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Article Dated: Tuesday April 17, 2001
Published: THE ORACLE University of South Florida Volume 38 No. 138

Earth Day comes early
Two organizations will host an event Wednesday to promote environmental awareness, conservation.
By Selina Roman

Although Earth Day is not officially until Sunday, the Life Sciences Club along with Student Government will celebrate it Wednesday in hopes to educate students about the importance of awareness and conservation. More than 20 area organizations are expected to be on the business building's lawn from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. promoting earth-friendly activities such as water and wildlife conservation and recycling.
Greyhound Rescue, an organization that finds homes for racing greyhounds instead of allowing them to be euthanized, will have about four dogs that students can adopt. Organizations such as the Florida Aquarium and the Survival Outreach Sanctuary will bring snakes and cougars, respectively, to educate students that the animals need protection from development.
Judy Watson, founder for the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Spring Hill, travels the nation with her cougar, Jayla, as a way to make the issue of


conservation and protection personal. "I want to make people understand the close relationship between people and animals," she said. "They are a red-light indicator of things that happen in our environment. If it's happening to them, it's happening to us."
Besides educating, Watson also has a 10 acre sanctuary for exotic animals. Many were pets that the owners couldn't handle. Some of Watson's menagerie includes a lemur, nutria and potbelly pig. This weekend Watson expects a shipment of two tigers whose owners kept them cramped in a horse trailer.
Besides presentations, the Florida Aquarium and Survival Outreach Sanctuary will offer volunteer opportunities to students. Troy Valentine, vice president for the Life Sciences Club, said the club is trying to give back to the environment through education. "It seems not too many people are doing things for the environment." he said. "If you look at it, the world's population of animals and plants are being decimated. You need to at least do your park." Live music and free veggie pizza from Papa John's will also be available.