Richard Peirce is best known as a shark conservationist and as former Chairman of the Shark Conservation Society and the Shark Trust – his main focus for over 30 years. He has authored several books on conservation topics, including Giant Steps (about elephants in captivity), Cuddle Me Kill Me (canned lion hunting), and Nicole (about a shark’s marathon journey) – all published by Struik Nature.

  • Pangolins: Scales of Injustice

    Smuggled into China and sold for meat in the live-animal markets of cities such as Wuhan, the pangolin has dominated world headlines. Is it the vector for Covid-19?

    Pangolins have long been sustainably harvested by local communities for their meat and scales, but today the burgeoning trade in these mammals has reached crisis point. Eight pangolin species occur worldwide, four in Asia and four in Africa, and all face extinction if current rates of hunting and trading continue unabated.

    Now the spotlight is on the world’s most trafficked mammal. Scientists have identified pangolins as the likely source of the coronavirus infection that has brought the world to its knees. This multi-trillion dollar disaster makes pangolins the most expensive meals ever eaten.

    In this timely expose, Richard Peirce unpacks the horrors and dangers of the trade in this enigmatic, little-known mammal. He explains the links between wildlife and Covid-19, and details China’s response to the pandemic.

    He also tells the story of a particular pangolin poached in Zimbabwe and brought to South Africa to be traded. Readers accompany an agent of the African Pangolin Working Group, assisted by the local police, on an actual sting operation to rescue the animal and capture the traffickers. And they follow the subsequent progress of the rescued pangolin, from near death to rehabilitation and release into the wild.

    R230.00
  • Orca

    Great White sharks, attracted by an offshore seal colony, have brought success to the adjacent fishing village of Gansbaai along the southern African coast. A flourishing shark cage diving industry has sprung up, bringing jobs and money, and so benefiting almost the entire community. Tourists come from far and near to experience the thrill of a real-life brush with the legendary ‘Jaws’. Shark Town, as it has become known, is booming. Then one day, the sharks disappear. Slowly at first, but with gathering momentum, the word spreads: cage diving off Gansbaai can no longer promise the thrill of an encounter. The crowds thin, the boats remain at their moorings, and the once bustling community waits as their livelihoods tail off. Entrepreneurs and scientists alike are baffled.

    But it’s not long before shark carcasses start washing up on the beaches. These, together with some coincidental sightings of another apex predator in the vicinity, are the first leads to the possible causes and culprits. Against the clamour and thrill of the cage-diving season in full swing, Richard Peirce visits the unfolding drama and explores what’s behind these strange events.

    R230.00
  • Cuddle Me, Kill Me

    Canned lion hunting sprang to the world’s attention with the 2015 launch of the documentary, Blood Lions. This movie blew the cover off a brutal industry that has burgeoned in the last decade or so, operating largely under the radar of public concern.
    In Cuddle Me Kill Me,   veteran wildlife campaigner Richard Peirce reveals horrifying facts about the industry. He tells
    • The true story of two male lions rescued from breeding farms
    • The exploitation and misery of these apex predators when they are bred in captivity
    • How young cubs are removed from their mothers mere hours after birth
    • How they are first used for petting by an adoring (and paying) public
    • Their subsequent use for ‘walking with lions’ tourism
    • And how, in the final stage of exploitation, they are served up in fenced enclosure for execution by canned hunters – or simply shot by breeders for the value of their carcass, a prized product in the East.
    Well researched by Peirce with the help of an undercover agent, and illustrated with photos taken along the way, this is a disturbing and passionate plea to end commercial captive lion breeding and the repurposing of wildlife to cater for human greed.
    R230.00
  • Giant Steps

    Elephants have long been targeted by humans: not only are they killed for their ivory, but their extraordinary strength, intelligence and charisma have seen some of them captured, chained and effectively jailed for life.

    Bully and Induna are two African elephants, both orphaned in organised culling operations and destined for lives in captivity. Growing up far apart and quite differently, Bully (a former animal film star) and the less fortunate Induna were both driven to react to their circumstances – Induna even killed one of his carers. Their individual situations reached a point where both were considered to be dangerous animals and were under threat of being put down.

    This is the true story of their lives. Conservationist Richard Peirce presents their individual narratives and the twists and turns of their fortunes: the exploitation of these majestic but sensitive animals, how they each came to be trapped in unsuitable ‘employment’ and shunted about from one venue to the next, before finding one another – free at last – on a farm in southern Africa. It’s a gripping story, full of drama, danger, sadness and ultimate rescue.

    R230.00