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S.W. Florida Daily News


CROW back on Sanibel Island after Hurricane Ian

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After Hurricane Ian swept through Sanibel Island, one of the most significant losses was the displacement of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). The organization, which serves as a rehabilitation center for injured animals and a wildlife hospital, had to shut down during the hurricane. But with the tireless efforts of the staff and the community, CROW is now back in business and serving the local wildlife population once again.

CROW Returns to Sanibel Island After Hurricane Ian

Sanibel Island, known for its pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, and conservation efforts, faced a severe challenge when Hurricane Ian struck the Island in September 2021. The catastrophic storm heavily impacted the environment, requiring a massive cleanup effort. The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), the leading wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in Southwest Florida, was among the organizations deeply affected by the hurricane.

The Impact of Hurricane Ian on CROW

Hurricane Ian caused significant damage to the CROW’s wildlife hospital, animal housing areas, and outdoor rehabilitation enclosures. More than 200 animals were already receiving care in the facility when the storm hit. CROW’s dedicated staff was forced to work round-the-clock to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals, who required special attention during the hurricane.

Despite the challenges, CROW’s team worked tirelessly to keep the animals safe during and after the storm. However, the aftermath of the hurricane caused logistical and operational challenges for the facility. The surrounding vegetation was uprooted and littered all over the place, making it difficult for CROW’s team to transport the injured animals to the facility.

The road to recovery proved to be a tough one, with power outages and water disruptions affecting the care of the animals. However, the team remained focused, and their unrelenting dedication to the animals prevailed.

CROW’s Role in Sanibel Island’s Ecosystem

Sanibel Island is known for its abundant wildlife, especially bird species, making it a popular destination for birders and nature enthusiasts. CROW plays an essential role in the conservation of these species as Florida’s leading wildlife hospital.

CROW was established in 1968 when the population of brown pelicans, a threatened species, was at an all-time low. The organization has since grown to provide medical care to thousands of animals each year, from eagles and owls to turtles and gopher tortoises.

In addition to providing medical care to injured animals, CROW has an active role in the conservation of local wildlife species. CROW’s team regularly conducts research, outreach, and educational programs to raise awareness about the environment and wildlife conservation.

CROW’s Return to Sanibel Island

Thanks to the tireless efforts of CROW’s staff and volunteers, the wildlife hospital is back in operation on Sanibel Island after the devastating impact of Hurricane Ian. The outdoor enclosures and animal housing areas were rebuilt, and the facility has resumed its essential work of helping animals in need.

CROW’s role in Sanibel Island’s ecosystem cannot be overstated. The organization helps protect the island’s natural resources and the wildlife that resides there. CROW’s swift return after the hurricane is a testament to the organization’s dedication to its mission.

With the repairs complete, CROW’s facility is equipped to handle a large influx of animals that require medical attention. Visitors can once again watch as the animals receive care from the dedicated staff and volunteers at CROW.

In conclusion, Sanibel Island and its wildlife have faced many natural disasters and challenges over the years, but CROW has remained a steadfast presence through it all. Hurricane Ian may have had a severe impact on the organization, but CROW’s staff and volunteers rose to the challenge and persevered. Now, CROW is back to doing what they do best – taking care of animals and protecting Sanibel Island’s precious environment.


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