Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship Opportunities

Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship Opportunities

So you’ve decided to pursue wildlife rehabilitation. You’re ready to start your career, but where do you begin? The following is a list of wildlife rehabilitation internships to consider. These are the best opportunities to jumpstart a successful career in the field. Shop around for the one that suits you best and get ready to make your dream a reality!

American Bear Association

The American Bear Association is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote the welfare of wildlife and natural resources, specifically the black bear. They do this through their educational facility, which encourages an understanding and appreciation for the black bear and its habitat. Their internship program takes place over the course of a summer at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in the North Woods of Minnesota. It will provide interns with knowledge of conservation education and the opportunity to work closely with other people.

This internship requires putting in long hours of hard work in all weather conditions, and living in rustic accommodations with no electricity, running water, or telephone to provide an authentic and unique experience of wildlife. Interns will be expected to greet visitors, point out and explain bear activity, give interpretive talks on bear ecology and behavior, and answer visitors' questions about bears. Other tasks during the day will include preparing bear food mixes, helping to put out food, assisting with general cleanup chores, including scooping of bear scat, participating in habitat improvement projects, and maintaining records on bear activity. In addition, interns will have the opportunity to plan their own educational program, which will be implemented on a regular basis.

American Bear Association
P.O. Box 77
Orr, MN.  55771

Phone:  218-757-0172
Email: bears@americanbear.org

Carolina Tiger Rescue

Carolina Tiger Rescue aims to save and protect wild cats both in captivity and in the wild. They offer a 6-week internship for college students in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Interns will get a hands-on experience and receive training in many aspects of animal care. The intern will be responsible for feeding and watering the animals, cleaning their cages, and maintenance from cage repairs to construction to lawn care. They will also have the opportunity to participate in animal enrichment, veterinary care, and informal classes on topics such as animal care and physical or chemical restraint.

Carolina Tiger Rescue Internships
1940 Hanks Chapel Road
Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312

Phone: 919-542-4684
Fax: 919-542-4454

The Center for Wildlife

The Center for Wildlife is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals. They offer a wide variety of options for interns, including animal care, outdoor cage preparation, fundraising, and facility upkeep. Most interns choose to focus on the hands-on animal care, which gives them experience in diagnosing injuries and illnesses, administering medication, learning how to handle wild animals, and raising orphaned birds and mammals. The Center for Wildlife offers three main internships: the Wildlife Care Assistant, the Wildlife Admissions & Information Line, and Bird Nursery Caretakers. 

Wildlife Care Assistants help with feeding, cleaning and caring for animals. They will work with a variety of different wildlife from orphaned mammals to birds. This internship offers the largest amount of direct animal contact and can be the most personally rewarding.

Wildlife Admissions & Information Line interns will assist the public with any wildlife issues they have as well as admitting new animals arriving at the Center for Wildlife. This job is excellent for people who are patient and self-motivated. It offers an opportunity to learn a great deal about Maine's wildlife.

Bird Nursery Caretakers work with orphaned nestling birds to raise them for release. They must be fed every 15-30 minutes all day, so this job requires patience and hard work. This is a great position for bird enthusiasts and a terrific way to learn more about Maine's avian species.

The Center for Wildlife
P.O. Box 620
Cape Neddick, ME  03902.

Phone:  207-361-1400

General email: info@yorkcenterforwildlife.org
Volunteering/Internships:  volunteer@yorkcenterforwildlife.org


Chimp Haven

Chimp Haven is the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. They aim to provide lifetime care for chimpanzees that come to the sanctuary for a variety of reasons. Some are retired from medical research, others are retired from the entertainment industry, and others are pets that are no longer wanted. Chimp Haven offers volunteer internships that give students the opportunity to learn about animal training, enrichment, behavior and care while working closely with staff members. Interns will be required to work up to 40 hours a week for six weeks. Coursework in primatology, biology, or animal behavior can strengthen an application and be helpful on the job.

Chimp Haven
13600 Chimpanzee Place
Keithville, LA  71047

Phone:  318-925-9575
Fax:  318-925-9576
email:  volunteers@chimphaven.org


Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization that takes in, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned or sick animals. They work with all of the wildlife in the area and are the largest organization of this kind in Colorado. Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center offers an internship opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience with a variety of different species. Interns will gain on the job training in basic rehabilitation skills such as handling techniques, cleaning and sterilization procedures, habitat enrichment, diets, food preparation, and feeding methods. They may also assist more experienced rehabilitation staff with treatment procedures.

Interns should have prior training in handling animals, whether they are wild or domestic. In addition, it is recommended that they have degrees or degrees in progress in natural sciences, wildlife management, veterinary medicine, veterinary technician, or environmental education. However, all majors will be considered. The most important qualification is to have a strong interest in animal care. This internship will require 20-35 hours per week and does not provide housing or transportation.

