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CROW to celebrate birthdays of popular animal ambassadors

By Staff | Apr 11, 2014

Stanley, the Virginia opossum, as a baby. PHOTO PROVIDED.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) invites you to celebrate the birthdays of Stanley, the Virginia opossum, who turns one, and Trouper, the blind raccoon, who turns five, on Friday, April 18 from 2-3 p.m., in the parking lot of CROW’s Visitor Education Center at 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road.

Trouper suffered permanent damage when he was eight weeks old but was rescued and nursed back to health by Dot Lee, a certified wildlife rehabilitator. Stanley endured a predator attack when he was an infant and CROW veterinarians had to amputate most of his tail.

Because of their disabilities, neither animal could be released back into the wild, so their caregivers have obtained the necessary permits to display them as animal ambassadors for educational purposes.

Like most birthday celebrations, CROW’s Wild Party will feature cake, ice cream, and photo opportunities. Partygoers may also enjoy playing “Pin the Tail” on a cutout replica of Stanley.

Ann Arnoff and Anita Pinder, who fostered many opossum babies for CROW, will share information and anecdotes about their charges. Dot Lee, CROW volunteer, and Kyle Miller, author of “Trouper — the True Adventures of a Blind Raccoon: The Beginning,” will be on hand for questions as well as book signings. The birthday boys will accept presents in the form of donations to the wildlife hospital.

Rachel Rainbolt, CROW's education coordinator, introduces Stanley to Trouper and his caregiver, Dot Lee. PHOTO PROVIDED.

CROW cautions visitors that while both Trouper and Stanley have been conditioned by wildlife experts to tolerate human contact, they are still subject to the fears and anxieties all wild animals feel in the presence of humans. For the safety of attendees, both animal ambassadors will be presented and held by their caregivers.

CROW is located at 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road, across from The Sanibel School. Partygoers are welcome to explore the Visitor Education Center and learn more about CROW’s efforts to save wildlife through care, education, and collaboration. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for teens, free for members and children 12 and under.

For more information on the party or how to donate a birthday gift, please call 472-3644, ext. 228 or email rrainbolt@crowclinic.org.