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A Former Animal Planet Host Pleaded Guilty To Smuggling Endangered Lizards

By / 11.20.13

(via Getty Image)


First things first: That headline is not innuendo, even though “smuggling an endangered lizard” would be really great in that context. (“Hey there, hot stuff. You smuggling an endangered lizard, or are you just happy to see me?”) No, in this case, I mean “smuggling endangered lizards” quite literally, as in “trying to sell rare, protected lizards over Facebook and ship them across the country.” But keep that other thing in the back of your mind. Could come in handy.

With that out of the way…

A globe-trotting Los Angeles-based herpetologist who hosted an “Animal Planet” series pleaded guilty today to a federal charge of offering to sell two endangered Iranian desert monitor lizards without a permit to an undercover agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Donald Schultz, who introduced the television channel’s now-canceled “Wild Recon” and once spent 10 days in a glass box on the Las Vegas strip with a mass of venomous snakes for the “Venom in Vegas” show, admitted violating the Endangered Species Act. [My Fox LA]

Three things:

1) Who would have thought that a guy who spent a week and a half crammed into a box full of poisonous snakes in the middle of Las Vegas might not show the greatest judgment in his personal life?

2) I like to picture some nosy UPS employee opening up the box en route and seeing the two lizards staring back at him and hissing. I also like to picture the employee as Zach Galifianakis. I am now like 40% done with my script for Hangover 7.

3) Selling two endangered monitor lizards over Facebook — which, again, was this guy’s plan — is somehow not the shadiest reptile-sale-over-the-Internet thing we seen in the last few months. That title is, and will always be, held by the New York man who ran a website called “Snake Man’s Exotics” out of his home and got busted with 850 snakes in his garage. The king stay the king.


TAGSANIMAL PLANETmonitor lizardsPOLICE BLOTTER

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