Job Postings

Animal Care Internship


Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Inc

Closing Date
November 1, 2021

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is striving to see the end of exotic animal exploitation and private ownership of big cats and bears within our lifetime. These magnificent animals deserve to enjoy life without fear, abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Through education, advocacy, and quality care, we are making strides in changing a nation’s mindset. TCWR accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, rescuing animals from dire situations, offering them a forever home, and providing the best animal care possible in captivity. We have created a place that these animals can finally get the attention and freedom that they deserve. With your help, we will expand our public educational outreach, education programming, advocacy work, and continue to rescue animals.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit, we rescue animals in need and provide them with lifetime care through our donors’ generosity. We are a strict hands-off facility, with absolutely no contact with our animal residents. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell, or trade, the animals in our care. Safety is our priority; we have strict safety guidelines that every team member must obey.

TCWR’s internship program began in 1997, more than 350 interns from all over the globe have completed the program. We provide a quality background for individuals in the animal care industry, but we also recruit team members for animal care and education positions from our internship programs.

Internship Description

Located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Turpentine Creek is seeking full-time, 6-month Animal Care Interns. The Refuge is a non-profit facility and accredited GFAS sanctuary for exotic cats, bears, and other exotic animals. Our interns work very closely with our seven animal care staff members, which is often physically demanding. Applicants must be self-motivated, with a high desire to provide the best care available to animals. Applicants must also be observant and able to keep detailed records. The ability to work in a team environment or independently is essential. A Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology, Biology, Animal Science, or related field is preferred; applications considered with experience in exotic animal husbandry.

Job Description

Work in an Accredited Animal Sanctuary- responsible for the daily care of tigers, lions, cougars, black bears, brown bears, leopards, servals, bobcats, hybrids, a jaguar, and a coatimundi. Duties include animal husbandry, enrichment, and record-keeping of animal behavior.

Prepare and Maintain Animal Housing- maintaining animal and customer safety through daily exhibit checks. Includes routine landscaping, cleaning habitats of underbrush, and providing animal enrichment.

Prepare Diets and Monitor Feeding- Prepare diets with consideration to specific animal needs, and monitor every animal’s food intake. Keep close records of every animal’s diet and physical health. Control food quality and hygiene standards of produce and meat.

Monitor and Maintain Animal Health- maintain daily records of animal behavior and health, identifying abnormal behavior and sign of illness. Administer daily medications. Prepare and keep quarantine areas for recent rescues.

Restrain and Assist in Moving Animals- assist animal care staff in relocating animals to more appropriate habitats. Follow all safety procedures in loading, unloading, and during the transport of animals.

Identify Behavioral Needs and Improve Husbandry- provide approved animal enrichment, including environmental and scent enrichment.

Maintain Exhibits and Assist Design- aid in designing and constructing ½-1-acre animal habitats. Maintain exhibits daily and detect/control pets.

Conduct Educational Information to Visitors- responsible for greeting customers and giving guided tours throughout the facility. Educate the public about each resident species and the direction of the facility’s future.
The ability to lift fifty pounds
The ability to live on-site for six months
Standing for extended periods

Education and Pre-requisites

At least a Bachelor’s Degree in an animal-related field (Zoology, Biology, Animal Psychology, Veterinary Sciences, and other animal-related areas)
Two professional references

Compensation and benefits

$50 weekly stipend, onsite housing, free wifi

Application instructions

Email your cover letter, resume, and two letters of recommendation (required) to Emily McCormack, Curator

To keep our animal residents, keepers, and visitors safe, masks are currently required at all times while on property. With the program starting Spring 2022, applicants will be updated accordingly to all necessary precautions for the internship program.