Founded in 1977 by local environmentalist and conservationist, Isolde Mellet, CROW was one of the South Africa’s first wildlife rehabilitation centres dedicated to assisting orphaned, injured and displaced wildlife. 
Originally rum from Isolde’s garage, the need for a bigger, better equipped facility soon became apparent as news of CROW and its work quickly spread. 

Overwhelmed by the growing demand for a dedicated wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, CROW was thrown a lifeline in 1980 by the Durban (now eThekwini) Municipality in the form of the city’s 3.7 ha abandoned waterworks plant situated in Yellowwood Park. 

Thanks to the support of the greater Durban community, R73 000 was raised to convert the plant’s sterile pans into aviaries and enclosures that could house orphaned and injured wildlife during the rehabilitation process. 

A few years later in 1988, additional funding was raised and numerous corporate sponsors pledged their support in order to build the main clinic and administrative offices that are still in use by the organisation today. 


Since its humble beginnings over 30 years ago, CROW has inevitably undergone many changes and benefited from the passion and commitment of numerous staff and volunteers who have selflessly served the thousands of animals that have come through its doors. Despite these changes, the organisation’s current vision and mission still remains true to its founder’s philosophy of care, compassion and conservation not only for our wildlife, but for our natural environment too.