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Part of the appeal of Sanibel and Captiva is the wildlife.  Birds, racoons, rabbits, alligators (preferably from a distance).  And sometimes they need some help.

For over 50 years, CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) has been working to save native and migratory wildlife with the hope of returning the sick, injured, or orphaned back into the wild.  Just recently, CROW admitted its 5,000th patient of 2019 into its animal teaching hospital.  Admissions to the Clinic have increased steadily over the years, partly due to rising resident awareness and participation.

In addition to the hospital, CROW has been educating the public about protecting wildlife with its Visitor Education Center.  There guests of all ages learn about the organization’s history and workings with exhibits, including live animal exhibits and video feeds of the hospital’s intake room.  There are also daily presentations on various topics, “wildlife walks,” and a chance to visit the hospital itself.

For those whose injuries are such that they cannot live in the wild, CROW takes some in to care for lifelong care as “Animal Ambassadors” (Others will be taken in by other centers or zoos, when possible.) and often visit at events such as the annual Taste of the Islands to promote CROW’s work.  The current Animal Ambassadors include Lola (an American kestrel), GiGi (a Virginia opossum), and Mina (a Great Horned Owl).

The hospital is open from 8am to 5pm 7 days a week.  If you ever find an animal that needs help, please contact them at (239) 472-3644 ext. 222.  If found after the hospital’s hours, please follow these suggestions from their website.  This also includes drop-off locations throughout Southwest Florida if you are unable to take the animal to the Sanibel hospital.

The Visitor Education Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4pm.  Admission is $12 per person (13 and older), $7.00 kids 4 – 12.  Kids three and under and CROW members are free.

CROW is located on Sanibel-Captiva Road, across the street from The Sanibel School’s baseball field. 

A visit to Sanibel would not be complete without exploring what keeps its wildlife going strong!  Book Direct and Save with Sanibel Holiday!