This program is designed as an introduction to wildlife rehabilitation for individuals who have some previous experience in wildlife rehabilitation or animal care and are interested in learning and developing basic skills required when pursuing a career in these fields. The 6- month program combines hands-on training and related classroom instruction during which participants will learn the practical skills and theoretical knowledge required in the fields of wildlife rehabilitation and animal care. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Apprentice (WRA) concentrates on the care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned native Texas wildlife, with some attention to domesticated farmed animals, companion animals and non-native small animals. Participants in the Spring/ Summer programs can expect to spend long, demanding shifts in the hospital caring for large numbers of infant animals; the Fall/Winter program participants will see fewer numbers and variety of animals in the hospital but will have the opportunity to spend a larger percentage of time on observation and enrichment.
This program is a prerequisite for most other WRR training programs, including: Advanced Wildlife Rehabilitation, Advanced Wildlife Rehabilitation, Wildlife Sanctuary Caretaker, and Companion Animal Welfare. The Spring and Summer training classes are recommended for those individuals with existing rehabilitation experience, as the high volume of animals during spring and summer seasons requires a rapid learning curve and intense skill development. For individuals with little to no previous wildlife experience, we recommend applying for the Fall/Winter program.
Participant Duties and Responsibilities:
- Learn the natural history, life stages, diet, daily care and housing requirements for a variety of Texas native avian, mammal and reptile species, including but not limited to: songbirds, doves, turtles, tortoises, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, skunks, fawns, and waterfowl.
- Understand and participate in the process and stages of wildlife rehabilitation including rescues and releases
- Carry out demanding and substantial animal husbandry duties consisting of feeding, cleaning and maintaining enclosures, and enrichment activities while maintaining exceptional standards of care
- Undertake basic medical work including administration of prescribed medications and treatments
- Conduct behavioral observations and maintain detailed caretaking records
- Demonstrate proper understanding and practice of safety procedures
- Develop written and interpersonal communication skills
- Complete administrative duties including paperwork and recordkeeping
- Participate in public education through the WRR hotline service
- Complete an individual skill or research project
- Minimum 6-12 months previous wildlife rehabilitation experience required
- Bachelor’s degree required, animal-related field preferred
- Commitment to completion of the 6 month program
- Willingness to work evenings, weekends, and holidays
- Ability to work long hours (50-70 hours per week) in all weather conditions
- Ability to lift 50lbs, twist and bend, and spend long periods of time on your feet
- Capable of handling physically, mentally and emotionally stressful situations
- Competent in working independently and as part of a team
- Possess a strong personal work ethic, positive attitude and high level of integrity
- Meningitis, Tetanus and Rabies pre-exposure vaccines are required
- Valid driver’s license and clean driving record are required
The Fall/Winter program begins September, spring classes begin in February and Summer programs in May. Applications for this program are accepted year-round.
If you are interested in applying for this training program, please fax, mail or email a resume, letter of interest, and one professional letter of reference to the address below.