WILDLIFE’S BEST FRIEND

RSWLiving - - Work - —K.B.

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

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