Forest Animal Rescue is currently accepting applications for internships at our facility – apply now!
Are you a college student and would like to gain professional experience in captive wild animal care? Get a great first-hand experience by working at an accredited, non-profit sanctuary.
Work with: tigers, bears, wolves, cougars, servals, spider monkeys, capuchins, lemurs, fruit bats, horses, tortoises, and domestic cats!
Here is what you’ll learn and accomplish at Forest Animal Rescue:
- Understand the natural history of the species
- Get to know the animals and how they came to the sanctuary
- Understand how a TRUE sanctuary operates
- Learn how to safely and properly work around wild and dangerous animals
- Learn how to prepare all animals’ diets and the nutrition behind it
- Clean animal enclosures, pools, and change water containers
- Learn how to safely feed carnivores, primates, bats, and equines
- Learn how to groom and walk equines
- Understand carnivore and primate behavior
- Learn how to thoroughly observe, monitor and track animals’ health
- Observe any vet care given. All interns may be asked to help assist with procedures or moving anesthetized animals to the degree they are trained to so.
- Assist with animal enrichment and learn how to ensure the animal has the best quality of life
- Interns staying 3+ months will be required to do a project: an in-depth observation or enrichment. This will enhance skills at animal monitoring.
Other duties include but are not limited to:
- Landscaping and grounds maintenance
- General maintenance and repairs
- Animal dishes
- Cleaning the food prep building and surrounding areas
- Habitat construction
- Assist in general administrative duties related to animal care, sanctuary procedures, events and other activities as appropriate.
What to expect:
- Internships are non-salaried but openings in fall, winter and spring will include a $300 per month stipend.
- Lodging and meals are provided.
- There are scholarships available to our interns who qualify– click here to learn more
- Summer positions are highly competitive so for a higher chance of selection, try to apply for other times of the year as well.
- Internships are for a period of 4 weeks to one year. Preference is given to applicants with a longer period of availability.
- Interns usually work full-time Mondays through Saturdays, with light duties on Sundays and half-day on Thursdays, giving interns the afternoons off.
- Materials, curriculum, and training materials are provided. You will be trained thoroughly before doing any chores on your own. There are 3 training levels in which you must demonstrate your understand of the cleaning, safety, and protocols before moving onto the next level. Training usually takes 2-4 weeks depending on your abilities.
- A stipend will not be provided until after the first month when you will be fully trained. You will always be closely supervised but will gain trust and more independence as you learn.
- Materials and curriculum will be provided.
- Non-compliance with the sanctuary rules and procedures will result in immediate termination from the program.
Working with wild animals is a very gratifying an unique experience, please read the following before applying: The safety of the animals and the humans that care for them comes first at our facility – WE ARE A HANDS OFF SANCTUARY. If a wild animal bites or scratches you, it immediately places the welfare of the animal and the entire sanctuary at risk. We believe in the respect of wild animals and will not endanger our workers or our animals so there is a strict no touching rule for the wild animals.
If you would like physical hands-on experience, you should try working with domestic species. However, we do have a number of domestic species (tortoises, horses and domestic cats) that will require hands-on care at the sanctuary.
- At a minimum, applicants must be in their second year of college in an animal related science (zoology, conservation, animal behavior, etc)
- 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 the 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) or a TB vaccine.
- In order to participate in activities involving bats, the intern must provide proof of 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.
- Housing and groceries will be provided for you; you will have to cook and clean for yourself during your stay.
- Vegetarian or vegan staples are available upon request. Shopping lists must be given at the start of each week. Transportation to the grocery store for the purchase of personal items is available as we pick up animal supplies.
- No pets allowed
- Males and female interns stay in separate housing. The houses are basic and furnished. There may be multiple interns at a time which require sharing rooms and bathrooms. During the off-season, you might have a house to yourself.
- Interns must entertain themselves and are responsible for their own transportation. Silver Springs has multiple fresh water springs and fun hiking trails. Ocala is not too far away to enjoy a nice restaurant, shopping, or movies.
- You will be located in the Ocala National Forest on a soft sand road.
- We are very rural – there is no public transportation. If you do not bring your own car, you will need to plan on spending quiet evenings at your lodging unless there is a group outing planned.
- A wireless internet connection is available if you bring your own computer. Basic food is provided for meals and laundry facilities are provided.
- A telephone for domestic calls is provided. International calls require a calling card.
- Applicants must be comfortable with spending quiet evenings in their own company depending on how many volunteers and interns are on the premises at one time.
What we do NOT provide:
- Personal care items
- A computer
- Funds for entertainment
- Transportation for sightseeing
PLEASE NOTE: Our program focuses on the importance of professional management of captive wild animals and does not promote private ownership of wild animals. 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.
This is an experience you will never forget, so apply now! Applications are accepted year-round.
email the completed application and attachments to us, or you may mail or fax them to:Forest Animal Rescue Attn: Intern Department 640 NE 170th Ct. Silver Springs, FL 34488
Fax: 352-625-7376 Please try to have your completed application and attachments submitted 30-45 days before your desired start date.