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
PO Box 18987
Boulder, CO  80308

Phone:  303-823-8455

International Wolf Center

The International Wolf Center aims to spread education and understanding about wolves in order to advance their survival as a species. The center offers several internships, each spanning over the course of three months. The goal of the program is to give interns a background in wolf information and experience in conveying this information to the public. In addition to the descriptions below, the duties of an intern may include exhibit cleaning and curation, and work the retail, office and information departments.

Both the summer academic year internships provide an opportunity to work with visiting school and scout groups, bus tour groups, family weekends and adult programs. Interns will conduct wolf education and natural history programs for these groups. They will answer any questions, lead hikes and field trips, and respond to inquiries by phone and email. They will also assist in program development and create projects for the education department. In addition, interns will have opportunities for training as naturalists, in field research, and in wolf behavior.

Interns commit to 40 hours per week including weekends and holidays. A degree in environmental education or a related field is preferred for the position. In addition, prior teaching experiences can give candidates a leg up. Off-site housing is provided for summer interns but not academic year interns. In addition, summer interns receive a $500 per month stipend and the academic year interns receive a $1,000 per month stipend. All interns will be responsible for providing their own food and transportation.

International Wolf Center
Teaching the World about Wolves
1396 Highway 169
Ely, MN 55731-8129

Phone:  218-365-4695  

Island Wildlife Natural Care Center

Island Wildlife Natural Care Center is a small non-profit facility that takes in injured and orphaned animals, nurses them to health, and releases them back into their natural habitats. The center uses alternative medicine such as homeopathy, herbal treatments and physical therapies in addition to conventional veterinary protocols. They offer internships for dedicated and committed students. Hours often run from 8 a.m. until midnight, with occasional 4 a.m. feeding times. Interns will be exposed to all aspects of the job including rescues and releases, administration of treatments, building projects, grounds maintenance and possibly working in the retail wildlife gallery/gift shop. Most of the work will involve diet preparation and cleaning.

Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre
Internship Program
322 Langs Road
Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 1N3



PAWS is a private non-profit organization that aims to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife, shelter and adopt homeless cats and dogs, and educate the public to create a better environment for animals. They offer a range of internships providing hands-on experience in companion animal sheltering, public affairs/community relations, wildlife rehabilitation and veterinary medicine. These opportunities include the Avian Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship, Wildlife Admissions Internship, Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship, and Wildlife Release Internship.

The Avian Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship allows students to work with professional rehabilitators as they take care of orphaned wild birds. Interns will gain skills in species identification and natural history, proper husbandry techniques, animal handling and medication administration. Job duties include hand-feeding hatchling and nestling birds, setting up and cleaning bird enclosures, preparing diets, administering daily medications, and doing general cleaning tasks.

The Wildlife Admissions Internship provides an opportunity for the intern to support the Wildlife Admissions Specialists in the daily operations of the intake area. Through this, they will learn about animal intake, species identification and wildlife/human conflict resolution. Job duties will include admitting animals to the facility, answering telephone calls and responding to voicemails, providing customer service in sensitive situations, advising the public on wildlife situations, filing, photocopying, data entry, and cleaning and maintaining the facility.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship allows interns to assist rehabilitators in the daily care of animals. Interns will gain experience in species identification and natural history, proper husbandry techniques, animal handling, tube feeding of mammals and birds, medication administration and lab work. Job duties include hand-feeding infant animals, setting up and cleaning enclosures, preparing diets, administering daily medications, and general cleaning.

The Wildlife Release Internship provides an opportunity for students to work alongside the Wildlife Naturalist, ensuring all animals are released in a timely and safe manner. Interns will gain experience in species identification and natural history, proper husbandry techniques, animal handling, and release strategies. Job duties will include research of potential wildlife release sites, handling, restraining and containing animals, assisting in wildlife releases, and ensuring all wildlife photographed are properly labeled and organized.

15305 44th Ave W
Lynnwood, WA  98087
Phone:  425-787-2500
Fax:  425-742-5711


The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center aims to provide experiential learning for students of biology, wildlife conservation, and veterinary medicine from around the world. They offer 12-week summer internships for students interested in learning about the care of sea turtles. Intern responsibilities include preparation and distribution of food, cleaning tanks, working with the water system, assisting in medical procedures and administration of medications, and introducing the public to sea turtles and the goals of the hospital during afternoon visiting hours. The center provides housing for interns during the time of their position.

