The Florida Wildlife Hospital offers unique unpaid internship opportunities for students with an interest in native Florida wildlife. Internships are available year-round at our facility in Palm Shores, Florida. We offer two internship opportunities, an Animal Care internship, and a Non-Profit Management internship, for students or recent graduates studying related topics.
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- Have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
- Enrolled or recently graduated in related subject matter.
- Possess good communication skills, a positive attitude, be able to follow directions, and work as part of a team in a fast-paced environment
- Must provide proof of an up-to-date tetanus vaccination.
- Must have COVID vaccine(s) or weekly negative tests until further notice
Animal Care Specific
- Be willing to work a schedule including weekends, holidays, and all weather conditions.
- Be in good physical condition with the ability to lift at least 50lbs; able to bend, stoop, and crawl.
- Must be ok with euthanasia, it is unavoidable.
- Rabies vaccinations is a plus but is not a requirement.
Non-Profit Management Specific
- Exhibit good customer services skills.
- Must complete a project and do a presentation for staff.
- Proficient with computers including email and Microsoft Office.
Application dates: November 1st – December 1st
Start Month: January | End Month:May
Application dates: March 1st – April 1st
Start Month: May | End Month:August
Application dates: July 1st – August 1st
Start Month: September | End Month:December
Some colleges and universities allow internships to count towards course credits, but each has slightly different requirements. Please indicate on the application form if you wish to complete the internship for course credits, so that we can discuss this further with those who are selected for the positions.
What to Expect (Animal Care)
About the Internship
Learn to identify native species, set up age- and species-appropriate environments, choose, prepare, and feed nutritious diets, and assist with medical
treatments. Interns will rotate through working in Nursery, CCU, Outside Enclosures, Treatment, Outreach & Education, and Animal Intake.
Keeping Wildlife Wild
Our mission is to Keep Wildlife Wild by Providing Quality Compassionate Care. Keeping wildlife wild means that they will have the best chance of survival when they are released back into their natural environments. This means that we do not treat our patients like you would treat a domestic animal. It is important that we handle the patients and talk around the patients as little as possible.
Endless, Thankless Tasks
A large portion of rehabilitation is not about working directly with animals. Washing dishes, cleaning, laundry, and repair work are equally important for the well-being of the animals in our care and for the day-to-day functioning of the hospital.
Physically and Emotionally Demanding
Wildlife rehabilitation is physically demanding. Staff and volunteers are on their
feet for long hours and have to bend, crawl, scrub, and lift heavy items. They work indoors and outdoors in all kinds of weather including extreme heat and rain. It can also be emotionally exacting as interns work with sick and injured wildlife, some of which may die or require euthanasia.
Our mission is to rehabilitate sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife and release them back to their place in the wild. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Animals must be physically, mentally, and socially sound to survive in nature. We do not want to release an animal only to have it suffer or slowly die. Animals that are too sick or badly injured, that will not be able to be released, and that cannot be placed as an educational animal, will be euthanized at the discretion of our licensed rehabber and veterinary staff. Some find euthanasia hard to understand, but we consider euthanasia to be a compassionate alternative to an animal suffering.
What to Expect (Non-Profit Management)
About the Internship
Learn what it takes to operate a non-profit facility, assist and learn about fundraising, acquire basic financial management skills, assist in finding and writing grants, learn about volunteer management, attend an educational outreach event, understand what type of marketing we do, and become familiar with organizing and maintaining a membership database. Interns will gain experience with our donor management system.
See the inner workings of how things get done. Interns will have opportunities to attend fundraising committee meetings to see what goes into organizing fundraising efforts and events committee meetings to see what goes into planning and executing a large scale event.
Behind every great non-profit are great volunteers. Interns will learn about how to recruit, train, and retain volunteers as well as get acquainted with Volgistics volunteer management software.
Keeping Wildlife Wild
Our mission is to Keep Wildlife Wild by Providing Quality Compassionate Care. Keeping wildlife wild means that they will have the best chance of survival when they are released back into their natural environments. This means that we do not treat our patients like you would treat a domestic animal. It is important that we handle the patients and talk around the patients as little as possible. Although the focus of this internship is non-profit management, there may also be opportunities to witness animal releases, assist with volunteer training, and visit other nearby non-profit facilities.