The Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) is a non-profit teaching and referral hospital for native Virginia wildlife. Our mission and passion is to teach the world to care about and to care for wildlife and the environment. Founded in 1982, WCV has provided care to more than 80,000 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals representing more than 200 species. Our goal is to release patients back into their natural habitats. At any time, there may be between 80 to 250 animals in our care.
WCV is one of the leading teaching hospitals in the country and has trained students from around the world in wildlife medicine and rehabilitation. Our Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship is a 13-month advanced training program beginning December 1, 2021 and ending January 2, 2023. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern is directly supervised by WCV’s three certified and permitted Wildlife Rehabilitators.
Through this program, the intern will:
• Gain hands-on training and experience in wildlife rehabilitation focusing on animal nutrition, husbandry, feeding techniques, capture and restraint methods, release criteria, captive animal behaviors, and natural history.
• Learn medical skills from staff veterinarians, such as bandaging, medical math, fluid therapy, zoonotic diseases, etc.
• Develop leadership and mentorship qualities by training and supervising new rehabilitation externs, animal care volunteers, and community service volunteers.
• Receive public relations training in wildlife hotline management.
• Develop public speaking skills through delivering didactic lectures and teaching developed courses to externship students, veterinary students, volunteers, and wildlife rehabilitators.
• Develop and present a lecture at the Wildlife Center’s annual Call of the Wild conference.
• Provide support during WCV’s annual Gala and Benefit Auction.
• Sit for the IWRC’s Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) certification exam.
1. Provide excellent rehabilitative care to all animals at the facility.
a. Daily cleaning and feeding of all animals
b. Assist with evaluating patients for release.
c. Monitor patients’ health, attitude, appetite, etc., and maintain written records of each animal’s progress. Report evaluations to wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians.
d. Participate in daily clinical rounds with veterinary staff to discuss medical cases.
e. Exercise all flighted raptors daily and record progress in patient record.
f. Assist with restraint, examination, diagnostic procedures, and treatment of animals
g. Admit patients, perform physical exams on healthy orphans, and complete associated paperwork. May also examine and initiate first aid to patients or new arrivals in the absence of the veterinarian or technician, within constraints of training and experience.
h. Must be able to handle emotional aspects of euthanasia.
i. Maintain high standards of cleanliness in hospital, kitchen, and animal housing areas.
a. With rehabilitation staff, lead orientation sessions, develop training plans, train and mentor wildlife rehabilitation externs and animal care volunteers.
b. Assist with teaching rehabilitation and caretaking protocols to veterinary and veterinary technician students.
c. Teach developed courses to wildlife rehabilitators and veterinary professionals through the Center’s Wildlife Care Academy.
3. House Leader for Student House
a. Check-in new externs and coordinate room assignment with the Veterinary Technician Intern.
b. Conduct a walkthrough with wildlife rehabilitation externs prior to check-out.
c. Assign chores to new wildlife rehabilitation externs and ensure all chores are successfully completed weekly.
d. Report any housing concerns to the Director of Veterinary Services.
e. In coordination with the Veterinary Technician Intern, perform basic routine maintenance of house (changing smoke alarm batteries, changing air filters, changing light bulbs, etc.)
f. May help to arrange transportation for wildlife rehabilitation externs flying in and out of Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport or Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
4. Other Duties
a. Act as primary on-call for the after-hours phone one to two nights per week, as needed.
b. Daily and seasonal maintenance of cages, grounds, perches, etc. Recognize and correct any maintenance or safety hazards when possible. Report any problems to Wildlife Rehabilitation Supervisor or Director of Veterinary Services.
c. Written papers may be submitted for publication in a wildlife rehabilitation journal.
d. Other duties, responsibilities, and special projects as requested.
• Intern will receive a stipend of $950.00 per month, before taxes, in financial aid for living expenses.
• Free housing is provided at WCV’s Student House (shared room with Veterinary Technician Intern, with shared housekeeping responsibilities among all students living in house).
• WCV will provide vehicles for work-related trips.
• Testing fees for the IWRC Certified Wildlife Rehabilitators exam (for the first attempt only; additional attempts must be paid for by the intern)
Please email cover letter, resume, and two letters of recommendation by November 8, 2021 to:
Kelsey Pleasants, CWR
Wildlife Rehabilitation Supervisor
The Wildlife Center of Virginia is an equal opportunity employer.
• Must have at least six months of prior wildlife handling experience.
• Must have pre-exposure rabies vaccination or valid titer within two years of start date.
• Must have COVID-19 vaccination.
• Must have a valid driver’s license.
• Associates or Bachelor’s degree preferred.
• Intern will be scheduled Friday through Monday with three consecutive days off during the week. A typical day consists of working 10-12 hours, dependent on season. Weekend and holiday work required.
• Demonstrated ability to handle diverse and competing tasks independently, efficiently, and accurately; flexibility is a must.
• Must be even-tempered and diplomatic.
• Demonstrated reliability and dependability.
• Ability to organize, set goals, and meet deadlines; attention to detail and self-motivation is necessary.
• Team player with strong interpersonal and communication skills.
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
• Professional appearance and demeanor; ability to interact and communicate with the public, law enforcement, veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators, and others.
• Ability to lift/carry equipment and animals up to 50lbs.