The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island, Florida is both a visitor education center and a teaching hospital. CROW is committed to saving wildlife through education, research, state-of-the-art veterinary care, and conservation medicine. It was first started in 1976 by a group of volunteers and now the Visitor Education Center provides visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the clinic's animal care through interactive displays, live camera feeds, and daily presentations by volunteers, staff, and students. CROW cares for around 3,500 animals every year, including over 200 species of orphaned, injured, and sick wildlife, at its veterinary hospital. It has become of the leading rehabilitation facilities for migratory and native wildlife in the country.
© CROW Clinic
The Visitor Education Center was created to connect guests with the wildlife in CROW's care, although patient privacy is still maintained. A tour through the center is self-guided and emphasizes the time the patients spend here, from when they are admitted to when they are released back into the wild. These animals can be viewed via the live feed from the "critter cams" in the outdoor rehabilitation area.
Daily presentations featuring CROW's Animal Ambassadors are also provided at the Visitor Education Center. The "Wonders of Wildlife" presentations offer visitors an up-close experience with these creatures and a chance to learn why the animals now live at the clinic. There is also an invasive species exhibit at the center that features a knight anole, tokay geckos, and a marine toad. The exhibit explains how these species threaten the local habitat and environment. Visitors can also see the threatened non-venomous eastern indigo snake, a protected native species that is the country's longest native species of snake.
© CROW Clinic
The Visitor Education Center's interactive exhibit area includes patient rescue stories, a timeline of CROW's history, a "Taking Action" quiz, past medical records, a "Be the Vet" game, a "Surgical Challenge" game, treatment methods, x-rays, and migratory and native species profiles. With the live camera feeds, visitors can view the pelican, raccoon, otter, and large flight enclosures. They can also see the surgical suite, the intake room at the wildlife hospital at CROW, and other outdoor animal enclosures.
Wildlife Walks with staff and rehabilitators are also offered at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife. CROW offers a unique chance to see into the rehabilitation of wildlife and meet the people responsible for the care of the interesting wildlife that call southwest Florida home. Visitors have the excellent opportunity to learn the in-depth details about the treatment process and the hospital's inner workings during a Wildlife Walk. These walks are made up of two parts: The first is the introductory presentation that explains CROW's rehabilitation and medical methods and the second part is a guided tour of the hospital's treatment areas that ends at the clinic's rehabilitation grounds. Each part of the Wildlife Walk is about 45 minutes long and visitors also have an opportunity to take photos with CROW's Animal Ambassadors at the end of the tour.
Back to: Things to Do on Sanibel Island, Florida
3883 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel, Florida 33957, website, Phone: 239-472-3644
Best Things to Do on Sanibel Island: The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife