Spring and summer are the busiest seasons for wildlife rehabilitation centres. During these months, we often take in approximately 3,400 wild mammals and birds. The primary role of a wildlife intern is to help care for these animals, many of whom are orphans. The internship is intense, physically demanding, fast-paced and repetitive, giving interns the opportunity to learn about all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. Interns gain valuable practical experience, while helping SPWC’s wildlife patients and working with professional staff and volunteers. Some of the skills learned include:
- individual species identification and natural history
- proper husbandry and enrichment techniques
- animal handling
- tube feeding of mammals and birds
- medication administration
- various other procedures
Our internships are intended to provide on-the-job training in basic rehab skills, not to teach advanced veterinary theory or techniques. We hope a working internship will help participants to consider wildlife career opportunities. In return, we expect to work with enthusiastic, mature, hard working people who will become an integral part of the working staff at SPWC during their internship.
Interns may come from biology, wildlife management, veterinary medicine, veterinary technician or environmental education fields, but we will consider interns from any background. We believe that a strong interest in wildlife, enthusiasm and willingness to learn are more important than academic qualifications. We are offering a stipend of $100.00/week including housing for the successful applicant. You must be 18 years of age or older to apply.
We are located on a hobby farm in a rural area, with no public transportation available. There are plenty of provincial parks and beautiful areas to explore all around us. Kingston and Belleville are within a 30-minute drive and Toronto a 2.5-hour drive. See more information on the Town of Napanee and the City of Kingston.
Intern Job Duties
- Cage cleaning, laundry, dishes, sweeping and mopping, ground keeping
- Answering phones and admitting new animals
- Setting up and maintaining animal enclosures by referring to the natural history of the individual species
- Preparing food (includes preparing dead prey for carnivores and raptors)
- Animal care: handling and restraint, hand feeding and tube feeding of birds and mammals, and assisting with the releases of rehabilitated wildlife.
- Health care: administering daily medications, and assisting staff with animal intake and physical examinations.
- Other tasks as required.
Abilities and Experience Required
- Speak, read, and write the English language fluently.
- Work independently and as a team member.
- Perform tedious tasks for long periods of time.
- Do rigorous outdoor work in all types of weather.
- Perform physically demanding tasks, such as cleaning, lifting (up to 40 pounds), climbing stairs, etc.
- Work quickly and efficiently while precisely following directions and procedures.
- Get along with others in a group-housing situation.
- Rabies and Tetanus vaccines (proof will be required upon acceptance to the program).
Shared bedrooms (2 to 4 interns per room), in a house on-site. Cooking and bathroom facilities are shared with the Centre’s director. Interns are responsible for their own food and beverages.
Length of Internship
Each internship is for 3 to 6 months, five days a week. On your working days, you will be responsible for all patients who require overnight feeding and late night admissions, which are often unavoidable.
Note that we are now hiring interns for year-round rotations, but that applications are due January 31, 2017.