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The Game Warden's Editorial

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Notes from The Game Warden.

Game Warden


The weekend here in Portugal comes to a close. It's twenty past midnight and I'm alone sat at my desk monitor glowing in the dark room and the remains of a brandy waiting to be drank. Low music on the stereo and it's my favourite time of day - my time. Everyone else is in bed and I can relax a bit and compose a few words to put in the field notes.

Actually beside me is the March issue of National Geographic, I've only just picked it up for it came through a bit late this month and what an issue it is. The articles "Ivory Wars" (J. Michael Fay and Michael Nichols) and "Wildlife Haven" (Michael Nichols) are excellent and feature some really stunning images. Michael Nichols has a website and it can be found here: michaelnicknichols.com. Inside you will find some more stunning photographs and some really relevant wildlife photography articles - well worth a look. Many of us focus on Southern and East Africa and forget the tragedy that is afflicting those elephants in Central Africa in places like Chad. But it's through J.M. Fay's writing and "Nick" Nichols photography that everything comes back into sharp focus. Mr Nichols is out in the field presently but there is the possibility upon his return later next month that I will be able to conduct an interview with him so stay tuned but of course before that there are a number of others that will interest you: I am awaiting those from Dr Laurie Marker from The Cheetah Conservation Fund, www.cheetah.org and Prof. Craig Packer from the Serengeti Lion Project and both have vast experience in their fields. Another one that I have arranged and hope to receive soon is with Dr. Richard Leakey who needs no introduction being a legend in the fields of palaeoanthropology and wildlife conservation.

I published my article entitled "Online donations - my experience." relating my experiences of donating to The Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust in the Zambia and it can be found here. I was surprised just how far my £50 stretched and how much difference it made to a child's life. To me fifty quid isn't that much but to someone there it means the world. And the sense of satisfaction I received through making this donation was immeasurable. Steve and Anna really are making a difference in their part of the world and I wish them all the best now the floods are receding.

Woke up to a fright this morning, and it was actually Anna Tolan who alerted me to the fact with a email first thing. Safaritalk had been hacked or so it appeared. For those logging on early Sunday morning GMT hours you will have got this message:

"Zend Optimizer not installed

This file was encoded by the Zend Encoder / Zend SafeGuard Suite

In order to run it, please install the freely available Zend Optimizer, version 2.1.0 or later.
What is the Zend Optimizer?

The Zend Optimizer is one of the most popular PHP plugins for performance-improvement, and has been freely available since the early days of PHP 4. It improves performance by taking PHP's intermediate code through multiple Optimization Passes, which replace inefficient code patterns with efficient code blocks. The replacement code blocks perform exactly the same operations as the original code, only faster.

In addition to performance-improvement, the Zend Optimizer also enables PHP to transparently load files encoded by the Zend Encoder or Zend SafeGuard Suite.

The Zend Optimizer is a freely-available product from Zend Technologies. Zend Technologies is the company that develops the scripting engine of PHP, also known as the Zend Engine."

I was pulling my hair out as nothing was available not even the Control Panel through which I oversee Safaritalk and I feared a complete reprogramming would be called for. But some urgent emails to and fro between myself and hosting company resolved the issue after an hour or so and everything got back on track. So apologies if you weren't able to get in this morning, I hope it doesn't happen again.

And so I leave you as I finish that last drop of brandy, another week ahead of us, how many will be lucky enough to be heading out to Africa I don't know but if you are jetting off sometime perhaps you'll let us know your itinerary so we can dream a little dream and escape this old routine for a while.

Safari Njema, wherever you are.

Take care,

The Game Warden


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