FOREIGN TRADE: Bring 'Em Back Alive

I went to the animal fair

The birds and beasts were there.

The big baboon by the light of the moon

Was combing his auburn hair.

Before the war. New Yorkers found such an animal fair in the smelly old Bowery warehouse of Louis Ruhe, Inc. (pronounced Looie Rooie), world's largest wild-animal dealer. The fair was at its best in March. Then U.S. zoo keepers, searching for animals for the spring and summer zoogoers, would stalk lions and tigers, aardvarks and aye-ayes, capybaras and caimans, tarsiers and toucans, caged in Ruhe's warehouse.

Ruhe's $3,000,000-a-year business,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!