For 30 years, Center for Wildlife staff, interns, and volunteers have provided medical care, safe sanctuary, and humane treatment for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife in our wildlife medical clinic until they can be released back into the wild. The Center for Wildlife is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to build a sustainable future for wildlife in our community through medical treatment, rehabilitation, educational outreach, research, and conservation activities. Each year, CFW admits 1,600 wild birds, small mammals, and reptiles, and presents over 200 environmentally-based education programs to the public.
The Wildlife Care Internship Program at the Center for Wildlife is a non-paid work/learning experience for students interested in wildlife. We hope that our internship can serve as an exciting introduction for students to wildlife career opportunities. Typically, our interns are majoring in one or more of the following areas of study: Biology, Zoology, Marine Biology, Wildlife Ecology or Management, Environmental Science, or Veterinary Science.
The large number of animals and variety of species admitted to the Center for Wildlife give our interns the unique opportunity to become familiar with these species' identification, diets, habitats, and conservation needs. Due to the hands-on and sometimes veterinary nature of rehabilitation, interns will also have an opportunity to focus on physiological, behavioral and some pathological aspects of the animals admitted.
Students selected will be encouraged to participate in all aspects of rehabilitation management - from cleaning, feeding, cage set-up and maintenance, to close observation, treatment, and release of animals. Focusing on hands-on animal care has given our past interns valuable experience in such crucial tasks as administering medication, learning how to safely handle wild animals, raising orphaned birds and mammals, and understanding the current challenges our wildlife face.
In return for providing this experience, we expect to work with enthusiastic, mature, hard-working, dependable, and physically and emotionally strong individuals who will become an integral part of the Center for Wildlife team during their internship. Interns able to grasp the importance of wildlife rehabilitation and education in the big picture will gain the greatest satisfaction not only from working directly with the animals, but from being a part of a process that respects the nature of wildlife and allows animals the chance to enter back into their habitat, along with educating the public about their connection with the natural world.
Typical duties include:
- Safe handling of birds, mammals, and reptiles for the purpose of weighing, feeding, or medicating
- Hand-feeding nestling birds, baby mammals, and debilitated patients
- Preparing species-specific diets and formulas
- Monitoring patient behavior and informing staff of observations
- Administering medications and preparing dilutions
- Cage set-up, cleaning, and maintenance
- Sweeping, mopping, laundry, dishes, and general cleaning
- Assisting licensed staff with exams and medical procedures
- Attending workshops led by a licensed veterinarian
- Documenting diets, weights, activity, and behavior
- Photocopying and other administrative tasks as needed
- Releasing healthy animals back into their natural habitat
Housing may be provided if necessary with local host families who reside 10-40 minutes from the Center for Wildlife. Interns are responsible for their own transportation to the Center for Wildlife. To learn more about housing opportunities, please visit http://www.thecenterforwildlife.org/internhousing.html
It is important that all of our interns are able to do the following:
- Provide his/her own transportation and arrive for their shift on time or early
- Work outside in all kinds of weather
- Be able to lift up to 50 pounds
- Work on his/her feet for up to 8 hours (breaks are permitted of course)
- Get dirty with a smile on his/her face
- Understand how each task assigned ensures the overall safety and healing of the patients
- Be flexible with scheduling- weekend, early morning, and late evening shifts required
- Practice good, direct communication, and work well as a member of a team
- Interact professionally with members of the public
- Show respect for animals in care as well as fellow interns, volunteers, and staff members
Please visit our website at www.thecenterforwildlife.org/internships or www.thecenterforwildlife.org/volunteer for more information and to fill out an online application. Volunteers are hired on an ongoing basis and interns are hired for specific time periods which can also be found on our website.
- Animal Care / Handling
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Must be at least 17
- Orientation or Training
- 40 hours/week
- Must submit application