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November 18, 2014

Rotational Interns, South Florida Wildlife Center

The South Florida Wildlife Center, a high-volume non-profit wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility that also cares for and finds homes for many non-native species, has internship opportunities (click to view expanded position description) for those who’d like to learn about wildlife care, rehabilitation and medicine. This position is ideal for those interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, biology, ecology or conservation, or wildlife rehabilitation. The internship may fulfill some universities’ requirements for independent study credits.

This unique experience gives interns the chance to learn from practicing professionals while rotating through our animal care, medical, outreach, and rehabilitation and release departments. Interns are exposed to the operations of a wildlife center and learn how the center fits into the larger picture of animal protection.

Each rotation has specific learning goals and tasks designed to meet those goals. During the animal care rotation, interns learn the care and husbandry challenges of the animals in our care. The medical rotation focuses on the initial steps of animal intake; interns gain a basic understanding of medical problems the center encounters, and get introduced to various medical tests and procedures. During the outreach rotation, the intern learns to answer calls about wildlife emergencies and communicate with the public about specific wildlife interactions. While in the rehabilitation and release rotation, interns learn related challenges and potential solutions, specific parameters used to assess release readiness, how we choose sites for release and how a release is performed.

Some specific internship responsibilities include:

  • Cleaning enclosures/habitats, handling animals and assisting with routine care and physical therapy
  • Learning the basics of medical triage and treatment of emergency cases, as well as long-term medical care
  • Assisting with performing diagnostics and surgical set-up
  • Observing and evaluating animals for release, and assisting in releases as needed
  • Helping with the preparation of outdoor enclosures for the housing of particular species
  • Communicating with the public about animal interactions and participating with animal rescues
  • Completing and presenting a 1-2 page paper which is either a case study for an individual animal or an overview of the care of a species

Please apply to join us if you meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum 18 years old
  • Minimum second-year college undergraduate with some coursework completed in biology, pre-veterinary or related field OR non-student pursuing wildlife rehabilitation certification
  • Able to do basic math for dosage calculations
  • Able to speak English well enough to communicate under pressure and understand basic medical terminology
  • Able to tolerate outdoor temperatures up to and at times above 95 degrees F with high humidity for short amounts of time
  • Able to read and understand scientific literature
  • Able to meet the requirements outlined in the Essential Capabilities document with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Interns who wish to work with mammals in rehabilitative care must receive pre-exposure rabies inoculation

2015 internship session start dates are as follows:

  • Spring 2015 session starts February 2, 2015
  • Summer 2015 session starts June 1, 2015
  • Fall 2015 session starts September 8, 2015

The time commitment is 10-12 weeks, 20-32 hours per week. Scheduling is usually flexible enough to accommodate students who are attending class concurrently. International interns are solely responsible for obtaining any required visas. On-site housing is not available, but we may be able to help find affordable off-site boarding.

Interns must pass a criminal background check and sign a waiver and release of liability.

Fill out an application now »
Note: You'll be asked to submit a cover letter and résumé with the application.

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