Check out our new hours. Most DCHS and Wildlife Center services are by appointment only, including reuniting lost animals, surrendering a pet, wildlife rehabilitation, and more. Adoption visits are first-come, first-served. We recommend checking our current waitlist prior to your visit.

Oct 21, 2022

Intern Q&A: How Did This Internship Impact Your Learning

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We asked one of our summer interns: How did this wildlife rehabilitation internship impact your learning? Read on to see her response.

“At the beginning of this internship, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew that I wanted to absorb everything I could about wildlife and how to care for them, but I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what I wanted to learn.

“The experience I have gained during these four, short months is much more than I could have expected. It has been incredible to watch orphaned and injured animals grow and flourish in our care. To know that many of these individuals would not survive without our help has given me a newfound sense of purpose.

“Learning about the doom and gloom of the world in my college courses has been illuminating, but also quite discouraging. Much of what we learn emphasizes the dire need for conservation in the modern age and the current lack of initiative from the public and private sector.

“Being able to play a part in conservation and wildlife restoration efforts directly has been an incredibly powerful experience for me. Working in wildlife rehabilitation has allowed me to become part of the solution, even if my actions are small in comparison to what needs to be done. I could describe every technique and species I learned more about, but I think that the most valuable experience I received was discovering that I want to work directly with wildlife and conservation in the future.

“This internship has given me the tools to make a real impact on our environment and I am very grateful for it.”

Sara Rider, DCHS's Wildlife Center Summer Intern.

Top photo: Sara holds a songbird while Wildlife Program Manager Jackie Sandberg prepares to place a federal identification band on the bird for tracking purposes.

Meet the New Fall Interns

Kayla Salmon (she/her)

Kayla joined the 2002 wildlife internship team in August. She has worked as a veterinary assistant at the Randolph Veterinary Clinic since June 2020 and is currently finishing up her last semester in the Madison College Veterinary Technician program. She hopes to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam in November and become a CVT.

Kayla has always had a love for animals, and her passion is wildlife and exotic/zoo animals.

Kayla handles a bald eagle.

Jay Pettey (he/him)

Jay joined the 2022 fall wildlife internship team in August. Helping animals and wildlife has been a passion since childhood, believing they should be respected as incredibly complicated beings and not as simple pets. Jay’s dream is to be a wildlife rehabilitator, and he hopes this internship will be an incredible step in that journey.

Jay enjoys nature walks and video games, and his favorite walking spot is Halfway Prairie.

Jay released a red-tailed hawk back into its enclosure after weekly weighing and foot care treatment.

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