Brazilian Investigators Cracking the Case of Missing One-of-a-Kind Snake
Search continues for a rare boa constrictor stolen from Brazil to breed for the reptile trade.
With its abundant rare species and remote locales, Brazil has long been known as an epicenter for wildlife trafficking. But that's changing, thanks to a group of dedicated investigators who are pursuing smugglers to the ends of their jurisdiction and beyond.
In 2006 firefighters in the Niterói district of Rio de Janeiro stumbled across a boa constrictor. But this was no ordinary boa. It was the world's first known—and remains the only known—wild leucistic specimen of Boa constrictor constrictor, better known as the red-tailed boa. The snake was just a few weeks old.
Leucism is a condition in which pigmentation is reduced but not entirely absent, as in albinism. The young boa appeared white, but it had dark eyes. Because