more than five paces. The cage had clearly been damaged multiple times by the bear and you could see where it had been repaired with wire in several places. Most of the time with wildlife preserves and zoos, the aim of the establishment is to educate. There will often be signs telling you the species of the animal, it’s natural habitat and diet, and maybe a brief history of where the particular animal was rescued from or born, but the only signs on the cages were hand-written in sharpie and tacked onto the outside of the cage stating “camel” or “zebra”. The entire time I was there, I saw absolutely NO employees except the women at the front desk surrounded by giant snakes in tiny tanks selling tickets and a cup of feed that you were to put up to the sides of the cage for each different animal to eat from. One very weird part was this “antique barn” you had to walk through at one point which was very dark, smelled like death, and featured scythes and cleavers hanging on the walls with creepy black and white pictures of what I could only guess were family members of the owners. It was like something out of the Texas chainsaw massacre. But inside that antique barn were dozens of animals that had once been residents of the zoo and who were stuffed and posed in the barn, covered in mange and rot and dust. The place was HUGE, and with so much unused wasteland that you had to walk through to get to the next cluster of cages I don’t understand why they wouldn’t use that land to keep the animals further apart and maybe give them bigger structures to be housed in. It seemed very cruel. If the place is legal, they’re clearly doing the bare minimum to keep things above the law. I wish wildlife authorities would look into that place, because the trip advisor reviews don’t seem to be helping the animals.
BlackSovokia (15 days ago)
Soo.... if an animal gets killed, INSTANTLY TRIGGERED Human gets killed ..ehh hes fine Ridiculous
My horse Is FABULOUS (15 days ago)
Your mean I have 6 in a half
Vau ghn (15 days ago)
All comes down to education. You simply don’t have a clue what you are getting into, you don’t have a clue about the animal itself, if you think you can keep a big cat. You are stupid. Quite literally in the sense of the word. Big hunting, even more ridiculous. But unfortunately, these animals are better off dead than in in the hands of these fools.
Bailey Rowe (16 days ago)
holly shit holly shit holly SHITTTTT they feed them dead horses noooooo oh fuck im leaving im leaving the country good byeee
Bailey Rowe (16 days ago)
god dammit every time i get further into the video i get more fuckin MAD like the conditoins there living in they look awful " oh yes im a rescue center" BULLSHIT
Bailey Rowe (16 days ago)
aww u see how fat that mountain lion is hes not even getting nearly enough exercise especially when he lives in such a small kennel for his breed like what the actual fuck is this shit
Bailey Rowe (16 days ago)
i ahvent even got 1 min into the video and THIS VIDEO SHOULD ALREADY BE DEMONITIZED
CORNBREAD (16 days ago)
All people caught dealing in this industry should be fenced in and hunted like the animals they sale or hunt. Fucking disgusting!!!
KSP 54 (17 days ago)
At those auctions, the animals are sold and released on large high fenced ranches where they are either kept as pets, or as breeders to establish a population to hunt. Those animals were all born in captivity as well as their parents and so on. Vice is making it sound like they are caught in the wild and put in tiny cages for the rest of their lives. Almost all of those animals were not endangered and are extremely common here in Texas since they are all farm raised. I know because I’ve been to a lot of those auctions and have friends that work them. There is nothing wrong with those auctions at all. Now I do agree that owning a large exotic cat is a horrible idea.
beast (18 days ago)
i wanna get in the industry
Max Lwaypro (20 days ago)
This video stresses and angers me so much.
Malachi Buddydoll (20 days ago)
Italy's cursed dance (23 days ago)
Alright, but who thinks: *"Ya know what, I kinda want a lion. Yeah, I'm gonna get a lion."*
Sick sick fuck
AquaGuy (24 days ago)
Why do people think it’s okay to buy and sell other animals? And to top it all off, they claim ownership of it, which they don’t have the right to because it’s a living being. It’s no better than “owning” a slave, and if they can outlaw that why not do it with other animals? “Do you like my dog?” “Awww, your cat is so cute” “I’ve just got some fish”. Like, what right do we think we have as animals to claim ownership of another animal? Peace.
Bill Mondragon (17 days ago)
AquaGuy holy fuck dude, grow at least one ball.
Private Information (25 days ago)
14:07 Headed to Chicago to visit my cousins like..😂
AMJSTAR LIVE (25 days ago)
Send all the tigers back to home INDIA!!!!!
Songin Hart (26 days ago)
What the f*** is wrong with people. How could anyone treat these living beings with such little care or respect.
