Laura Wyatt, our Curator of Wildlife at the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, also volunteers on her off time.
Laura came here often as a child. She was in love with Edgar Allen Crow, a friendly talking crow that resided in the Aviary. She remembers telling her mom she wanted to work here when she grew up. While she was working as a vet. tech, she volunteered here, then started working here in January 1998.
When eleven baby flamingos hatched, she took them home every night for three months, to feed them. She walked them to and from the flamingo exhibit. They followed her everywhere.
Laura rehabilitates birds to release back into the wild, caring for them around the clock, at work and at home. In baby bird season, she takes up to 25 babies from the sanctuary home every night to feed and care for.
On Special Event days, Laura comes in on her days off to bring out wildlife and educate our guests. She goes to malls and restaurants to help promote Flamingo Gardens.
Laura's advise to people that want to work with animals is to "get hands on experience by volunteering with animal welfare organizations."
Laura's specialty is Birds of Prey. She has a particular fondness for Hawks and has a Falconry Permit; that is why we fondly refer to Laura as the Hawk Woman.