A core power behind ECWR, our interns receive exponentially more hands-on experience due to our non-profit status, small staff, and big mission. Join our team today and gain experience you'd never thought possible.
Applications are currently being accepted for candidates 18 years or older interested in a rehabilitation internship at our wildlife refuge in the Florida panhandle.
The internship duration is 5 days (minimum 40 hours) per week for a minimum of 15 weeks (can be longer if desired) and interns will be scheduled to meet the needs of the refuge. The facility's medical center is open 7 days a week from 8 am - 4 pm; staff and interns work until all tasks are finished for the day, which can lead to extended hours during busy seasons.
Our internship program is designed to provide rehabilitation training that focuses on native Florida wildlife. With this training, interns will be able to participate in actual patient care and practice hands-on wildlife rehabilitation skills.
Upon successful completion of the internship, interns will receive a certificate and documentation of the hours of service performed.
The experience gained from the immersion into the world of wildlife rehabilitation and animal husbandry is extremely beneficial to those who are contemplating careers in the fields of veterinary medicine, wildlife management, wildlife rehabilitation, biology, or zoology.
Participation in the ECWR internship program may also meet the requirements
of your college or university and you may be able to receive school credit from your institution for your internship with ECWR.
ECWR completes this requested paperwork on an individual basis since we provide intern-specific experience and species summaries at the conclusion of the internship.
Participate in at least 6 lectures specially designed by our Wildlife Rehabilitator to advance skills and knowledge levels:
Learn about basic animal handling techniques, safety equipment, and acceptable protocols and procedures in the industry
Improve communication skills to coach citizens or tourists who find wildlife in distress and coordinate rescue efforts
Learn how to accurately complete patient intake and record keeping forms and terminology used in an animal science setting
Learn about diseases ECWR has seen in our past rehabilitation patients, those we monitor currently, and those we are prepared to potentially treat in the future
Learn how to conduct physical exams on wild animals, local and potentially diagnose injuries and what the appropriate treatment for each scenario is
Learn about what medications ECWR uses to treat various diagnoses, how to calculate dosages, and real-life scenarios
While interning at ECWR, you may have the opportunity to do the following under the guidance
and supervision of our trained wildlife rehabilitation staff, veterinarians,
veterinary technicians, or other qualified professionals:
Hands-on wildlife experience through proper handling, feeding, and rehabilitation procedures
Avian and mammalian neonatal care
Animal husbandry experience with a variety of wildlife species for permanent residents as well as rehabilitation patients
Exposure to the operations of a non-profit organization and a wildlife center
Knowledge of humane coexistence with wildlife
Perform initial exams and assessments of injured native wildlife such as raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, raccoons, foxes, squirrels, opossum, deer, and turtles/tortoises
Learn to calculate medicine dosages, administer fluids, give injections, bandage techniques, etc.
Observe/assist with marine mammal and sea turtle strandings/necropsies, as needed or possible (this cannot be guaranteed)
(under the guidance of our staff)
Complete daily exhibit/enclosure cleaning
Prepare diets, feed animals, and record appetite
Handle and restrain various wildlife species
After hours care for avian and mammalian neonates
Assist in rescuing injured and orphaned wildlife; assist in releasing animals when ready
Provide enrichment and training sessions to resident animals
Administer medications and treatments to wildlife patients
Monitor animal areas and provide exemplary guest service to visitors
Convey potential problems to staff members
Train new volunteers on various animal care tasks
Assist with general housekeeping and other duties as assigned
What our 2021 ECWR interns have to say about the internship or why they applied
Morgan, Fall Intern
B.S. Biology, University of West Florida
"I value being able to be an active cause in conservation of Florida's wildlife".
Bob, Spring Intern
Certified Veterinary Technician
"I wanted to expand my capbabilies from not only domesticated species, but to wildlife species."
Alise, Summer Intern
University of Washington majoring in Environmental Science
"The ECWR internship delves more into veterinary medicine than other internships, which focus solely on animal husbandry."
Ash, Summer Intern
West Virginia University majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries
"This internship offered more hands-on experience than others did, especially in veterinary medicine."
Madyson, Summer Intern
"ECWR provided a good transition between schooling during COVID-19. It allowed me to still be hands-on, because animal care never stops."
Rebecca, Fall Intern
B.S. Earth and Environmental Science, Washington State University
"ECWR'S non-profit stature allowed for me to gain advanced experience compared to other internships, because interns are such a big part of daily operation."
Christine, Summer Intern
CVT in Pensacola State College
"I gained a deeper understanding first hand of the importance of teamwork and being able to work with the different shifts (i.e. Husbandry, Nursery). Veterinary shift is important, but it's not the only shift that helps animals."
Monti, Summer Intern
George Mason University majoring in Environmental Science
"I was surprised at how I was able to expand my abilites and interests while here."