“In high school, I had a phenomenal biology teacher. She really inspired me and fueled my passion for all things in nature, especially wildlife. I am currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Science, and I knew as soon as I saw the internship job posting that I had to apply. I am hoping to learn more about songbirds and the work that goes into rehabilitating them. I am also very excited to work with raptors and to see them up close. As stated by Aldo Leopold, ‘There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.’, and I am one who cannot.”
– Nicole Nicholson, Fall Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern
Wildlife Internship Reflection
“I applied for and accepted DCHS’s Wildlife Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship for a variety of reasons, the most predominant of which was my love for all animals. I wanted to be able to help mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic change on the natural world through rehabilitating wildlife that had been adversely impacted by humans. However, I sort of applied on a whim. I never envisioned wildlife rehabilitation as a possible career for myself, but I just had to apply for the internship when I saw the advertisement. I was not sure if I could even make the internship work with my schedule, as it was my final semester of my senior year of undergrad, and I had so many courses that I still wanted to take. Not to mention, I wanted to be able to hang out with all of my friends who would soon be ‘spreading to the wind’, post-graduation. Ultimately, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and that the experience could be a lot of fun. I never would’ve imagined the influence that this internship would have on my life and career goals.
"I have learned innumerable, tangible things during my internship at the Wildlife Center. Things like the difference between nestlings and hatchlings, how to administer lactated ringers to a common garter snake, and how to treat multiple pens of Mallard ducks infected with Giardia parasites. Through my internship, I gained hands-on experience in animal caretaking, physiology, and medical care, plus an understanding of more abstract concepts. This taught me more than classroom learning or theoretical study ever could.
"I also learned that so many people care for wildlife, and they will go to great lengths to aid in their rescue. Another one of these hard-to-define concepts that I experienced as an intern includes the joy of releasing a rehabilitated animal, which I have found to be one of the best feelings in the world.
"I decided to further pursue the wildlife rehabilitation experience by applying for, and recently accepting, one of the 2023 Werndli Apprentice positions this year. I have found that I really enjoy the treatment, diagnostic, and procedural part of wildlife rehabilitation. I am currently considering wildlife veterinary medicine as a possible career path, though I hope to flesh out this interest through my further involvement in wildlife rehabilitation. Before this internship, I was solely focused on pursuing a graduate degree in ecology or evolutionary biology. But now, I think that a career in wildlife veterinary medicine and rehabilitation would be the perfect balance between my love for science and my love for animal care. This internship was the absolute peak of my senior year, and I will forever be glad that I went out on a limb and decided to apply.”
– Emelia Rogers, Summer Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern and Seasonal Assistant Wildlife Rehabilitator