The Reptile Protector
Written by Ava100   

As he finds his way through the bushes on the desert in Abu Dhabi, one may wonder what Garry Minks is doing. He is actually trying to catch a cobra – a wounded king cobra. Garry is a volunteer of Endangered Species International, a non-profit organization focused on protecting endangered species – including reptiles and amphibians.

On a typical day, Garry brings home a few frogs, snakes and other reptiles and amphibians to nurse and care for them until they are ready to be released to the wild again. We are lucky enough to conduct an interview with Garry during one of his minor operation with a dhub – a spiny tailed lizard usually found in the deserts of Abu Dhabi.

How did you get into the job you are doing now?

I do not really consider this as my job but more of a passion. Though some individuals and groups, aside from the Endangered Species International, give their support to what I am doing, I do not actually receive money but prefer materials and medicines needed with my research.

If you do not get any cash from support-groups, how do you make a living?

This is not my full-time job. I call this as my hobby. I am a manager on a logistics company based here in Abu Dhabi. What I earn from my day job is more than enough for the needs of my family.

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Forty Days Later...
Written by Connie   

It is now more than forty days after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and they still have not stopped the leak. I can’t even remember all of the things they have tried or thought about trying…booms, setting it on fire, top hat, top kill, junk shot, and now the latest - the deployment of the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) Cap Containment System. What will they come up with next? It has been over 20 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill and we have yet to figure out a way to contain and clean up the mess. Perhaps drilling should cease until someone can come up with a way to get rid of it when these things happen. 

I have read many reports regarding the effects of the oil spill on the wildlife in the Gulf Coast area and the most common number I can find is that about 25-30 dead birds have been found covered in oil. I have also read that about 500 birds, 200 turtles and 30 mammals have been found dead along the Gulf coast, however, they have not linked these deaths directly to the oil spill. Many of these deaths were probably related to the oil spill and that these numbers are probably low because many of the dead organisms are likely to be eaten prior to washing up on shore. If that is the case, then whatever ate the dead, oil-affected organisms will probably also be affected. Not to mention the fish and shellfish that also live in these waters.

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