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: A $150 refundable deposit is required at the time of acceptance to hold your space. 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 $150 refundable deposit to hold your space.
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]
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: A 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 refundable deposit to hold your space. In the event that you are denied entry into the program based on your background check, a portion of your deposit will be returned to you.
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]
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Since Externships are shorter than Internships, Externs do more shadowing than hands-on work. Externs may not have time to be cleared to give tours or give medication to the animals. The Externship program is less structured that the Internship program.
There is no “typical day” since Interns help wherever they are needed most. This might include setting up and helping out with a special event like Wine & Wolves, building a fence or mowing grass, attending a weekly lecture, preparing our newsletter and other mailings, watching research, or creating enrichment.
Days at Wolf Park often start early. In the morning, Interns give medications to our animals, and then start on daily chores such as butchering and feeding. Daily routines vary from season to season. During our high season, Interns spend the afternoons staffing the Visitor’s Center (gift shop) and giving tours to visitors. Days often end late, especially during Howl Night and After Hours programs. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to observe research or vet procedures – it all depends what we happen to have going on during your stay.
Externs also don’t have a “typical day” since they spend their time observing whatever is happening at the time. This might include shadowing our Animal Care staff during their daily routines or watching research. Externs are invited to participate in as many Intern activities as possible. We also ask our Externs to help out wherever they are needed. This might mean checking in visitors for a special event or fence building. Externs may not have much opportunity for contact with the animals.
Interns are provided with onsite housing. The five bedrooms are basic, and Interns and Externs share rooms (same gender only). The house is older, however air conditioning and heating is available. There is only one shower, a communal kitchen, and a second half bathroom. There is a shared washer and dryer. Sharing a house with up to ten people can be challenging, especially during the summer when you come in from chores like butchering and only have a short period of time to grab lunch and change into your tour clothes. Free wi-fi internet is provided.
Keep in mind that you will need money for food, transportation and money for going out. Wolf Park is in a rural setting, but is only about 15 minutes from Lafayette, where Purdue University is located. Interns that can bring their own vehicle are encouraged to do so. Lafayette has lots of restaurants and local festivals during the summer. We hold “Ethnic Night” once a week at a local ethnic restaurant, which have included Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican, etc. Interns, staff and volunteers are all invited to join these nights out. Interns also tend to spend more than expected in our gift shop!
You can apply any time – earlier is better! We typically turn people away for our summer session due to a high volume of applications. Some people that apply for summer and don’t make it in end up requesting to come the following summer. For winter months, two or three months out is usually sufficient. That being said, plans change and life happens – so we do accept last-minute applications.