Thank you for your interest in joining the animal care staff at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. In general, interns and volunteers work as keeper assistants in our animal care department and will typically be assigned to work with a keeper on a day to day basis. Interns/Volunteers assist paid staff with any duties related to the care of our animals and their habitats, as well as general park operations such as trash pickup and grounds keeping. Animal husbandry duties include diet preparation, exhibit and holding area maintenance and cleaning, conducting observations for signs of animal health, recordkeeping, and designing and providing approved environmental enrichment for our collection. Interns may also be asked to complete an assigned project under the discretion of the animal keepers and/or the Supervisor of Animal Programs.
The internship program at Oatland is designed to provide training and experience to those candidates seeking to work in an animal related field, and prefers candidates that are pursuing a degree in biology or a related discipline. Internship/Volunteer positions can be extremely rewarding to an animal lover or wildlife enthusiasts but do not guarantee contact with all of the animals on the property and will not provide physical contact with most of the animals for safety reasons.
We require a commitment of 400 hours total with 24 hours a week minimum. At this time, Internships within the animal care department are voluntary and do not qualify for a stipend. If your college supports your time here as appropriate for school credit, we are happy to fill out any paperwork typically required to document your efforts. Oatland cannot provide any housing for interns at this time. Internships are currently offered on a rolling, as needed basis.
The majority of animals in Oatland’s collection consist of habituated wild animals that were either born in captivity or injured in the wild, and therefore non-releasable. Working with animals is an inherently dangerous endeavor and applicants should be aware that risks are involved with the position. Safety protocols are in place for this purpose and interns/volunteers will be asked to respect such protocols at all times or they will be asked to leave the position.
Animal husbandry is by nature a very messy and physically strenuous job, and interns must be able to meet the physical requirements of the position and perform tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Keepers and interns work outside in all manner of weather, sometimes inclement, in a range of temperatures from freezing to 100 degree heat. Interns will also be required to perform their duties on uneven, sometimes slippery surfaces. It is the intern/volunteer’s responsibility to provide and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
Must be 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma/GED
Must be able to commit to a schedule providing a minimum of 24 hours/week
Must be willing to work holidays and weekends if necessary
Must maintain a current tetanus vaccination (within 5 yrs)
Must provide a negative TB test result within the last year
Must be able to climb ladders and stairs
Must be able to lift and carry items weighing up to 50 pounds
Must be able to load and operate wheel barrows loaded up to 150 pounds
Must be able to operate small machinery such as weed eaters and mowers.
Must be agile and flexible enough to maneuver around animals and enclosures
Must have average vision and hearing
Must be in good physical condition and able to work efficiently and with stamina.
To apply for the animal care internship/volunteer position, please send a copy of your cover letter and resume to the address listed below. Depending upon available space and Department need, you may then be contacted for an interview.
Click here for some Internship FAQ's
Attn: Animal Care Internships
Oatland Island Wildlife Center
711 Sandtown Road
Savannah, GA 31410