Wildlife Care Externship - Available Year-Round

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Contact Becca Wehmeier
239-472-3644
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General Program Description
● CROW is a nonprofit wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center providing care for native and migratory wildlife on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida.
● CROW’s fully equipped wildlife hospital admits over 6,000 patients per year including more than 200 different species of birds, mammals and reptiles.
● The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to return sick, injured or orphaned wild animals back to the wild. The Student Program is designed to augment the educational pursuits of natural science, veterinary, and veterinary technician students.
● Students are supervised and assisted by a full-time veterinarian, veterinary interns, Certified Veterinary Technicians, wildlife rehabilitators, and other staff and volunteers.
● Emphasis is placed on the student gaining an understanding of the entire rehabilitation process from admittance to release, evidence based wildlife and conservation medicine, as well as the One World, One Health concept.

General Program Overview
● Wildlife Care Externship is an unpaid externship where a student’s daily activities include providing medical treatments to patients, caring for neonatal wildlife (including assisted alimentation), administering medications, administering fluids, triage, husbandry, grazing tortoises, diet preparation, daily hospital cleaning, daily outdoor enclosure cleaning, public presentations, patient enrichment, attending hospital rounds and teaching rounds, rescuing (as needed), and releasing wildlife (as needed).

Program Work Schedule
● Following an initial training period, externs will work a 5-day work week schedule that would rotate 1 day working in the ICU, 1 day assisting with renesting, rescue, release, reptile treatments, and general neonatal/ICU help, and 3 days rotating through the various baby rooms. Please understand this schedule may vary depending on patient load and number of students on-site at a given time, to ensure coverage in all areas of the hospital.
● Early morning or late evening infant care/feeding will be required on a regular basis. Externs will be rotating with other students for these designated care/feeding shifts.
● Early morning or late evening ‘rehab staff only’ patient care/feeding may be required on a regular basis. Externs would be rotating with other students for these designated care/feeding shifts..
● Work days start at 7:00 AM and end when all patients are cared for and the clinic is cleaned. This may vary between 45-65+ hours weekly.
● The required number of hours worked daily will vary depending on patient volume and number of students working during accepted program dates.
● Externs will have 2 days off weekly, either two consecutive days or two days throughout the week, which will be determined based on individual preference.
● Externs are required to present a public presentation at the Visitor Education Center on a “Day in the Life of a CROW Student” where externs will talk about their personal experience working at CROW and the CROW hospital. Hospital staff and other students may also be present for your public presentation.
● Attendance to hospital case rounds and student teaching rounds held periodically during the week, may be encouraged or required depending on the rounds discussion.

Program Location
● CROW operates on a 12.5-acre campus on Sanibel Island, Florida. CROW is located adjacent to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
● Beaches and local restaurants are a short distance from campus.
● The mainland of Fort Myers, past the Sanibel Causeway, is 15 minutes away from CROW.

Program Requirements
● Applicants must be over 18 years of age.
● Applicant’s availability must range from 8 to 16 weeks.
● A minimum of 1-2 years of animal care experience is required. Preference will be given to applicants with previous wildlife rehabilitation and neonatal care background.
● All accepted applicants must agree to and sign rules and regulations and liability waivers upon acceptance.
● A large percentage of the work at a rehabilitation facility involves cleaning and feeding patients and is labor intensive. Applicants are to be able-bodied individuals with the ability to lift up to 50 pounds, bend, kneel, and sit / stand for prolonged periods of time.

Program Fees and Vaccination Requirements (once accepted)
● $125.00 non-refundable CROW student program fee
● $75.00 per week on-site housing fee (if requesting to stay in on-site housing). Housing fees are non-refundable unless CROW cancels your program prior to your accepted start date.
● Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination
● Proof of current Tetanus Vaccination
● Proof of Rabies Pre-Exposure Series OR recent Rabies Titer (+/- Rabies Booster)

How to Apply
● Visit our Student Programs and Internships page on our website at http://www.crowclinic.org to download and return a completed application
● All application materials can be emailed to students@crowclinic.org or mailed to PO Box 150, Sanibel, FL 33957.
● For questions not answered on the website or in the application packet, please email students@crowclinic.org
● THERE IS NO DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS. Applications are accepted year-round and are processed as they are received.

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