Aspiring wildlife rehabilitators can pursue a number of internships that will help prepare them for a career in this area. Here are a few of the opportunities currently available:
The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (in Illinois) offers wildlife rehabilitation internships at its Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital. Interns assist with orphan animal care, exams, critical care, feeding, releases, reception duties, and fundraising activities. Positions involve 60 hour work weeks. Interns receive a $700 stipend plus free housing and utilities.
The Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (in North Carolina) offers interns the chance to assist with all aspects of sea turtle care including food preparation, habitat maintenance, veterinary treatments, and more. Internships last 12 weeks and housing is included. View other marine animal internships here.
PAWS Wildlife Rehabilitation Internships (in Washington) give interns the opportunity to work with some of the 2,500 wild animals the facility receives each year. Interns learn to tube feed young animals, proper handling techniques, how to administer medication, food preparation techniques, and more. Internships last at least three to four months with a 40 hour work week. A Wildlife Bird Rehabilitation Internship is also available.
Bay Beach Wildlife Rehabilitation Internships (in Wisconsin) offer college junior or seniors the chance to treat and care for some of the 5,000 animals brought to the facility each year, as well as the opportunity to complete a summer project. The 14-week internship begins in May and offers a stipend of $2,240. College credit is possible.
Blue Mountain Wildlife (in Oregon) has an internship program that allows interns to treat and care for injured wildlife. Blue Mountain specializes in raptor rehabilitation; few mammals are admitted. Internships last approximately eight weeks and are unpaid, though a small weekly stipend is provided. Free housing is available, and college credit is also possible.
The North Carolina Zoo accepts interns to work at its Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Interns assist with medication, physical therapy, radiographs, diet preparation, habitat maintenance, and record keeping. Internships last at least one semester (12 weeks) with 20 to 40 hours required per week. Positions are unpaid, but housing is available for a fee. Preference is given to those pursuing animal care careers.
Northwest Wildlife Rehabilitation (in Washington) offers Wildlife Care Internships. Interns assist with all aspects of wildlife care, rehabilitation, and release over the 8 to 12 week internships. No college coursework or previous experience is required. The internship is unpaid but on-site housing and laundry is available.
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station (in Florida) offers wildlife rehabilitation internships. PHSS specializes in the care of brown pelicans but has expanded its mission to include all native Florida wildlife. Internships are available to college students or recent graduates and are a semester in duration. While the internships are unpaid, a meal stipend is provided as well as housing on an air-conditioned houseboat.
The California Wildlife Center offers wildlife rehabilitation internships in ten week sessions. Interns gain experience with raptors, land mammals, and marine mammals. Internships are unpaid but housing and college credit may be available.
Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (on San Juan Island in Washington) offers wildlife rehabilitation internships that last 8 to 9 weeks. Interns have the chance to work with deer, raptors, raccoons, seals, birds, and more. Housing is provided, and college credit is possible.
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation (in Texas) offers internships in wildlife rehabilitation. The interns have the opportunity to work with the 5,000 animals brought in each year, plus several hundred permanent residents of the adjoining sanctuary. There are a limited number of summer positions; most are six month to one year positions. Interns receive a $100 monthly stipend plus free housing.
The Wildlife In Need Center (in Wisconsin) offers a variety of wildlife internships including animal care, marketing, and education. The facility receives approximately 3,000 animals annually. Animal care interns focus on wildlife rehabilitation with native birds, mammals, and reptiles. A stipend and possibly some housing assistance is available, as well as college credit.
The National Audubon Society (in Connecticut) offers internships that focus on the care of birds of prey, songbirds, water fowl, and reptiles. The facility sees approximately 300 animals annually. Interns learn how to assess and treat injuries, how to properly handle animals when necessary, how to hand feed orphaned young birds, and more. Internships are unpaid but furnished housing and utilities are provided.
Additional opportunities may be found by searching online for wildlife rehabilitation facilities in your area. While the internships above involved a full time commitment for their duration, there are many part-time internship opportunities as well.