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CROW Clinic Nears Record-Breaking Number Of Patients

Breanna Frankel
Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
A laughing gull, the 4,000th patient admitted to CROW’s wildlife hospoital in 2019, is provided supplemental oxygen shortly after being rescued from Bowman's Beach in Sanibel.";

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, or CROW, expects to see a record-breaking number of patients this year.

On Sept. 21, the clinic treated its 4,000th patient—a laughing gull found on Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island—which was found by a CROW staff member. 

CROW staff veterinarian Robin Bast said the hospital’s caseload is up 7% compared to the same month last year, during a time when a prolonged toxic red tide outbreak was plaguing Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Bast said the hospital is still treating animals with brevetoxicosis, which is the condition that impacts animals that come into contact with the neurotoxin produced by red tide algae.

The hospital is also treating more patients with other conditions.

“A lot of trauma cases as well; hit by a car, gunshot, attacked by a predator, those types of things,” Bast said.

Bast has been with CROW since 2010 and since then the clinic’s caseload has increased every year. 

According to Bast, the influx of people moving to Southwest Florida is one of the factors contributing to the uptick in patient volume.

“That means there’s going to be more chances for human-animal interaction and some of those interactions are going to be positive and some of those are going to end up negatively and causing injuries to the animal,” Bast said.

CROW staff anticipate treating some 1,000 more patients before the year’s end, bringing their 2019 total of patients to 5,000, which would be an annual record.

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.