wildlife rescue internships

Internships at Operation Wildlife

Internship Program

Looking for an internship near you?

The aim of the Operation WildLife Intern program is to provide a unique experiential learning opportunity to undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing career opportunities in veterinary, biology, zoology, or other related fields. We designed this program to provide students with hands-on, real-world biological experience.


A distinct advantage

Interns who have completed an Operation WildLife internship gain a distinct advantage in the career marketplace. An internship with us will help you develop problem-solving skills, leadership attributes, knowledge, and hands-on experience—all things that today’s employers are seeking. An internship with Operation WildLife gives you an advantage over others when seeking placement in competitive veterinary and graduate study programs. OWL interns have gone on to prestigious jobs and schools such as:

  • San Diego Zoo
  • UC Davis Veterinary School
  • Kansas State University Veterinary School
  • Peregrine Fund

Our internships comprise twelve interns in a common semester. Intern candidates must be able to work independently with little supervision. They must be willing to commit to the internship for at least one semester and commit to the terms of agreement. All interns are required to enroll for course credit and complete all necessary forms.



In our internship program, interns will serve as wildlife caretakers at our primary facility. Interns will assist mainly with the day-to-day animal care and treatment.

Interns are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week during the Spring and Fall programs (only a couple of interns are accepted at this time because our animal load is lower) and 38-40 hours per week during the Summer program. We require interns to work the different shifts we have available so they can learn all aspects of the field. Be prepared to coordinate your class and work schedules with your internship schedule.


In order to successfully complete the program, interns must:

Complete 480 hours’ total time

Work at the facility and with the public fulfilling intern requirements.

Demonstrate leadership

Assist volunteers with animal care and answer questions after completing your training.

Complete one major biology-focused project

Complete a biology-based project the director approves.

Complete a one-page essay to be printed in our OWL Newsletter.

The subject matter will be something you learned, experienced, or an overall reflection on the internship.

Assist with one public education event

Public Education events focus on educating the public about our organization, our Pub Ed birds, and generating revenue.

Assist with one maintenance project

Assist the maintenance coordinator with one major project around the facility.

Attend a minimum of two monthly meetings

We hold OWL monthly organizational meetings the first Wednesday evening of each month.


You will receive evaluations: one 60 days from the beginning of your internship, a final evaluation, and peer evaluations. Final and 60-day evaluations will be submitted to the sponsoring professor.


“Amazing life experience that has helped shape my career” – Jill, 2019 Intern

“So grateful for the amount of trust placed in the interns and that we were always allowed to be as hands on as possible with the process” – Chloe, 2018 Intern

” OWL taught me so much about hard work and respecting the natural world around me.” – Haley, 2018 Intern

Apply to OWL’s internship program


Meet Operation WildLife

Operation Wildlife provides rehabilitation and veterinary services to injured and orphaned wild animals in Kansas. We also provide wildlife education to the citizens of northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. We are the largest publicly funded wildlife clinic in Kansas, according to Kansas Wildlife and Parks statistics. We receive thousands of wild animals each year, and the release rate averages 69% from year to year; that’s 20% higher than the national average of 49%.

OWL is staffed by volunteers, interns, and one full-time staff member. Besides our many trained wildlife rehabilitators, our professional volunteer staff includes seven veterinarians, one registered physical therapist, and two nutritional counselors.