My “Wild Life”: My Internship at a Wildlife Sanctuary

This summer I have the privilege of interning at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary, a nonprofit rehabilitation center for injured, orphaned, and sick wildlife. My main roles at the sanctuary include working with licensed rehabilitators to establish diets, assess medical needs, administer treatment, and work to release the wildlife that is brought to us. My leadership qualities and responsibility for both the animals and other volunteers has helped me grow as a person, as well as an aspiring veterinarian. From this internship I hope to gain the invaluable knowledge of handling and caring for wildlife. I believe there are some things you can’t learn in a classroom, but rather from experience. For instance, raccoons are in the small group of animals that can eat grapes, and to feed a baby skunk, you have to use its tail to cover its spray glands so you don’t have to take a tomato bath. I have been fortunate enough to learn how to administer subcutaneous fluids to fawns and how to treat hypoglycemia and hypothermia. These valuable experiences are equipping me with the skills and knowledge to become a knowledgeable and trustworthy vet. I hope to continue learning new treatments and dietary needs and work with an even more diverse group of animals. Working here has encouraged me to branch out into new fields of veterinary medicine, apart from small animal, and continue to work with exotic and wildlife animals.

Michelle D’Alessandro

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2 Responses to My “Wild Life”: My Internship at a Wildlife Sanctuary

  1. Elizabeth Kenny says:

    Wow! Your internship sounds amazing and very hands-on! The fact that you you are able to handle so many responsibilities at this wildlife sanctuary shows how passionate and dedicated you are to the health and welfare of the animals. And I had no idea that raccoons enjoyed grapes! Thanks for sharing and good luck with the rest of your internship!

  2. Blake Hammert says:


    I am glad to hear you are doing well! This sounds like an awesome experience, and I agree that these experiences you are learning most likely would not be able to be learned in the classroom! Also, great photos – it looks like feeding the animals would be a bit troublesome, but you seem to have it down! I imagine this would be a great experience for your future career aspirations!!! What other animals do you believe you will work with throughout the summer?

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