“The best part of the internship was releasing the animals back into the wild. Seeing the hard work of the staff pay off by giving a wild animal a chance gave me a sense of satisfaction. I also liked how the general public could see the work we do and support us. We had school groups come through and learn about the hawks and turtles and other wildlife we work with.”
One of our favorite wildlife rehab placements took place in Brazil. Our student worked with injured animals fresh out of the Amazon rainforest. She helped with feeding, providing medical care, and ultimately releasing the animals back into the wild. At a center outside of Boston, one of our clients helped eagles, racoons, and even possums. In Hawaii, our student assisted at a shelter designed for sea-turtle care. Some turtles get injured as a result of fishing line, plastics, or natural causes. The rehab center aided in their return to the ocean. And in Australia, our students have worked with injured koala bears and nursed them back to health.
Wildlife shelter work can bring out the best of human nature. Connecting with abandoned animals instills a sense of accomplishment that few tasks provide. As well as bonding, this internship provides insight into local communities. Meet with school children, residents, and the general public to learn local customs and attitudes towards wildlife.
Placements require an intensive training period to teach you the basics of animal care expected at the facility. One of the best aspects of working at a facility is the diversity of job duties. Each day is different, yet there are rhythms. Preparing food in the mornings is the first order of business. This entails a scientific diet tailored to the specific animals at the facility. Interacting with visitors is another important task. Finally, closing things up and cleaning the cages brings the day to a close.