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
PO Box 3012
Topsail Beach, NC  28445

Email: Loggrhead@aol.com


San Diego Zoo Global

San Diego Zoo Global operates three facilities dedicated to the conservation of endangered species. These facilities are San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. The Institute for Conservation Research offers Summer College Student Fellowships for undergraduates. They provide several programs including Applied Animal Ecology, Applied Plant Ecology, Behavioral Biology, Conservation Education, Genetics, Reproductive Physiology, and Wildlife Disease Laboratories/Molecular Diagnostics.

San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
15600 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA  92027
Phone:  760-291-5427


Wild Things and Vision Quest

Wild Things and Vision Quest is an organization that trains birds and other animals for the entertainment industry. They train both wild and domestic animals professionally and humanely for use in film, television, live production, education and more. They also offer their sanctuary to animals that can no longer participate in entertainment, or would not otherwise have a home. Wild Things and Vision Quest offers a volunteer and internship program to dedicated students. Volunteer responsibilities are based mainly around maintenance, daily cleaning and feeding. They may also get the opportunity to participate in training or social time with the animals. In addition, volunteers sometimes get the opportunity to participate in local film shoots and display events.

Wild Things & Vision Quest
400 River Road
Salinas, CA  93908
Phone:  800-228-7382
Fax:  831-455-1902
Email:  heather@wildthingsinc.com


Save Our Seabirds

Save Our Seabirds Wild Bird Learning Center is a non-profit wildlife conservation and education organization that aims to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured birds as well as educate the public about these birds and promote environmental sustainability. In addition, Save Our Seabirds provides permanent homes for rescued birds that are unable to return to the wild. The organization offers several internships for college students and recent college graduates. Several of their programs include Avian Rehabilitation, Conservation, Education, and support services. Each of these provides hands-on experience shadowing an employee. Additionally, each intern will complete an independent study project to be submitted at the end of the internship.

Dana Harenda, Intern Coordinator
Save Our Seabirds, Inc.
1708 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL  34236
Phone:  941-388-3010
Email:  saveourseabirds.intern@gmail.com


White Oak Conservation Center

White Oak Conservation Center is an organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife. They do this by providing self-sustaining captive populations of threatened species, protecting rare species and their habitats, providing learning and research opportunities for students in animal sciences and zoological medicine, and supporting workshops and conferences that advance the cause of conservation. Their programs include the Santa Fe Zoo Science Internship, Wildlife Conservation Internship, Conservation Management Internship, Veterinary Technician Internship and Veterinary Student Preceptorship.

White Oak Conservation Center
White Oak Plantation
3823 Owens Road
Yulee, Florida  32097-2145

Phone: 904-225-3383
Fax: 904-225-3395
Email: wocc@wocenter.org


Cheetah Conservation Fund

The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of the cheetah and its habitat. It offers a volunteer program that is specialized to fit the student’s interest. In addition to general tasks and operations, interns choose a focus area to work on during their internship. Interns will experience some hands-on work with cheetahs and assist with other jobs including computer work, animal care, and participating in the education program through teacher training, presentations and school talks. Housing is provided with a charge of $3,000 for the 2-week program, and $5,000 for the 4-week program.  This costs covers all living expenses, intensive training, hands-on experience and supervision.

Dr. Laurie Marker
Cheetah Conservation Fund
PO Box 1380
Ojai, CA, USA 93024.

Phone:  805-640-0390
Fax:  805-640-0230
Email:  ccfinfo@iway.na


Forest Animal Rescue

Forest Animal Rescue is a lifetime sanctuary for animals that cannot be released back into the wild. The animals at the sanctuary come from lives of abuse or neglect and have almost always narrowly escaped being destroyed for lack of a place to go. Forest Animal Rescue takes in a variety of different animals from big cats to bears, wolves, primates, bats and more. They provide veterinary care, a healthy diet, and playmates for the animals that stay to give them the best lives possible.

Forest Animal Rescue offers an internship program for dedicated students to work with animals. Candidates for the internship must be enrolled in a college curriculum or have completed at least 2 years of college in degree program or have graduated with a degree in Biology, Animal Psychology, Zoology or a related field. Interns will have the opportunity to gain professional hands-on animal care experience at a wild animal sanctuary and educational facility, provide support to full-time staff, and assist in animal husbandry and care.

Job duties will include preparing food according to strict dietary requirements, distributing food, cleaning habitats and pools, feeding and general care of animals, assisting with habitat construction and maintenance, learning about captive wildlife safety and caging requirements, performing general repairs, participating in animal enrichment activities, administering medications, and training and supervising volunteers. Housing, food, laundry facilities and a telephone are provided.

Forest Animal Rescue
(formerly known as Peace River Refuge & Ranch)
640 NE 170th Ct.
Silver Springs, FL  34488
Phone:  (352) 625-7377
Email:  info@forestanimalrescue.org

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