The field of wildlife rehabilitation requires both broad-based knowledge and precise technical skills. Wildlife rehabilitators draw from areas of expertise in animal behavior, wildlife ecology, nutrition, animal welfare, veterinary medicine, physiology and population biology. WRA's Wildlife Internship Program offers candidates hands-on training and expert guidance in this dynamic field, through a full-time commitment of 2 months (Junior Wildlife Intern) or 4 months (Senior Wildlife Intern) during the busy summer months of May through August. Wildlife internships are intense, demanding, fast-paced, repetitive and highly rewarding – giving interns the opportunity to learn about the many facets that make up the field of wildlife rehabilitation. Tasks range from dishes and laundry, to tube-feeding an injured pigeon, preparing diets for nestling birds, and examining bloodwork on an injured sandpiper. WRA's Wildlife Interns are expected to work hard, and are rewarded with an intensive hands-on learning experience.
Internship applications are posted in November of each year, for internship placements commencing the following spring.
For more information on qualifications, responsibilities and the application process, click here.
Please note - WRA admits injured, orphaned and pollution-damaged animals with the goal of rehabilitation to release back into the wild. No animals are kept in permanent captivity at WRA.
Ryan talks about his experiences at WRA here.
- Ryan Hardisty, Summer Intern, 2011
"Seeking a career change I decided to put effort into helping an organization whose work I deeply believed in. I began volunteering in the Care Centre at WRA in December 2009. I started out with two volunteer shifts a week but I wanted to spend more time in the Care Centre and found that the two sessions just weren't enough. So when I heard about the opportunity to participate in the internship program the following summer, I went for it.
The internship was an amazing experience. Every day there was something different to learn and new challenges to meet. From performing daily tasks of laundry and dishes to practicing advanced skills of assisting with meds and wound treatments, there was consistent progression in my learning. After the first three-month internship was complete, I applied for a second internship and ended up interning for a total of six months.
During this time I was able to witness the development of numerous bird species from naked, blind nestlings to self-feeding, fully feathered birds; observe and participate in the skillful, hands-on work of wildlife rehab such as blood sampling, practice stabilization and suturing; lend a hand during in-the-field rescues, such as that of a skunk stuck in a dumpster. Let's just say there was never a dull moment during those six months.
To anyone considering the internship program at WRA I would say: GO FOR IT! The work is tough but the rewards are great. Not only will you become more skillful and knowledgeable in the field of wildlife rehabilitation, you will be able to experience the hands-on work involved in the successful rehabilitation and release of hundreds of wild animals. What an incredible way to spend a summer!"
- Karen Becker, Summer Intern, 2010
"I moved to Canada to follow my dream of working with animals, and subsequently started volunteering at WRA in November 2008. After hearing about the internship positions that WRA had available, I knew I couldn't miss the opportunity to learn more, and be part of their amazing and enthusiastic team! I initially signed up for a three-month internship and then applied for a second one. I ended up completing six months of the most rewarding work I could ever imagine!
Every week I learned something new and exciting. I was never bored because there were so many different tasks to be accomplished each day! I met amazing people with different ideas and experiences. It made me aware of the significant difference one organization can make by coming together and striving to reach one universal goal. It also helped me define my career aspirations and assisted in solidifying what I believe in.
If you want an unforgettable experience working in an environment with wild animals, wonderful volunteers, and a great staff, I would highly recommend WRA's internship program!"
- Ana Mendes, Summer Intern, 2009