News & Politics

The Amish Sell Exotic Animals, Are Even More Badass Than You Thought


Alligators! Elk! Kangaroos and kinkajous! Parrots! Poison-arrow frogs! And an “irate African aardvark”! It sounds like an exotic bazaar in some faraway land but it’s actually an auction in Amish country, explored in this delightful piece in The Daily. Here at Runnin’ Scared we stay up on Amish news, and this is particularly interesting: thrice yearly, the Mid Ohio Alternative Animal and Bird Sale takes place in Mount Hope, Ohio, in an area that apparently has the highest Amish concentration in the country. We would give our right arm to go to this.

“Camels, zebras — I don’t think I ever did sell giraffes — alligators, all kinds of different monkeys, I guess,” said auctioneer Arlen Yoder, 36, listing off his oddest sales. Yoder wore a beard, a black straw hat, and blue plain-front trousers. Like 90 percent of the auction’s employees, he is Amish. His only apparent break with the technological caution of his religion was a wireless headset to amplify his sales patter.

Yoder’s use of a headset contrasts with the auction’s no-cameras rule, which is more in keeping with what we think of as traditional Amish practices. It also kind of sucks because we don’t have photos of the event apart from some grainy ones that were taken covertly a few years ago.

The whole sale is like some neo-Monty Python shit. The irate African aardvark reportedly required three men to wrestle it out of its cage, and apparently a local anti-exotic pet organization received 11 reports of “problem alligators” in Dayton in the last year alone. What a world.

[The Daily via Gawker]


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