Billy, a nine-banded armadillo, is one of the permanent residents at CROW. SC photo by Chuck Larsen
Billy, a nine-banded armadillo, is one of the permanent residents at CROW. SC photo by Chuck Larsen

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife presented a new ambassador enclosure Tuesday, April 2, for a small group of distinguished guests during a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The project to build the permanent enclosures, generously funded by the Attardo family, began more than two years ago. Numerous set backs, including Hurricane Irma in September 2017, which affected the availability of materials, put the project behind schedule.

It just seemed as if we would take one step forward and two steps back,” said Linda Estep, immediate past executive director of CROW.

Now complete, the enclosures will serve as a permanent home for CROW’s Animal Ambassadors, animals that have sustained injuries or circumstances preventing their re-release into the wild. These animals, Mina, a great horned owl, Talon, a red-tailed hawk, Lola, an American kestrel, Billy, a nine-banded armadillo, and Bashful, a Virginia opossum, are part of CROW’s education and outreach programs.

With homes for our Ambassadors, we can ensure that they are happy, healthy and can continue to teach visitors about their species and CROW’s mission,” says Executive Director Alison Charney Hussey. “It also frees up enclosures where they were previously housed for patients.”

Patrons of CROW’s AWC Visitor Education Center will be able to see new enclosures as part of the “Wildlife Walk” guided hospital tour. Tours are currently offered Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Advanced registration for the tours is required. For more information, please visit or call (239) 472-3644.

About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife

Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond.  Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.