Employer: Phoenix Zoo
Job Title: Carnivore Intern
Received Credit: Yes
Description of the Organization
The organization through which I received my internship was the Phoenix Zoo. They are the largest non-profit zoo in the U.S. and have been open for 51 years.
Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed
While working at the zoo I helped keepers do daily observations, feed and medicate the animals, provide behavioral enrichment, and clean the exhibits and night houses each day. I also helped with observations with the introduction of the baby Andean bear to his outdoor exhibit. Keepers would also utilize my help by having me complete some of their tasks if they were running behind for the day.
Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience
I've gained experience with carnivores, which I will need for my future career goals, and I've learned that working with animals in a zoo environment is what I want to do with my life. I've learned a lot about the animals I was able to work with on a regular basis (cheetahs, painted dogs, giant anteaters, maned wolf, caracal, and ocelot), and even a quite a bit about the other animals at the zoo. I've also gained some knowledge about how zoos are ran and how things are done throughout the zoo.
Favorite Part of the Experience
My favorite part about this experience was being able to be around the animals all day, and watch them and how they would interact with everything. I also enjoyed learning about what each animal preferred for enrichment over other items. It was really cool to learn the specific likes of each animal.
How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals
This experience has strengthened my future career goals, and has made he feel even more confident in them. My goal is to work with big cats some day (especially lions) and getting a taste of what it would be like has made me want it even more. I'm very grateful to have been given this experience.