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Every year, some 30,000 primates, two-to-five million birds, and ten million reptile skins enter the Asian wild animal market, the third-largest illegal smuggling operation in the world.

Photojournalist Patrick Brown goes deep inside this vast, dangerous world. He risks his own personal safety to take us on a fascinating — and stomach-turning — journey through the lives of myth-bound Chinese villagers, the status-seeking nouveau riche, third-generation smugglers, and corrupt officials that make this market possible.

In cultures where tiger skins, rhino horns, and bear bile are imbued with mythical properties, these wild animal parts are bought and paid for at astonishingly high prices. In Black Market, we come to understand that the price for these rarities may be the very survival of endangered species world-wide, as well as the ecological stability of the planet.

Published: July 10, 2007


Photography: Patrick Brown
Producer: Eric Maierson
Executive Producer: Brian Storm
Graphics: Tim Klimowicz

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