GiGi, a three-month old Virginia opossum, is CROW’s newest Animal Ambassador. Photo provided
GiGi, a three-month old Virginia opossum, is CROW’s newest Animal Ambassador. Photo provided

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife is thrilled to announce the addition of a new Animal Ambassador, a three-month old female opossum.

GiGi, whose name is derived from the common name for her species, the Virginia opossum, was admitted to the wildlife hospital earlier this year on April 16 along with two siblings. The trio was found huddled in a corner along the outside of a house in Cape Coral and taken to a CROW drop-off location. The opossums were in good health except for GiGi who was missing a majority of her tail. Veterinarians surgically cleaned the site where her tail had been traumatically amputated and sutured it closed.

Her remaining stub of a tail has fully healed, but without the prehensile tail that Virginia opossums use for balance while climbing, she cannot be released back to the wild. GiGi will join CROW’s other Animal Ambassadors to help teach the public about her species.

CROW began its Animal Ambassador program in 2012 to provide an educational home for animals who are unable to be released into the wild. Currrent Ambassadors include Lola, an American kestrel, Mina, a great horned owl, Billy, a nine-banded armadillo, Talon, a red-tailed hawk and Bashful, who is also a Virginia opossum. These animals are part of presentations and programs offered daily in CROW’s AWC Visitor Education Center.

Our Animal Ambassadors are a great way for visitors to learn about the amazing species we have here in Southwest Florida,” says CROW Executive Director Alison Charney Hussey. “Many people have never seen these animals up close and they’re able to gain a new appreciation for wildlife after meeting them.”

CROW’s AWC Visitor Education Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Presentations featuring an Animal Ambassador are offered daily at 11 am. For more information and a schedule of presentation topics, please visit www.CROWClinic.org.

About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

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 www.crowclinic.org. If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.