Jan 25, 2022

New Werndli Apprentice Off to Running Start

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Our new 2021-22 Werndli Apprentice is off and running. We check in to see how things are going and what she's learning so far through the program.

Staff sponsors have enjoyed teaching Taylor Alexander various skills related to wildlife rehabilitation, and she is learning quickly! When we caught up with Taylor for a short Q&A, she was gearing up to take her first basic licensing exam at the end of January 2022.

Q: Why did you choose this career path?

Taylor: “Ever since I could remember, I always had a passion for animals and knew I wanted to have a career working with animals, but I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I wanted to do. Since I started my first position at the Wildlife Center as an intern, I quickly realized that I loved working with wildlife.”

Q: What have you learned so far?

Taylor: “It was exciting to see the variety of species that Wisconsin has to offer, even if they are found unfortunately sick or injured. Through this apprenticeship, people such as myself have an opportunity to practice wildlife rehabilitation and give back to nature. Already with the start of my apprenticeship, I have had the opportunity to provide care to many bald eagles and rough-legged hawks – although, it was a bad start to the year for those birds, but it was the first time that I ever got to see a rough-legged hawk in person!”

Werndli Apprentice Taylor Alexander (right) assists Wildlife Veterinary Technician Erin Lemley with a medical procedure on a red-tailed hawk (above). Taylor (top of page) handles a snowy owl as an intern at the Wildlife Center.

We will catch up with Taylor in a few months to see how she’s progressing in the program.

The Werndli Apprenticeship is a position generously supported by the Werndli Charitable Trust.

DCHS’s Wildlife Center receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on community support and independent donations to fund operations and programs like the Werndli Apprenticeship.

The Werndli Apprentice position is a paid, full-time wildlife rehabilitation apprenticeship that includes personalized training from several licensed wildlife rehabilitation staff. At the end of the year-long term, the apprentice will have learned the skills necessary to gain a basic wildlife rehabilitation permit.

Taylor also assisted staff member Erin with imping feathers (replacing feathers) on a great horned owl under anesthesia.

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