[Fig. 19(3)] The Conservancy of Southwest Florida's Naples Nature Center combines a museum of natural history with a wildlife rehabilitation center. Located in a wooded enclave, off a busy urban boulevard, the Museum of Natural History has "do-touch" tanks where visitors can touch a snake, bird and butterfly eggs, bird skeletons, and a gopher tortoise, and even count an alligator's teeth.
Since 1974, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has treated more than 1,700 injured wild birds and animals, including over 100 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. About 60 percent have fully recuperated and been returned to the wild. Visitors can watch the recuperating patients through the O.W.L.S. online video monitoring system. Bald eagles, red-shouldered hawks, pelicans, raccoons, turtles, and others with catastrophic injuries have a permanent home.
Naturalists lead nature walks and boat tours through the mangrove forest adjacent to the center. Visitors can explore on their own in rental canoes and kayaks. In summer, teenagers may participate in sailing and canoeing lessons. The Nature Store gift shop has a comprehensive book selection, covering every species of Florida plants, birds, fish, and other animals.