Back to search results
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

To fulfil a lifelong ambition of working with/seeing pangolins to learn more about their biology, behaviour and threats facing them as such sought-after mammals. To gain experience in a different kind of zoological establishment (a rescue centre) with wild animals instead of captive animals that I've worked with in zoos.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Organisation website

Application process

Email expressing my interest and CV submission.

Main responsibilities

Cleaning the enclosures of the animals, inspecting the animals for injuries or parasites, preparing and providing medication alongside the vet staff, preparing enrichment activities for the animals, general upkeep of the centre, installing climbing apparatus into newly built quarantine buildings, behavioural observations of animals to assess any health issues.

Typical day

Cleaning of quarantine or outdoor enclosures in the morning, washing and replacing the floors, wooden boards and towels pangolins used for sleeping. Then eyedrops were given to pangolins with eye infections. Any spare time in the morning was used to prepare enrichment activities. Afternoon activities were predominantly enrichment tasks, with additional tasks also done (e.g. enclosure construction). In late afternoon foods were prepared for the binturongs for their night time feeds. On some evenings I'd go back to the centre to do behavioural observations of certain animals that needed aspects of their health assessing (such as one pangolin who'd had their tail partially amputated).

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

Working closely with and getting to observe animals that are rare or absent from zoological collections in Europe, learning more about their biology and behaviour (as well as what isn't yet known).

Challenging aspects

The onset of the monsoon season made work more difficult, particularly with the occasional power cut.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

Mainly literature research using university collections to garner background knowledge and new research for the centre staff.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

I'd like to work more predominantly in in-situ conservation now, doing foundation research on poorly known and assessed species, particularly with groups of animals that are very poorly studied (such as freshwater fish).

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Do something you enjoy and always wanted to do, it's more likely to benefit your CV and interviews if you actually enjoy and speak positively of your work experience. Even if it doesn't help get a job at the end of the procedure at least you've done something you enjoyed anyway!

You may also be interested in...

Form completed: 27 Jul 2017

Back to search results