A Career in Zoology

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A Career in Zoology

A Career in Zoology:The Life of a Wildlife Rehabilitator

Ayla AdamsMadison BlakesleyMadeleine RobertsEthan Nguyen

- Nearly 200 different species of animals are rehabilitated in an average year.- Wildlife rehabilitation provides public education about the dangers wild animals face in an increasingly human-dominated landscape.

Wildlife rehabilitation involves acquiring and caring for orphaned, sick, or injured wild animals, all for the purpose of releasing them back to the wild. You have tasks such as cleaning cages of animals that are recovering, feeding animals, treating any illnesses, analyzing blood samples, and euthanizing animals who are unable to recover from injuries. Wildlife Rehabilitators are exposed to a wide variety of animals in various states, so they need to have the concentration and a calm state when working with the scared animals. You could work out in the field, like other country’s wildlife habitat with a Wildlife Rehabilitation program or work in wildlife rehabilitation centers. Centers are generally more busy in the summer, making long days that can last up to 10 hours. This job can be emotionally draining, as they are constantly working with depressed, deprived, sick, and injured animals. Overall, nursing animals back to a healthy state and returning them to natural environments is what your job will entail.

One of the best options found for education is the Animal Behavior Institute. They are a college devoted to helping students who want a career in zoology, and they even have a special program devoted to becoming a trained rehabilitator. The tuition cost for the class is $5,550, but before enrolling a student must:- Have completed 5 online courses (or 15 credits) and have a field requirement of 40 hours hands-on experience from an approved institution.- Take Environmental Education & Outreach, Principles of Wildlife Rehabilitation, Wildlife Management, Animal Nutrition, and Health & Disease, along with an elective such as: Animal Enrichment, Animal Training, or Animal Behavior.- Have have completed high school or have a GEDA student can also volunteer or intern with veterinarians to get first training.

What Does it Take to be a Wildlife Rehabilitator?Besides the schooling and previous experience, you have to be willing to work, and you have to be willing to give your best effort. This isn't a low energy level job -- every day, you're working to save an animal's life, improve its conditions or its health. It takes a lot of commitment and rigorous attention.

Due to Dealing with Sick and Injured Animals a lot, is There an Emotional Toll?Sometimes yes, but after a while you learn to build up a tolerance for what you see. What we deal with is sad, and sometimes our efforts aren't enough as we lose an animal, but eventually it won't affect a person as much as it did at first. The first few times you're in the field or witness a death are hard, but once you've been doing it for a while you gain a more professional attitude about it. Feelings of sadness and loss still come about, but it's easier to handle them.

Other Good-to-Know Information

Is the Job Worth It at the End of the Day?Yes, all the time. While the job is exhausting both emotionally and physically sometimes, being able to help animals in the way we do is so rewarding. You can really see the difference you're making.

What Would You Say Are the Basic Skills You Need for this Job?Besides great worth ethic, positive attitude, and a love for what you do, critical thinkingand problem solving skills are important. There are times where we don't know what's wrong with an animal, or we don't have the equipment we need to help the animal immediately. In those situations you have to be able to think quickly and efficiently.

What Types of Animals Do You Deal with on a Daily Basis?It really depends on where you end up. Wildlife rehabilitators are practically on every continent, so you could be saving an animal as simple as a pigeon or coyote in a suburban area, or if move across seas you could be in the Sahara helping more exotic species.

What is It?

The InterviewWe called ABI and were able to get some questions answered about the job.

- Veterinarian (participating in any of the following: technician, assistant, nurse, parasitoligist, radiologist, dentist, or pathologist)- Trainers- Running private wildlife rehabilitation clinics - Animal caretaker - Animal shelter worker - Zoologist- Park naturalist

IncomeApproximately $21,000 per year


- An unlicensed citizen may NOT attempt to rehabilitate an animal on their own. They also can't possess or transport injured wildlife for greater than 24 hours unless you are given permission.- Citizens can volunteer or partner with rehabilitation permit holders

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