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Antiguan Forestry Unit
Environmental Awareness Group
Fauna & Flora International
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Island Resources Foundation
Black Hills State University
Advisors and Helpers

Kevel Lindsay & Mark Day,
together on Great Bird Island

When Kevel Lindsay and Mark Day met, they soon realised that they had something in common. They both loved snakes.

Kevel Lindsay was interested in the Antiguan racer long before he worked for the Island Resources Foundation or the Antiguan Forestry Unit. As a teenager, he had wanted to find out more about the snake, and tried to talk to everybody who had seen one. Most of the stories he heard were from people who had visited Great Bird Island (see Last Resort).

Before he cut off his ponytail and started wearing a suit, Mark Day, Head of Communications at Fauna & Flora International, used to spend his time studying lizards in the Caribbean. He was looking for iguanas in Antigua when he first met Kevel.

Suspecting that the Antiguan racer was not extinct just yet, they joined forces to search for it. In 1995, their small search party landed on Great Bird Island, full of excitement about what they might find.

Here's what Kevel remembers about that day:

'Mark and I didn't know what to expect. We knew hardly anything about the snake and weren't even sure what colour it would be. The island was hot and dry. We searched for hours, then realised that we didn't even know how to find the snake or where to look for it. We headed back to the boat and wandered around nearby. Just as we were ready to give up, someone shouted 'snake!' We ran back to the beach and found the boat pilot, Foster Derrick, pointing into a tree. A small snake was lying along one of the branches overhanging the beach, right where we had landed!'

Back from the dead: one of the last surviving Antiguan racers

Imagine losing one of your favourite possessions, then suddenly finding it again, long after you thought that it had disappeared forever. That's how they felt when they rediscovered the Antiguan racer. But finding the snake was just the beginning. Now they had to save it (see Mission Impossible).

Island Resources Foundation
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