HyPeR BoSS (29 days ago)
It will never eat my children... * serious face* *not Smiling or laughing*
Jo White (1 month ago)
This whole thing made me sad! But especially when the guy was talking about how much the hunted animal's go for just so someone can have a trophy on the wall, hunting for Food is slightly different but I still would find it extremely difficult if I had no other option! 😔
St8nkySkunk (1 month ago)
We need regulations on humans. Sad animals go through this, they have no choice being brought into this world. Yet shaniqwa can have 20 kids and living off the government without regulation
Moonflakes (1 month ago)
And all I want is a domestic cat :(
smile it's just a game (1 month ago)
Buying an exotic animal just to shoot it and keep its skin? That's not cool, that's cowardly
keko M. (1 month ago)
Its very sad that so many of these animals are better protected in a cage than they are in the wild! Life was not intended to be like that. Too many idiots with guns who think they must kill a powerful animal to give them a rush.
rorie phillips (1 month ago)
cruel mother fucker who ever hurts or threaten to her should go die in a hole
Maddox Philpott (1 month ago)
Thank you for doing that
minatoor (1 month ago)
The only positive to the fact more big cats are in private care then in the wild is that if they go extinct we still have a backup. Much like the story of the crested gecko
Jamie Gillies (1 month ago)
I wish they wouldn't blur the faces, I know they have to but I really wish they didn't that way everyone who sees them will know what a sick bastard they are!
igor svakurac (1 month ago)
-"It could be lions (shows couguar), it could be leopards (shows jaguar)...."
Hillam And Jodles (1 month ago)
This is horrible I feel heart broken for these animals😒
Rich Ə Wrych (1 month ago)
5 thousand years from now there will be books on how white destroyed....Everything Blacks Mexicans Animals Environment Employment Religion Affordable housing Affordable healthcare Affordable college
Wolfie (1 month ago)
:( i love animals just stop black market plz :'(
Anthony Moreno (1 month ago)
I clicked on this video to see the horse.I know you did too...
JenZ (1 month ago)
Idea: Hunt people that think nothing of animal welfare.
This is terrible! Those animals should at least be in zoos
ali akif (1 month ago)
24$ dollars for a tiger!!! Thats Ridiculous. A smartphone costs much more than that.
wifilost (1 month ago)
Animals are just animals people need to get so over it
INDEEYA (1 month ago)
Humans are scared of everything but are the scariest creatures
INDEEYA (1 month ago)
These poor animals
Kiel Petty (1 month ago)
If you have the need for rarity please do a saltwater aquarium it's much less impactful on the species since they are sustainably harvested
Ki Rex (1 month ago)
Only vegetarians should be allowed to say it is wrong to kill these animals because it is cruel. Others stick to the endangered point or don't torture animals alive point. Thank you. For the endangered point listen to 9:32 to 10:02. About the point that wild animals should be left in wild, well dogs, chickens, goats, cow, etc all were in wild and then domesticated.
Severus Sid (1 month ago)
Guess what man, let's put you in a ranch and thrive your generations. It'll prolly enhance your brains... In few decades
Katrina Hairston (1 month ago)
I honestly think that we should just let animals live in their natural habitats. If you want a pet that bad go get a dog but can you leave alone the beautiful wild animals. Endangered tigers are not DOMESTIC. Lions are not DOMESTIC. Animals should not live in a CAGE their entire life. Wild animals should not have their claws removed. Please just get a domestic pet.
DAPHNE (1 month ago)
How heartless. How ungrateful and disrespectful towards mother earth. We are all connected and we as humans should care and protect our animals. We should be grateful that we even have the privilege to live on the same planet as other species 🌎🌏🌍 respect Gaia and her children!
Royal Mint (1 month ago)
Wish animals were able to hunt these hillbilly people Ya USA scum out weighs the good guys
Calla Antoinette (1 month ago)
What about the fact that They are going endangered in the wild? If people don't own them will they be shot anyway?
Lark Varhees (1 month ago)
I think all the people here should try hunting, I was totally against it at first, but when I shot my first zebra, I was hooked. It was the most fun I've ever had in my life
Sean Peeters (1 month ago)
It's not true that if animals weren't raised to be hunted that they would go extinct. Who is to say that sanctuaries wouldn't pop up to allow the remaining populace to live their lives out in peace? Or that programs to rehabilitate species into the wild where appropriate could be organized? Surely it beats a life of being raised in a caged in property to be murdered for pleasure at the cost of a few thousand bucks. I think these people are pathological.
Sean Peeters (1 month ago)
Let all animals live on their own terms.
Carmen Nieves (1 month ago)
Sick scumbags buying animals to later kill them. Sick humans
iDealNinja (1 month ago)
I just want a donkey
Tina K-T (1 month ago)
I don't like that they are in captivity. They should be in the wild free natural and undisturbed. The thought of poachers killing them for parts to be sold makes me sick. Trafficking is no different.
That Active Investor (1 month ago)
Makes me sick...
