Garrido started his career with his brother Reynaldo in the 1950s as a professional tennis player. He played at the Wimbledon Championships and 1959 at the US Open between 1956 and 1961, but was eliminated in the preliminary rounds. Between 1950 and 1959, Garrido made nine appearances for the Cuban Davis Cup team. He won four of his 16 individual games, in doubles he won only one of five games. His greatest success was in the final of the Canadian Open in 1959, where he had to admit defeat to his brother in four sets (6: 4, 1: 6, 6: 4, 6: 1).
After the Cuban Revolution, he devoted himself to zoology, especially ornithology and herpetology. In 1962, Garrido was one of the founders of the Comisión Nacional para la Academia de Ciencias de Cuba (National Committee of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba). In 1964 the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba was opened, where Garrido worked as a curator until his retirement. Garrido described around 129 new bird and reptile taxa, including subspecies of the Gundlachvireos (Vireo gundlachii sanfelipensis and Vireo gundlachii magnus), the Kubaswergauz (Glaucidium siju turquinense), the Perlaugenenspottel (Margarops fuscatbeininomininachomininachinisinomachiniskinisinkinisinikininusinichinis) (Kubusantusinusinchinachinis) (Siphonorhis brewsteri gonavensis). The reptiles described by Garrido include lizards of the genera Anolis and Leiocephalus, snakes of the genera Arrhyton and Tropidophis and geckos of the genus Sphaerodactylus. In 1968 Garrido was one of the last scientists to observe the Cuban Ivory Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis bairdii), which may be extinct today. In 1970, together with Luis Sánchez Varona, he wrote the first scientific description of the San Felipe tree rat (Mesocapromys sanfelipensis). In 2000, Garrido, in collaboration with Arturo Kirkconnell, published the book Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba, which is one of the standard works on Cuban avifauna. His other publications include Patos que anidan en Cuba (Aves-Anatidae) (1967), Catálogo de las Aves de Cuba (1975), Catálogo descriptivo de los anfibios y reptiles de Cuba (1984), The Cuban Lizards of the Genus Sphaerodactylus ( Sauria, Gekkonidae) (1985), Anfibios, reptiles y aves de Cayo Guajaba, Archipiélago de Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba (1986), Conozca Las Rapaces (1992) and A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies (2003).
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