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|Summer 2011 interns during a tiger sedation.|
We offer 4 summer husbandry internships, these positions are currently unpaid with no housing provided (we are working on both of these to be able to provide some pay and housing). Interns work 40 hours a week side by side with keepers and we are flexible if students have certain interests. Interns also conduct public tours 2-3 times per week and work in the petting zoo.
My Alaska Zoo internship and the impact it had on me:
The internship experience I had at The Alaska Zoo was truly one that managed to change several aspects of my life almost simultaneously. This may seem extreme or perhaps an over-exaggeration on my part, but it is honestly true. I knew going in that I would be able to experience work as a zookeeper, but it was the fact that I was treated as an equal and a competent zookeeper that really changed me.
Being a keeper isn't just about cutting up vegetables and shoveling manure. You are there for the animal and the zoo visitor, both need you in different ways. I was able to learn and experience this first hand and it has not only made me a more personable and approachable person with strangers (i.e zoo visitors), but it has also given me a new sense of responsibility, to not only myself and the environment around me, but also to those future zoological animals that I will hopefully have the amazing opportunity to work with. In the end through the experiences of this internship I became a more responsible, observant, and environmentally mindful team-member.
If I could have done this internship year round with no concerns for bills, transportation, housing, etc, I would have done so in a heartbeat. It was simply one of those opportunities you never wanted to end.
Fall/Winter 2013 Animal Care Intern