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Former Animal Planet host pleads guilty in exotic lizard case

A former Animal Plant television host pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges connected to selling endangered lizards to an undercover federal agent.

Donald Schultz appeared in federal court in Los Angeles Tuesday, pleading guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act by offering to sell, and selling, two live desert monitor lizards in interstate commerce, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

Schultz, a native South African who appears on television as an expert on dangerous wildlife, was the host of Animal Planet’s “Wild Recon,” which aired 10 episodes in 2010. On the show, he retrieved biological samples of animals from remote locations.

In a plea agreement, Schultz had admitted to selling two live monitor lizards in 2010 to an undercover agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

He met with the agent at his home, agreeing to ship the two live lizards to Buffalo, N.Y., via plane, which he did, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Schultz did not have a permit to sell the lizards, which are listed as endangered under federal law.


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