Program Details: Interns have an opportunity to gain experience in fields related to captive animal management and wildlife biology, while supporting the daily operations of a non-profit organization. You will gain experience in the following areas:
Behavioral Training- practical skills and application of positive reinforcement, clicker training, mark and capture.
Animal Husbandry- feeding, medicating, health observation, maintenance of enclosures, and environmental enrichment.
Safe Handling Practices- Ethology and identifying behavioral cues.
Teamwork and Independence- Interns will have a variety of tasks over the course of their stay that may require them to work as a team as well as other tasks that will require them to work independently.
Interpersonal Skills- Interns will gain experience within their duties to learn skills such as prioritizing, decision making, multitasking, as well as learning your limits and pushing beyond them.
Non-profit Business Management- includes areas in marketing, grant writing, fundraising, networking, outreach, and membership coordination.
Public Relations- Interns will interact and work with the public by working customer service in our gift shop, giving tours, and answering visitor questions.
Research Experience- Interns may have the opportunity to observe research that is currently being conducted by visiting researchers, with the direct permission of each researcher. During the months of January and February, interns will participate in our in house observational research. Interns are trained and prepared to conduct our breeding season watch behavioral research.
Daily Operations of a Non Profit- Interns will be asked to assist in the following areas: office/clerical, maintenance of grounds, manual labor, retail, and admissions.
Typical activities include:
Observing Veterinary Care- this may include surgeries, vaccinations, daily hospice care to our older animals.
Assisting with Large Scale Projects- this may include building of new enclosures and fences.
Grounds and Maintenance Work- Interns help us do everything that keeps the park up and running, including cleaning out animal enclosures, cutting grass and shoveling snow. It may not always be glamorous, but we wouldn’t be open without these things!
Attending Educational Lectures- weekly educational sessions are given by staff members on topics such as: animal husbandry, nonprofit management, classical and operant conditioning, training techniques, updates on wild wolf populations and state management. Interns may have the opportunity to sit in on portions of our seminars.
Visiting Other Facilities- past trips include: Indianapolis Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, Exotic Feline Rescue Center, and Columbian Park Zoo.
Make Friends for Life- experience other cultures from around the world, as some of our Interns and Externs are from other countries such as: Germany, Japan, Australia, Norway, Ireland, etc.
Meeting Wolves and Foxes- all of our animals with the exception of the Bison are hand raised and socialized to humans from a very young age. This allows us to work with our animals throughout their lifetime as well as give a once in a lifetime experience for those that participate in our programs. All Interns get limited opportunities to meet our animals in person.
Create your own fundraiser- Interns in the past have assisted with our yearly events by creating small fundraising activities in conjunction to our themed parties. For example, this has included selling pumpkin pie made from the pumpkins from our annual Pumpkin Party.
Interns help with all of our fundraisers, including the Walk For Wolves.
Seasonal Activities- during the time pups are here at Wolf Park, interns can assist in the socialization process of the pups. Interns participate in observational research during the breeding season. Interns can also shadow the park’s veterinarian.
Butchering- At Wolf Park we feed our wolves predominantly road kill deer. In order to keep our wolves healthy and happy, all interns are trained and are required to properly prepare food for the wolves. This involves learning how to butcher the carcasses and dispense the food in accordance to our feeding protocols.
You must be 18 years of age to apply
Costs: $495 for the entire program. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of acceptance to hold your space, with the balance due in full one month before your arrival. Housing is included. Food, transportation to and from our facility, groceries, souvenirs, visas and other expenses are not included in the program price.
Application Process: Interns are required to submit an application for consideration.
Applications can be emailed, mailed or faxed to our facility. Once the application is received, it is reviewed by the Intern Coordinator. If you appear to be a good match for our program, the next step is an interview. This can be conducted over the phone or by Skype. Interviews are prearranged by the Intern Coordinator and applicant between the hours of 10am to 5pm EST Monday thru Friday and generally take about an hour.
After the interview, if you are accepted, your acceptance will be contingent on a background check, which we conduct after receipt of your $200 non-refundable deposit to hold your space. In the event that you are denied entry into the program based on your background check, $175 of your deposit will be returned to you. Full payment for the program is due one month before your arrival.
Foreign nationals: don’t forget to apply for the appropriate visa after you are accepted!
Application Deadlines: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Priority is given to those applicants with relevant experience or studying towards fields that are most relevant to Wolf Park. We typically have fewer applicants for the winter season, so if you are applying for in Internship or Externship, we may be more lenient about accepting you based on area of study at that time. Submit your application as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing a space. Summer is our busiest season, and often fills up by the end of February. We often receive summer applications the summer before.