Since 2012, CROW has instituted an animal ambassador program to provide an educational home for animals who are unable to be released into the wild. These animals are used during presentations and programs on campus and off-site for an up close experience with wildlife. The rehabilitation staff spends countless hours training and building trust with these animals so that they can remain relaxed around crowds.
Meet Billy, the nine-banded armadillo, who arrived in April 2017 as an orphan that was weak and malnourished. The rehab team nursed him back to health, but since armadillos were classified as a nonnative or invasive species by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at the time, Billy was unable to be released. The classification was changed recently to reflect that armadillos have naturally expanded their range to include Florida. However, Billy has since become too accustomed to human care to live a successful life in the wild.
Billy, along with Mina, the great horned owl … Talon, the red-tailed hawk … Lola, the American kestrel … and Gigi, the Virginia opossum, frequently greet guests during CROW’s educational programs. Some of them can also be viewed via webcam by clicking here!
For more information on the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, visit crowclinic.org.