B Sharp (1 month ago)
At minimum, anyone who keeps big cats, bears or other large, mostly predatory animals should be required to notify their surrounding area’s population of what they’re keeping on their property by any form of media possible. Wild animals belong in the wild.
doggoman2006 balderas (1 month ago)
when he says the feline rescue center if you look at the cages that really looks like a state that no animals should be living in
Enes Hodzic (1 month ago)
Why not proceed with realising them back to wild back to they're homeland
Kushagr Rohatgi (1 month ago)
Wear your seatbelt bitch
Bubbbaa (1 month ago)
Why is this allowed in some states?! Wtf? This world is very messed up. These animals should be out in the wild, not in metal cages that are that size.
zzman305 (1 month ago)
Some of these smugglers should probably be shot
Chloe Ramirez (1 month ago)
Jose Sanchez (1 month ago)
Someone’s been dipping in the ketamine
Leo (1 month ago)
2:32 that's a ball python. It is not an endangered species at all. It is a common, docile pet snake owned by many people.
Super Shepherd (1 month ago)
So we can ban pitbulls, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders, but I can legally own a tiger? I fucking quite with humanity.
This makes me fucking sick...like why are people this way!?!?!?
Joann Monkey (1 month ago)
No No (1 month ago)
Just grab a few packs of Pokémon cards. can’t guarantee something rare but there’s a chance. You could collect non living things and it’d be FINE with me.
Blob Fatterson (1 month ago)
I like how they have undercover cameras rolling as though this were some illegal livestock market all of this stuff is legal. Buy a small ranch and game fence it and you can bolster the numbers of endangered and at risk species heck there are even threatened chicken varieties you can help save c'mon!
Kompa Tevez (1 month ago)
Hey Paco, get me 50 keys of chimp🐒 and 30 keys of endangered geckos🦎... I pay in cash🤑 And bananas🍌
Estabania Carmona (1 month ago)
I just went to a bird rescue center in Orlando Fl. When you walk in there’s a sign saying we rescue then release. I talked to the lady that runs the place and she told me she has never released a bird yet. Most of the birds 🦅 were healthy and had no problem with them as she confirmed it. I feel as she is using are entrance money for her everyday living. Why have a sign saying you release once there back into shape. The birds had no names, no story on why they are there. It broke my heart. I’ve been to many rescue centers that actually help animals for the real reason but she was the first I’ve been to were I felt sorry 😐 for the birds in small cages that never fly or get out of there cages. I wish I could do something about it I really do.
Jessica Cole (1 month ago)
"The president of the United States"
Stoney ya Blazed Homie (1 month ago)
"Oh the only reason they are still around is because we are breeding them to hunt." Wow You keep telling yourself that you delusional greedy POS SCUMBAG... those people make me f***ing sick.... I hope 1 of their big cats eats him and any hunters that come there... What f***ing scum
Ryan Robertson (1 month ago)
You make me sick
Elsy Ramirez (1 month ago)
Janae Fuller (2 months ago)
Seeing the dead cow and horse made me upset but animals have to eat
king of Kings (2 months ago)
I approve of this
John S (2 months ago)
9:09 is so fucked up
R R (2 months ago)
Why not set them back in the wild?
THE GOD BOX (2 months ago)
Omg do they real do that to horses
Universal Kate (2 months ago)
Ill tell you whats cool buying beautiful art if your rich, but not extremely rare animals, it's disgusting and wrong and cant be flaunted as its demeaning and cruel.
Blob Fatterson (1 month ago)
Universal Kate I disagree,it's like the guy was saying, if ranchers weren't stocking many of these species for sport hunting, numbers would be way down.
Kaitlyn Perreault (2 months ago)
I don’t know if I can watch this
Deleted ions (2 months ago)
OMFGGGG GASP. $25 for a real tiger, my kid has tiger teddies that cost more. Thats shows them to be over populated under cared for. People couldnt give me one for free, its a crime against god to snatch such a beast. send all big cats to trumps wall give them free run neuter 70%.
Deleted ions (2 months ago)
Im thinking £ to so even worse. £18ish for live tiger. Disgusting.
bugbites (2 months ago)
The most exotic animal I'm willing to own is an African Gray Parrot and my western hognose snake. I could never put such a magnificent wild creature in a cage, especially if I couldn't care for it.
Russell Hack (2 months ago)
I'm all pro hunting birds deer coyote exc. but I'm totally against hunting endangered animals/ fenced off hunting with a radius of 100 yards type shit, it's honestly just disgusting how sackless you must be to do that type of shit just to build your ego, hunt the right way
Russell Hack (1 month ago)
Blob Fatterson I agree but there's places where you go where the just release the animal and your guaranteed a kill when you leave
Blob Fatterson (1 month ago)
Russell Hack even on a deer stand I've had many 25 and 30 yard shots. In Texas baiting deer with a feeder is legal so I did that last season. Shot was 60ft, flying in a safe direction because I can bait. A close up, clean shot is about as ethical as it gets. Like dude was saying many of the animals would be extinct if there weren't for profit ranches raising them.
Teno Righteous (2 months ago)
tmacc (2 months ago)
good video
June Wolfgang (2 months ago)

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