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Wildlife goes to rehab

Wildlife rehabilitators nurse injured and orphaned wild animals back to health before releasing them back into the wild.

Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife is one of the few local wildlife rehabilitation centers near FGCU. Because FGCU is located on a nature preserve, CROW gets many calls and drop-offs from campus.

Once a rehabber receives an injured or orphaned animal, an initial intake examination is done. The rehabber looks over the animal and makes a diagnosis and an action plan.

The animals are kept in cages and moved to different enclosures until it’s time for release. Some animals, depending on diagnosis and contagion, are kept in isolation. Patients stay with the rehabbers for different lengths of time

Some animals are non-releasable for reasons such as internal injuries, old age, amputations, etc. If an animal is not legally acceptable to be released, the rehabilitation center will keep the animal as an educational animal for school programs. CROW has four current educational animals: an American kestrel, a red-tailed hawk, a Virginia opossum and, its most recent addition, a gopher tortoise.

Most wildlife rehabilitation organizations rely solely on donations. CROW receives food donations for its patients from local grocery stores. Most of the outdoor enclosures are dedicated to the people or organizations that have donated money.

For more information on wildlife rehabilitation or volunteering opporunities with CROW, call 239-472-3644.

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