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Wild Animal Caregiver

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Company/Organization: Forest Animal Rescue


Are you a student enrolled in an animal related college curriculum and would like to gain experience in captive wild animal care?

Forest Animal Rescue is currently accepting applicants for internships at our 80-acre facility in the Ocala National Forest, Florida. This is an opportunity to learn proper husbandry, diet and routine veterinary care of a wide range of wild animals, from tigers and other big cats to bears, wolves, primates, bats and more. We also work with wildlife officials to rehabilitate wild black bear cubs for release back into their native habitat.

Our program focuses on the importance of professional management of captive wild animals and does not promote private ownership of wild animals. We are a non-breeding sanctuary and are dedicated to rescuing animals with nowhere else to go. This program does not include physical contact with potentially dangerous animals residing at our facility through the wire or in any other way.

These animals are not pets. If you are looking for an internship that offers direct contact with animals you should consider working with domestic animals. Due to insurance reasons and the welfare of the animals there are no exceptions to this policy.

Internship Objectives:
- Gain professional hands-on animal care experience at a wild animal sanctuary and educational facility.
- Provide support to full-time sanctuary staff.
- Enhance productivity and efficiency of animal husbandry at the sanctuary, assisting in maintaining high standards of care.
- Work with others in a team environment.

Interns usually work full-time Mondays through Saturdays, with light duties on Sundays.

All interns will undergo training on safety procedures, crisis management, and the rules of the road involving the care of potentially dangerous animals.

You will be exposed to significant levels of heat and humidity. Initially, the intern will be supervised closely by a senior staff member.

This supervision may relax as confidence and experience with the routine are gained.

Interns work under direct supervision of the sanctuary staff. After orientation, students will be required to abide by and follow all rules and procedures set out by management.

Non-compliance with the sanctuary rules and procedures will result in immediate program termination. Students will learn all activities involved with the proper care and management of wild animals in captivity.

Duties include but are not limited to:
- Prepare primate and bat food, this includes sorting, cleaning and cutting fruits and vegetables according to strict dietary requirements.
- Distribute food to the animals.
- Assist in preparing omnivore and carnivore diets and food distribution.
- Clean animal habitats and pools as instructed.
- General cleaning and organizing activities involved with feeding and general care for the animals.
- Students will assist with habitat construction and maintenance, learning about captive wildlife safety and caging requirements.
- Assist in general grounds maintenance and repairs Assist in general animal enrichment activities thereby learning how to ensure a better quality of life for all animals residing at the sanctuary.
- Veterinary students may be asked to assist in administering medications and animal transport if applicable.
- Assist in general administrative duties related to animal care and sanctuary procedures and other activities as appropriate.
- Once fully trained, interns are responsible for training and supervision of volunteers with the assistance of management as needed.


Candidates must be enrolled in a college curriculum or have completed at least 2 years of of college in degree program or have graduated with a degree in Biology, Animal Psychology, Zoology or other animal related studies.

- Must be a U.S. Citizen or have a work permit in the U.S.
- Minimum age is 18.
- Dates are flexible and positions are filled as needed year-round.
- Internships are non-salaried but can possibly include a stipend. LODGING AND MEALS ARE PROVIDED. Often the openings in Fall, Winter or Spring will include up to a $300 per month stipend.
- Summer positions are highly competitive and have no stipend. 80% of our applications are for summer months.
- Internships are for a period of 4 weeks to one year and require a minimum of 40 hours per week. Preference is given to applicants with a longer period of availability.
- Candidates must be enrolled in a college curriculum and have completed at least two years of college in a degree program or have graduated with a degree in Biology, Animal Psychology, Zoology, or other related field.
- One school reference (school contacts/phone numbers, NOT letters) must be submitted with the application.
Two letters of reference including addresses and contact numbers from two individuals not related to you who have known you for over a year submitted at time of application, preferably from volunteer work or employment.
Must be able to provide proof of a current negative TB test (within the past 12 months).
In order to participate in activities involving bats, the intern must provide proof of a rabies vaccination.
Hepatitis B and tetanus vaccinations are strongly recommended.
Must be reasonably physically fit, able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds and able to work outdoors in the Florida climate.
No pets allowed

Paid Internship Info:

housing, food and stipend


full time


3-12 months

Start Date:


End Date:


ongoing (some immediately available)
Additional Info:
Internship is full time and includes housing and meals. After 4 weeks, a stipend of up to $300/month begins.

If the sanctuary chooses to hire a full time employee, they will only be selected from our successful interns.

zoology    animal    wildlife    forestry    environment 
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