Wildlife Conservation Internship – White Oak Conservation
Author: Sarah Buckley
C. Tate Holbrook, Ph.D.
During my internship, I worked with White Oak Conservation, a conservation facility in Yulee, FL whose mission is to “save endangered wildlife and habitats through sustainable conservation breeding, education and responsible land stewardship.” During my time at White Oak, I worked side-by-side with our wildlife specialists gaining valuable hands-on experience maintaining and caring for 17 different species, such as Giraffes, Rhinos, Okapi, and Grevy’s Zebra. My duties included feeding, cleaning, observing behaviors, animal handling, diet preparation, proper maintenance of enclosures, veterinary care, and neonatal care. For our internships, we had three service-learning outcomes. The first was civic learning. The need for my internship was obvious – we’re protecting and breeding endangered animals in order to help preserve species. The second outcome is academic enhancement. Conservation Biology originally introduced me to White Oak and by interning there I was able to expand and go deeper into what I learned in that class. The last outcome is personal growth. I learned so much in this internship. Not just with working with new animals that I had never worked with before and gaining knowledge with them, but also by working in a new environment with different challenges. This helped me learn about more about my strengths and weaknesses that I can then use to improve on in the future as I move on in my education and career.