Post-Grad Internship Programs

At this time, we only offer Post Graduate Internship Programs. 

In 1997, TCWR established an internship program for students desiring more experience in the care of exotic cats and animals. Intern applicants are college graduates with degrees in the fields of zoology, biology, animal psychology, veterinary sciences, and other animal-related areas.

Interns are provided with housing and a small stipend during their 6-month program. Several colleges and zoos across the country recommend TCWR’s Internship Program as an excellent model in exotic animal care. With over 100 students from across the country applying annually, and only 18 positions available, TCWR is looking for the very best in future animal care keepers.

Universities represented by past interns include:

Texas A&M University, Hendrix College, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska, Humboldt State University, University of Florida, Ithaca College, University of California, Colorado State University, Brigham Young University, Cornell University, University of Southampton, the University of the West of Scotland, and Penn State University.

As of August 2016, over 1,500 students have applied for our prestigious internship program, and more than 450 college graduates have completed a six-month internship at TCWR. Many of these interns have ultimately gone on to work in zoos and sanctuaries throughout the U.S. and abroad, and many have continued onto veterinary medicine.

This internship program has also provided a means of recruiting for staff positions at the Refuge. Six of the college graduates who have interned at TCWR have returned as permanent employees.

Exotic Cat Internship

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a no-kill facility dedicated to rescuing abused, abandoned and unwanted big cats. The refuge is located in NW Arkansas is seeking a full-time, 6 months Intern Keeper. The refuge is a non-profit facility for exotic cats, bears, and other exotic animals. Work is often physically demanding. Applicants must be self-motivated, with high desire to provide the best care available to animals. Applicants must also be observant and able to keep detailed records. The ability to work in a team environment or independently is important. A degree in Zoology, Biology or related field is preferred, but experience with exotic animal husbandry may be considered. Fourteen positions are opened each internship. Internships run every six months. If you are looking for a full-time internship working around big cats you just may have found it.

Job Description:

    • Work in a Captive Animal Institution – Responsible for the daily care of tigers, lions, cougars, black bears, grizzly bear, Russian brown bear, leopards, African servals, bobcats, rhesus macaque, and a coatimundi. Duties include animal husbandry, enrichment, record keeping of animal behavior, educational public tours, and customer service.
    • Prepare and Present Information to the Public – Responsible for greeting customers and giving guided tours throughout the facility. Educate the public about each resident species and the direction of the facility’s future.
    • Prepare and Maintain Animal Housing – Responsible for maintaining animal and customer safety through daily exhibit checks. This includes routine landscaping, clearing habitats of underbrush, and providing animal enrichment.
    • Prepare Diets and Monitor Feeding – Maintain food quality and hygiene standards of produce and meat. Prepare food with consideration to specific dietary needs and monitor every animal’s intake. Feed all animals and observe quantities of waste for future diet recommendations. Record weight loss or gain for each animal.
    • Monitor and Maintain Animal Health – Maintain daily records of animal defecation and any loss of appetite to identify any abnormal behavior and signs of illness. Administer daily medications. Prepare and maintain quarantine areas for recent rescues.
    • Restrain and Assist in Moving Animals – Assist in relocating cats to more appropriate enclosures. Follow all safety procedures in loading, unloading, and during transport of animals.
    • Identify Behavioral Needs and Improve Husbandry – Identify behavioral needs and provide approved enrichment for the animals which includes but may not be limited to, environmental and scent enrichment.
    • Maintain Exhibits and Assist Design – Help design and construct ½ – 1-acre enclosures. Maintain exhibits daily and detect and control pests.

Compensation:

A weekly cash stipend of $50. Housing is provided on the Refuge. Amenities include heat, A/C, utilities paid, full bath, kitchen, washer & dryer, satellite TV, high-speed internet, and Wifi.

Important Dates:

      • Fall Position: August 15th – February 10th
      • Spring Position: February 1st – August 25th
      • Deadline for Fall internship applications: April 1
      • Deadline for Spring internship applications: November 1

To Apply:

Send your cover letter and resume to:

 

Education Internship

The Education Intern will research, develop, and present educational programming to the public and school/special groups following the National Association for Interpretation guidelines. Applicants must be self-motivated, with high desire to spread awareness about all the species that call the refuge home and help educate the public on the negative impacts of the exotic pet trade. The ability to work in a team environment or independently is important. A degree in Education, Zoology, Biology, Conservation, or related field is preferred.

Currently, we are seeking one position for the internship. Internships run every six months. If you are looking for a full-time internship where you can be the voice for animals and spread awareness for their protection, you have come to the right place.

Job Description:

  • Public Education-Responsible for presenting programs each day to the general public and special group tours along with giving guided tours.
  • Special Programming-The education department at the refuge is in charge of organizing programs for special animal holidays such as World Wildlife Day, Animal Rights Day, Tiger Day, etc. The intern will assist in planning and presenting programs on these special days.
  • Research-Responsible for researching and developing programming according to National Association for Interpretation guidelines (Education Coordinator will cover the guidelines during training).
  • School Groups-Responsible for assisting with organizing/presenting school groups both at the refuge and offsite locations, including setup and tear down of promotional banner/tables
  • Advancing Education- Multiple opportunities for the intern to further their education during their 6-month stay.
  • Educational Writing-Responsible for writing education articles for the website, blog posts, and newsletter.
  • Wayside exhibits-The intern will assist in research and planning for wayside exhibits for the refuge
  • Summer Day Camps-Responsible for assisting with summer day camps including the planning and presenting of programs and activities
  • Special Events-Responsible for assisting with special events wherever help is needed

Compensation:

Weekly stipend of $50. Housing is provided on the Refuge. Amenities include heat, A/C, utilities paid, full bath, kitchen, washer & dryer, satellite TV, high-speed internet, and Wifi.

Important Dates:

  • Fall Position: August 15th – February 10th
  • Spring Position: February 1st – August 25th
  • Deadline for Fall internship applications: June 1stEXTENDED June 22nd
  • Deadline for Spring internship applications: November 1st

To Apply:

Send your cover letter and resume to education@turpentinecreek.org attn: Beckie Moore