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CROW needs drivers to transport injured wildlife

By Staff | Apr 23, 2009

Drivers wanted: must love animals, have a car, license and availability. Pay: the opportunity to help save wildlife.

If the idea of being sort of an ambulance driver for injured critters appeals to you The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. (CROW) would like to talk.

Due to a patient load increase at CROW as well as the sloughing off of seasonal volunteers – the agency find themselves in need of more drivers to transport sick and injured patients.

There are 95 drivers that volunteer for CROW. Of these drivers, 67 are full-time and 90 percent of them hail from Sanibel or South Fort Myers, said Volunteer Coordinator Marguerite Jordan.

In 2008, CROW treated more than 4,000 patients, according to Development Director Jennifer Roberts. The wildlife hospital has been seeing a steady increase in patients in the past few years. In 2004 the clinic treated 3,500 furry, scaly and feathery animals. CROW staff attribute the increase to development and loss of wildlife habitat as well as more people knowing about the clinic.

Of the animals treated at CROW only 18 percent come from Sanibel, Jordan said. Much of the other wildlife comes from outlying areas in Lee County, including Buckingham, Pine Island and North Fort Myers. These are the areas that drivers are needed the most right now, Jordan said.

And for those who want to help but are concerned about making lengthy and costly trips with their vehicle Jordan said drivers can go to drop-off spots. This means that a volunteer driver say in Buckingham can be called to pick up an injured animal in their area and drop it off at Lehigh Acres – a drop-off site.

Drivers for CROW need a car, drivers license and a love for animals. Volunteers are given training and carriers and are responsible for getting injured or sick wildlife to CROW or other designated pick-up spot.

Volunteers are diverse. Some are couples, recent college graduates and others.

Boaters are also needed to pick-up wildlife in outlying areas as well.

CROW staff consider volunteer drivers to be vital to help wildlife.

“They are actually the way we get the patients to treat,” Jordan said.