INTERNSHIPS AND EXTERNSHIPS
Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship at HWC is meant to provide an introduction to native Hawaiian wildlife rehabilitation and prepare interns for a career in animal care, wildlife, conservation and veterinary medicine. The intern will work directly with our Veterinarian/Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager and Wildlife Rehabilitation Technicians in the daily care of patients at the Hawaii Wildlife Center. By the completion of the internship interns will be familiar with common native Hawaiian wildlife, husbandry, animal care, rehabilitation goals and techniques.
Hands-on training will be provided and the intern will be given more responsibilities and trust as they learn and feel comfortable with certain tasks. Supervision will always be available and the interns will not be asked to do something out of their comfort zone. In addition to hands-on learning, didactic teaching will be incorporated to provide the intern a foundation in the sciences, medicine, rehabilitation and the rules, regulations and ethics of the practice of wildlife rehabilitation.
Interns will be taught diet preparation, feeding of wildlife, how to assist with physical therapy and rehabilitation of patients, examinations, medical record entry, cleaning and maintenance of enclosures and aviaries, general hospital cleaning duties, administration of medications with supervision by staff, monitoring of anesthesia, running of blood work and other laboratory tests, and more.
Internships are offered in three terms each year.
We accept a maximum of 2-3 interns per term. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
– Winter/Spring Term: January-May (2023 : full)
– Summer Term: June-August (2023 : full)
– Seabird Fallout Term: September-December (Busiest Season) (2023 : spots available)
- Duration of 6-12 weeks
- 3-5 days/week depending on duration of internship
- Minimum of 200 hours for completion of internship
- The intern will be asked to work on a final project on a topic approved by the Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Veterinary Medicine
- Animal experience and a science background is preferred but not required
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Intern is responsible for own expenses including travel, housing and transportation
How to Apply
Please email your Resume/CV and Letter of Intent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also let us know what term/dates you are interested in applying for.
Applications are accepted year round. During Oct-Dec we may be delayed in responding due to the busy fallout season.
Applications for the summer term are competitive and will be reviewed starting January 1st and we would like to have them in by February 15th to give all applicants a fair chance. You may still apply later than this, but spots may or may not be available, feel free to ask us as cancellations do occur.
Wildlife Veterinary Externship
Two-week externships are also available for current veterinary school students. Wildlife hospital externs will work closely with our veterinarian. Skills developed will be similar to the internship, with additional clinical topics covered. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
“Favorite aspects of internship was seeing how well a team works together to give the best treatment possible to wildlife, as well as learning very useful skills that I’ll carry on throughout my career!”
“I didn’t have any expectations, but I ended up doing so much more than I could have imagined. I guess my favorite part was when the birds would get released because they were rehabilitated as much as they could be.”
“The hands-on aspects were obviously the best, and the whole internship gave me confidence in my future goals.”
“I really enjoyed my time there and felt like I left with a wealth of knowledge. The training was very hands on and I learned by doing. Any questions I had were always answered thoughtfully.”
“Dr. Juan was a good mentor and I enjoyed working with him as an extern. We had regular discussions on cases and I was able to work on skills that I had little to no experience in with avian species. I felt more confident as I completed my externship in working with avians.”
Oʻahu Seabird Aid Internship
The HWC Oʻahu Seabird Aid Internship is designed to introduce and prepare recent high school graduates and college students to assist with the response to downed seabirds during the Oʻahu seabird fallout season (Sep-Dec). Interns will spend 2 weeks (80hrs) at the main Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center Facility in Kapaʻau on Hawaiʻi Island to get hands on instruction on avian handling and basic care. These 2 weeks can be done anytime between June and August. Interns will then return to Oʻahu and sign up for 1 weekly shift to be done at the HWC Oʻahu Satellite Clinic located at the Honolulu Zoo starting no later than September. There interns will assist the Oʻahu HWC Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager in the care of birds including Manu o Kū, Uaʻu kani and other native Hawaiian Birds. During peak seabird fallout season (approx. November) the location of the internship will shift to Feather and Fur Animal Hospital in Kailua and interns will be asked to sign up for an additional shift. Interns can do more shifts if they are interested. This will be busiest time of the year and interns will assist the Manager in accepting downed ʻUaʻu kani from the public, collecting finding information from the finders, assisting in examinations, performing feedings/hydration under the direction of the manager, inputting data into the database and assisting in general upkeep chores (laundry, enclosure cleaning and preparation, pool cleaning, etc). By the completion of the internship interns will be familiar with several species of native Hawaiian seabirds, safe handling of seabirds, how to assist during an examination of a seabird, and how to safely provide nutrition and hydration to a seabird.
The internship curriculum was developed to introduce the intern to wildlife rehabilitation and Oʻahu-specific wildlife response programs. Interns will be given more responsibilities as they develop their skills, including diet preparation, feeding of wildlife, assistance with physical therapy and rehabilitation of patients, medical record entry, cleaning and maintenance of enclosures and aviaries, general hospital sterilization, and assistance with release of patients, among other related duties.
The intern is responsible for their own housing both on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Islands, as well as their own transportation, including getting to the Honolulu Zoo and Feather and Fur Animal Hospital.
- Initial 2 weeks on the Hawaiʻi Island (80hrs) done between June and August.
- Weekly shift* at Oʻahu HWC Satellite Clinic (Honolulu Zoo) during September – December
- Additional weekly shift* during peak fallout season in during November
- Additional shifts* available if intern desires.
- Goal of 160 hours of experience by end of internship
*Shifts are set by the Oʻahu HWC Rehabilitation Manager. Late afternoon/early evening shifts available in November
Animal experience and a science background is preferred
High School Diploma or GED
Must be 18 years of age or older.
Willing to work outdoors in all kinds of weather
Ability to communicate and interact professionally in a team
Ability to follow directions
Ability to do basic math and convert units of measure.
An interest in learning about native Hawaiian birds and the care that goes into them
An interest in wildlife conservation
Attention to detail
A strong work ethic
Compassion and respect for animals
Comfort in cleaning animal enclosures
This is an unpaid internship and the intern is responsible for their own expenses including housing and transportation.
Please email your Resume/CV and Letter of Intent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We accept 2-3 interns
Applications are due by August 15th and are reviewed as they are received.