WILDLIFE’S BEST FRIEND
Ozzie was a memorable patient. Heather Barron, hospital director at CROW, or Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel, has treated thousands of injured animals. But this bald eagle was different. “He was special because we knew for sure we healed him since he was out in the wild for three months,” she says of Ozzie, who sadly died from further injuries after his release.
For Barron, no two days are alike, and that’s what keeps things interesting. “I am just as excited to come in in the morning, as I was when I started my career 20 years ago, ” she says of her work in veterinary medicine.
CROW annually treats some 4,000 patients, but Barron’s role is much more than healing injured wings, tortoise armor and raising orphans. She shares what she’s learned with students and collaborates with scientists to advance the protection of wildlife and habitat. But she also stays tuned to her patients. “Lot of times,” she says, “it’s wildlife that first lets us know if something is going on in the environment, like the canaries in the coal mine scenario.”
DR. HEATHER BARRON