‘Hidden Hero’ Tina Cortez Protects Broward’s Wildlife During Pandemic

Friday, December 18, 2020 5:02 PM | Anonymous member

Tina Cortez is one of the real-life superheroes who are stepping up to help in Broward, just when our community needs them the most.

Community Foundation of Broward Hidden Heroes Award Winner Tina Cortez, of the Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital.

Tina’s heroic efforts have enabled the Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital in Coral Springs to sustain and grow its animal treatment and release program during the pandemic.

When coronavirus infection concerns forced the wildlife hospital to stop accepting volunteer help, Tina – the wildlife hospital director – found new and creative ways to keep their life-saving work going.

She enlisted non-hospital staffers, and even a few family members, to help with caretaking duties such as food preparation and maintenance of animal habitats. She created a new contactless drop-off process to enable Broward residents to keep bringing injured and orphaned animals to the hospital for help. When Sawgrass re-opened to the public and resumed using volunteer help, Tina implemented new training and developed protocols for social distancing, masks and sanitation to keep everyone safe.

And through it all, Tina even took racoons, possums, bats, squirrels and other animals home to provide 24/7 care.

Thanks to Tina’s dedication and innovative approaches, the wildlife hospital is on track to serve more than 900 animals during this challenging year.

Read the full story here.

Watch video here.

Founded in 1983, the League of Environmental Educators in Florida is the professional association for individuals and organizations dedicated to the cause of environmental education in Florida. We are the state affiliate for North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), an organization that brings together those interested in the study and enjoyment of our natural world and one that has promoted excellence in environmental education throughout North America and the world for over four decades.  

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