This posting is for the unpaid animal care internship offered at Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center. Wildlife Images is a non-profit facility in beautiful Southern Oregon specializing in both wildlife rehabilitation and public education.
Spring and Summer internships have a heavy focus on wildlife rehabilitation while fall and winter internships have a heavy focus on ambassador animal care. Regardless of the season, all interns will learn some aspects of both ambassador and wildlife patient care in addition to learning how to work as part of a fast-paced, team environment.
Our interns play an important part in wildlife care and education at our center! The skills and duties you will likely be a part of are included below.
For all departments, tasks include:
Cleaning: scrubbing kennels and enclosures, washing dishes, cleaning and folding laundry, sweeping, mopping, raking, power washing, and more.
Diet preparation: cutting and weighing meats, produce, kibble, and specialty items including whole bodied prey.
Public speaking: interns will assist keeper and clinic staff in their daily public encounters and keeper talks
Summary of Clinic
Working with wild animal patients, tasks include but are not limited to:
Weighing, cleaning, and feeding of adult and baby raptors, songbirds, and squirrels.
Observe and assist in medical treatment of species listed above. Treatment may include administering medications and fluids, cleaning wounds, applying wraps and splints, viewing x-rays, and more.
Summer interns can expect frequent shifts in the baby bird room which will include 3-4 hours of baby bird feeding and oversight of their care.
Observing and understanding different methods and reasons behind humane euthanasia.
Rabies vaccinated interns may assist staff in the feeding, cleaning, and treatment of raccoons, foxes, bats, skunks, and other rabies vector species. Non-vaccinated interns may observe.
Summary of Mammals
Working with ambassador mammals, tasks include but are not limited to:
Shadowing and assisting keepers as they feed, clean, train, and enrich our medium and large carnivores and dangerous animal collection.
Learning and performing basic husbandry such as feeding and enriching small mammals including skunks, Patagonian cavies, ferrets, sugar gliders, chinchillas, and flying squirrel. Depending on intern understanding and performance these tasks may be done without supervision.
Summary of Birds
Working with ambassador birds, tasks include but are not limited to:
Shadowing and assisting keepers as they feed, clean, train, and enrich our eagles, and larger dangerous owls and hawks.
Learning and performing basic husbandry such as feeding and enriching small and habituated raptors including Kestrels and Vultures, Cranes, and Quail. Depending on intern understanding and performance these tasks may be done without supervision.
Summary of Reptiles
Working with ambassador reptiles and arthropods, tasks include but are not limited to:
Shadowing and assisting keepers as they feed, clean, train, and enrich our snakes, lizards, geckos, and more.
Learning and performing basic husbandry such as feeding and enriching 3 different species of tortoise. Depending on intern understanding and performance these tasks may be done without supervision.
Summary of Food Production
Working with food production, tasks include but are not limited to:
Assisting staff in the sorting of donated meats and produce and organizing items into fridges, trash, or to be composted.
Performing care for breeding colonies of feeder rodents. This includes cleaning enclosures, providing food, water, and enrichment.
Optional opportunities to learn how to euthanize feeder rodents and butcher large game such as deer.
All internships include the potential for cross-training in the education department but this is not guaranteed and is based on the needs of the park. The following intern schedules are subject to change based on the number of interns, patient load, and other needs of the park.
Example Spring/Summer Intern Schedule
Week 1: Welcome, learn ambassador animal diets, float
Week 2: Clinic and Bird room shifts
Week 3: Clinic and Bird room shifts, first food production shift
Week 4: Clinic and Bird room shifts, first ambassador animal care shift
Week 5-12: Rotations through all departments with a strong emphasis on Clinic and Bird room.
Example Fall/Winter Intern Schedule
Week 1: Welcome, learn ambassador animal diets, float
Week 2: Shadow and learn mammals or birds
Week 3: Shadow and learn mammals or birds
Week 4: Bird or mammal shifts, first food production shift
Week 5-10: Weekly rotations between bird and mammal departments with occasional food production shifts
Week 11/12: Clinic shifts are assigned based on patient load.
Our internships are competitive and we require all interns to work full-time, 40 hours per week, for 12 weeks. Interns that commit to this entire time frame are also eligible for low-cost housing at the on-site intern house. There is no rent for the intern house but we do require a non-refundable $200 deposit to cover bills, communal supplies (toilet paper, paper towels), and annual professional cleaning. Housing is on a first come/first serve basis but the park may accept additional interns that choose to live off-site.
In order to apply, interns must submit a resume, application, three references, and a letter of recommendation. Please visit our website for more information.
Must be at least 18 years of age to apply
Currently enrolled/recently graduated from higher education in a related field
Able to do rigorous work in all weather conditions and perform tedious tasks for long periods of time
Must be able to work independently and cohesively with co-workers
Work safely, quickly, efficiently and calmly under stressful conditions and handle multiple responsibilities while following directions and protocols
Represent Wildlife Images professionally at all times including speaking in public
Able to lift and carry 50 lbs
Valid drivers license is preferred