Wildlife Rescue Practicum Programs

Established in 1979, Wildlife Rescue Association of BC is a leader in the rehabilitation of wild animals in the urban environment and is committed to educating the public on how to coexist peacefully with urban wildlife. We are Canada’s busiest wildlife rehabilitation centre, now with over 5,000 animals clients’ a year.  

Located in Burnaby BC, we are a well-established environmental charity that offers its practicum participants: 

  • Innovative and flexible work environment  
  • Passionate and committed colleagues 
  • Personalized experience; career growth and personal development  
  • Hands-on experience 
  • Opportunities to develop new skills  
  • Deeper/advanced knowledge of wildlife natural history and physiology
  • Credits towards a program or university degree
  • Applied Animal Biology Practicum at UBC  

Positions available:   

We have 3 exciting practicum placements formerly known as our Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship program.  

  1. Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Practicum 
  2. Wildlife Rehabilitation Practicum 
  3. Wildlife Helpline and Rescue Practicum 

Wage: Voluntary (no stipends available)  


  • 6 months practicum: 24-40 hours/week 
  • 4 months practicum: 32-40 hours/week 
  • 3 months practicum: 32-40 hours/week 
  • 2 months practicum: 40 hours/week  


  • Min. 19 years of age 
  • Have medical insurance 
  • Eligible to volunteer in Canada (please check visa)  
  • Reliable transport or will to walk 30min from transit  
  • Minimum commitment of 350 hours 
  • Current tetanus vaccination 
  • Demonstrated fluency in speaking, reading and writing English 
  • Be in good health   
  • Able to perform physically demanding tasks, such as cleaning and lifting (up to 19kg/40lbs), and working outdoors in all weathers 
  • Able to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends and holidays 
  • Able to learn quickly and perform varied tasks in a fast-paced work environment 
  • Have a positive outlook! 

Successful candidates are expected to:  

  • Have a passion for animal welfare 
  • Be reliable for attendance  
  • Ask questions and be motivated to learn 
  • Have fun 

Suggested textbook

  • Wildlife Rehabilitation: A Comprehensive Approach  
  • Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation 
  • Answering the Call of The Wild  

*Textbook suggestions dependent on the type of practicum  

Practicum Option details:

  1. Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Practicum  

The best of both worlds; this practicum offers experience in all aspects of rehabilitation from education, to medical treatments, rescue planning and release!  

This practicum is an integrated program, bringing together the Wildlife Helpline and Rescue Practicum and Wildlife Rehabilitation Practicum to give an overview of how to run a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. This practicum is the best experience to start a career in wildlife rehabilitation  

Please see Wildlife Helpline and Rescue Practicum and Wildlife Rehabilitation Practicum for the full list of ‘Overview of Topics’.    

2. Wildlife Rehabilitation Practicum  

This practicum focuses primarily on the animal care and medical aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. Accepted applicants will learn basic animal care, mammal and bird physiology, fluid therapy, restraint/handling and wound management. Upon completion, participants in the program will be able to demonstrate proper animal handling and perform full intake examinations. 

Overview of Topics covered:  

  • Basic Physiology 
  • Admission Procedures 
  • Volunteer Training and Mentorship 
  • Teamwork and team building 
  • Species Identification and Natural History 
  • Restraint and Handling Techniques 
  • Wildlife Stress and Shock 
  • Zoonoses  
  • Physical Exam  
  • Fluid Therapy  
  • Thermoregulatory Medical Complications   
  • Nutrition  
  • Starvation and Emaciation 
  • Wound Management and Bandaging 
  • Head and Spinal Trauma 
  • Euthanasia theory and application   
  • Release assessment and Criteria 
  • Basic Lab Skills  
  • Compassion Fatigue 
  • Interpersonal development and skills 
  • Research 

3. Wildlife Helpline and Rescue Practicum

Participants work together with the helpline and rescue team to address human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife rescues and to educate the public. Participants will develop their skills in bird identification, species-specific behaviors and rescue procedures and protocols. Practicum students will coordinate every step of rehabilitation from providing helpline guidance to dispatching rescue & transport team to admission & release.  

Overview of Topics covered:  

  • Rescues, Transports and Releases 
  • Rescue Techniques  
  • Coordination of incoming and outgoing animals  
  • Natural History and Behavior of Wildlife  
  • Animal Welfare  
  • First Response for Wildlife in Distress 
  • Crisis Line Management training 
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict Resolution 
  • Public Safety and Wildlife Interactions  
  • Interpersonal development and skills 
  • Zoonotic Diseases  
  • Assessing release Sites 
  • Education  
  • Data Entry and Analysis 
  • Fundraising and Processing Donations  
  • Research  

Why Should You Apply? 

  • You care about wildlife and are concerned about anthropogenic impacts 
  • You would like to learn at one of the busiest wildlife rehabilitation centres in Canada 
  • You are looking for work experience in animal care or conservation  
  • You want to contribute to a culture of respect, social intelligence, and appreciation among staff and volunteers 
  • You enjoy a collaborative and philanthropic work environment with highly dedicated and enthusiastic peers/colleagues 

Please submit your resume and cover letter in a single PDF file attention HR at, recruitment@wildliferescue.ca 

Your cover letter should include:

  • Which practicum you are applying for 
  • Your preferred start dates 
  • Your available commitment  

Please be advised that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews, but we would like to thank all applicants in advance for their interest.