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INTERNS AND EXTERNS

Wolf Park's Internship Program provides unique opportunities for individuals to advance their knowledge about wolves, foxes, and bison in human care. Our program is designed to incorporate lecture based learning about topics such as animal training, husbandry, and ethology, with applied activities throughout our 75 acre facility. Throughout their time here, interns will work alongside staff to meet the operational needs of a small non-profit.

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a herd of sheep standing next to a wire fence
a close up of a fox
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INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Length of stay: 2-3 months – preference given to those available for three months.

Who Can Apply: Anyone can apply, however, accepted applicants are typically current undergraduate students in any degree or those who have completed their Bachelor’s degrees in the past 24 months.

Accepting Applications: Year-round.

Program Details: Interns have an opportunity to gain experience in fields related to captive animal management and wildlife biology while supporting the daily operations of a non-profit organization. You will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Behavioral Training- practical skills and application of positive reinforcement training.
  • Animal Husbandry- feeding, medicating, health observation, maintenance of enclosures, and environmental enrichment.
  • Safe Handling Practices- Ethology and identifying behavioral cues.
  • Teamwork and Independence- Interns will have a variety of tasks over the course of their stay that may require them to work as a team as well as other tasks that will require them to work independently.
  • Interpersonal Skills- Interns will gain experience within their duties to learn skills such as prioritizing, decision making, multitasking, as well as learning your limits and pushing beyond them.
  • Non-profit Business Management- includes areas in marketing, grant writing, fundraising, networking, outreach, and membership coordination.
  • Public Relations- Interns will interact and work with the public by working customer service in our gift shop, giving tours, and answering visitor questions.
  • Research Experience- Interns may have the opportunity to observe research that is currently being conducted by visiting researchers, with the direct permission of each researcher.
  • Daily Operations of a Non Profit- Interns will be asked to assist in the following areas: office/clerical, maintenance of grounds, manual labor, retail, and admissions.

Typical activities include:

  • Assisting with Large Scale Projects – this may include building of new enclosures and fences.
  • Grounds and Maintenance Work – Interns help us do everything that keeps the park up and running, including cleaning out animal enclosures, cutting grass and shoveling snow. It may not always be glamorous, but we wouldn’t be open without these things!
  • Attending Educational Lectures – weekly educational sessions are given by staff members on topics such as animal husbandry, nonprofit management, classical and operant conditioning, training techniques, updates on wild wolf populations, and state management. Interns may have the opportunity to sit in on portions of our seminars.
  • Visiting Other Facilities – past trips include Indianapolis Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, Exotic Feline Rescue Center, and Columbian Park Zoo. This is contingent based on current health department safety recommendations.
  • Make Friends for Life – experience other cultures from around the world, as some of our Interns and Externs are from other countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, Norway, Ireland, etc.
  • Preparing Food – At Wolf Park, we feed our wolves predominantly road killdeer. In order to keep our wolves healthy and happy, all interns are trained and are required to properly prepare food for the wolves. This involves learning how to butcher the carcasses and dispense the food in accordance with our feeding protocols.

Costs: $495 for the entire program to cover housing. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of acceptance to hold your space, with the balance due in full one month before your arrival. Housing is included. Food, transportation to and from our facility, groceries, souvenirs, visas, and other expenses are not included in the program price.

Application Process: Interns are required to submit an application for consideration.

Applications must be completed online. Supplemental materials (Letters of recommendation or transcripts) can be emailed or mailed to our facility. Once the application is received, it is reviewed by the Intern Coordinator. If you appear to be a good match for our program, the next step is an interview. This can be conducted over the phone or via Zoom. Interviews are prearranged by the Intern Coordinator and applicant between the hours of 10 am to 5 pm EST Monday through Friday and generally takes about an hour.

After the interview, if you are accepted, your acceptance will be contingent on a background check, which we conduct after receipt of your $200 non-refundable deposit to hold your space. In the event that you are denied entry into the program based on your background check, $175 of your deposit will be returned to you. Full payment for the program is due one month before your arrival.

Foreign nationals: don’t forget to apply for the appropriate visa after you are accepted!

Application Deadlines: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Priority is given to those applicants with relevant experience or studying towards fields that are most relevant to Wolf Park. We typically have fewer applicants for the winter season, so if you are applying for in Internship or Externship, we may be more lenient about accepting you based on the area of study at that time. Submit your application as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing a space. Summer is our busiest season and often fills up by the end of February. We often receive summer applications the summer before.

Questions? Please email [email protected]

EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Length of Stay: Approximately 1 month

Who Can Apply: Anyone can apply; however accepted applicants are typically undergraduates and recent graduates in Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology or other relevant degrees.

Accepting Applications: Year-round

Program Details: This program provides a short practical experience in the management of captive animals. Externs will have the opportunity to observe the daily operations of a non-profit animal care facility. Due to the short time period of this program, Externs will not be cleared on all activities, such as tours or giving medications to animals, which Interns are able to participate in. The main focus will be on shadowing Staff, Interns, and longer-standing Volunteers to learn about the Park’s daily operations. Participants will gain similar experiences to that of the internship program and can voluntarily choose similar activities to that of Interns. However, this program is not as strictly structured as an Internship. Externs have the freedom to choose their activities and are generally independent, working on specific goals that they would like to accomplish during their time here. The Extern experience will only be as in depth and involved as the Extern participant makes an effort for it to be.

Typical Activities Include:

  • Job Shadowing of Wolf Park Staff – Externs may follow the staff in the following areas of: animal husbandry, park management, non-profit marketing, and business. Including interviewing the staff in more detail on specific subjects.
  • Extended Animal Observation – Externs will be allowed observe our animals at times that are convenient to them.
  • Educational Sessions – Externs are allowed to view our seminars in their entirety as well as any offsite lectures during their stay here. Of course, Externs will also be invited to attend our weekly educational sessions that are given.

Costs: $595 for the one month with an additional cost of $395 for extra months. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of acceptance to hold your space, with the balance due in full one month before your arrival. Housing is included. Food, transportation to and from our facility, as well as for groceries, souvenirs, visas and other expenses are not included in the program price.

Application Process: Externs are required to submit an application for consideration.

Applications can be emailed, mailed or faxed to our facility. Once the application is received, it is reviewed by the Intern Coordinator. If you appear to be a good match for our program, the next step is an interview. This can be conducted over the phone or by Skype. Interviews are prearranged by the Intern Coordinator and applicant between the hours of 10am to 5pm EST Monday thru Friday and generally take about an hour.

After the interview, if you are accepted, your acceptance will be contingent on a background check, which we conduct after receipt of your $200 non-refundable deposit to hold your space. In the event that you are denied entry into the program based on your background check, $175 of your deposit will be returned to you. Full payment for the program is due one month before your arrival.

Application Deadlines: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Priority is given to those applicants with relevant experience or studying towards fields that are most relevant to Wolf Park. We typically have fewer applicants for the winter season, so if you are applying for in Internship or Externship, we may be more lenient about accepting you based on area of study at that time. Submit your application as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing a space. Summer is our busiest season, and often fills up by the end of February.

Questions? Please email [email protected]

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a fox standing in the dirt
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS