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Posted by Jorge Horna on May 06, 2003 at 22:57:11:

It is always nice hearing from you, and thank you for replying on my previous post. Let me start by telling you that I really don't know the farm of RR. (what or who is RR?)
In Iquitos, Peru there are many farms located in the Amazons, and I know most of the owners. These individuals have their farms set up for anybody to come and visit; there are small boats that would take you to these farms for small fee. To my knowledge, the farmers I know DO NOT sell their animals. It is ILLEGAL. However, there are stories about other people having these hidden farms, and they do sell their animals to be shipped out of the country(by the way, Do you know where some of those Ecuadorian Boas posted on the classifieds came from? I'm not 100% sure, but I could guess). Every single time I get to visit the farms in Iquitos, I have the opportunity to find babies; LETTING A SNAKE FREE ON THEIR ENVIRONMENT is one of the most beautiful feelings I've ever had. I have done it not once, but many, many times. Some of the farmers (at least the ones I know) would breed their animals, keep a couple, and then release the rest.
Iquitos is a beautiful, but poor city. Unfortunately the zoos down there do not have any glass like the ones on the Bronx zoo in New York; instead they use wire fence or chicken fence (like someone called it). Perhaps the living conditions are not acceptable for some people, but this is the reality.
I remember the first time I took my girlfriend (an Italian raised in this wonderful country) to Peru; Since there is everything in Lima, I knew that being in the capital was going to be as to visit New York City; however, it was going to be very difficult for me to find an Italian restaurant, French wine, or Cuban cigars in Iquitos. I told my girlfriend that our lifestyle was going to change once we get to Iquitos. Well, I guess I shouldn't worried too much; she loved it. We had plan to travel to Italy and Holland after she graduated from medical school this year, but instead she chose to go to Iquitos again (by the way she doesn't like snakes as much as i do).

I believe there are good and bad people everywhere; and just like the parasites and bacteria growing in the Amazons, it is out of our control. Once again, I'm not justifying the living conditions of the animals on my pictures, but I wouldn't buy a single animal that comes from a farmer that mistreats their animals. By doing so, I'll be supporting their ilicit businesses and cruelty towards defenless animals. If you know of any farm/farmer in Iquitos where sparse litters were eaten by the ants last year, let me know. You, me or anybody that have contacts in Peru can report these to the authorities there.

Once again, if you or somebody else felt insulted for posting my pictures, I apologize for it.

Take care.

Jorge Horna

PS. To prevent a thread on this topic, I will not respond to this post. I will be glad to exchange e-mails.

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