Changing of the guard – New Spring Interns
February 8, 2016
Over the past 6-months, we have seen many changes at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The Fall 2015 interns saw a compound crashed, participated in a day of “Final Freedom”, felt the sorrow of the passing of beloved animals, watched the inception of animal target training, and tested a new animal care taking routine. Last week, we welcomed a new group of interns to Turpentine Creek, and at the end of this week we will say goodbye to a large portion of the ‘old’ interns.
The Turpentine Creek internship program runs on a biannual cycle. In the spring and fall, new enters come to Turpentine Creek to learn and gain experience working with the dangerous exotic animals that we care for.
Since the internship program began, over 400 – nearly 500 – post-graduates have successfully completed an internship at TCWR. TCWR past interns now work all over the country with the majority currently working in their chosen fields. We have past interns working from New York to California. Many of our interns heard about the internship program from past interns. We are training and influencing a generation of animal caretakers in the United States. We teach them not only how to take care of exotic animals, but how to do it safely.
The interns do not just learn about the animals here, they learn about themselves, and create lasting bonds with the staff and fellow interns. They become friends, family even. Six-months might seem like a very long time, but it is here and gone in the blink of an eye. Every six-months we must say goodbye to good friends and welcome new friends.
This spring we are excited to have nine new interns for the Spring 2016 internship, they are: Jennifer Aguilar, Jessica Arnold, Siria Cruz, Alyssa Henke, Carly Hepburn, Kelly Hurlbut, Allison OíDonnell, Amy Row, and Anna Stumpf.
Sometimes, we get a little extra time with our interns. Many interns choose to stay for a second, third, or even forth internship. These individuals gain additional experience and assist in passing on the knowledge that they have gained over the past 6, 12, or 18 months. It is through their guidance that our internship program continues to improve.
Some of the interns that chose to stay for a second internship are: Nikki Adams, Nicole Barney, Lanie Dishong, Shelby Handley, Jacqueline Kimmel, Isaac Kuhn, and Susannah Manning-Osborn.
Meghan Lahm has chosen to stay and participate in her fourth internship!
We know that this group will see some big changes happen at TCWR, and we are excited to see how they will assist in making these changes happen smoothly and successfully.