Internship Programs

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary offers three internship programs:

 

Exotic Animal Care

Hospitality / Guest Services

Maintenance

Now seeking candidates for 2020!

The Exotic Animal Care Internship program is an immersive, unparalleled learning opportunity that enables college students and graduates to gain broad practical experience as integral members of the sanctuary team. The sanctuary is home to nearly 100 wildcats, bears, wild canines, reptiles, primates, birds, and various other mammals. These residents reside here for the REST of their lives. The sanctuary is also an educational facility that offers a wide variety of programs for members of the public, schools, and more, and manages an on-site retail store. Black Pine does not buy, sell, breed, trade, or exploit animals for the sake of entertainment. This is a "no direct contact" facility; there is no dangerous interaction with potentially dangerous animals.

Animal care interns carry out animal husbandry tasks, safe animal enrichment activities, and will collaborate with the veterinary team to provide treatment for illnesses and/or injuries, and assist all members of the paid staff with housekeeping, light maintenance, public relations, and more.

This is a 10 week program, with participants working full-time to complete 400 hours of on-the-job training and teamwork.

 

Over 135 people have completed our exotic animal care internship program since 2005. Many have gone on to secure paid positions at veterinary clinics and hospitals, animal shelters, research firms, and at some of the nation's finest institutions, including:

 

Shedd Aquarium

Brookfield Zoo

Tulsa Zoo

Columbian Park Zoo

Honolulu Zoo

Denver Zoo

Texas Parks & Wildlife

Columbus Humane Society

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo

Avian & Exotic Animal Care

Potawatomie Zoo

Dallas Zoo
OdySea Aquarium

Bears, Etc. 

Compensation

Interns are not compensated. In order to assist with expenses for those who are unable to commute, a furnished apartment may be provided for use. 

Resources

Interns are provided a staff handbook and must abide by verbal and written expectations, instructions, policies, and guidelines. All participants must read all materials provided in advance, and sign all documents required, prior to beginning their internship. Documents requiring a signature may include a waiver of liability and compensation, proof of receipt of staff handbook, and an internship agreement that outlines the commitments of both the intern and Black Pine.  Additional written work instructions, charts, and other resources will be posted and made available for reference at any time. Black Pine's training program requires all trainees to complete training "assessments", administered online, following one-on-one hands-on training on assigned tasks. Training materials are available online upon acceptance into the program.

Evaluations

Each intern may be provided written performance evaluation(s), upon request. Feedback will be given verbally, routinely, throughout the internship period in an effort to fulfill Black Pine's commitment to education and risk management. Letters of recommendation, after an intern fulfills their commitment, may be provided upon request, and indefinitely, to aid in job searches and admission into post-graduate programs, veterinary school, etc. Any additional evaluations, as may be required for college credit, will also be provided upon request.

Rewards & Apparel

Interns are provided the same opportunities to earn "milestone rewards” as Black Pine's volunteer staff members. Rewards include discounts on merchandise in the Wolf Den Gifts & Things and free admission to special events. All interns will be provided staff logo apparel to be worn throughout their internship period to meet 'uniform' requirements. Optionally, interns may purchase additional apparel at a discount. 

College/University Credit Hours

While interns may be eligible to earn college credit for completing an internship, the responsibility lies upon the student to determine, with their college or university advisor, what is required. Interns will be responsible for communicating requirements to Black Pine as soon as possible to determine if they may be met within the internship program and organization’s own policies and guidelines

Minimum Requirements for Animal Care Interns:
  • At least 18 years old with valid driver’s license**

  • Minimum commitment of 10 weeks on site to complete a minimum of 400 hours of service

  • Available to work weekdays and some weekend days, holidays & possibly evenings

  • Be able to lift up to 30 pounds

  • Able to stand/walk for extended periods of time

  • Able and willing to read and follow verbal and written work instructions and work independently

  • Able and willing to work in an environment where exposed to animals, animal by-products, animal carcasses (feed), dirt, excrement, unpleasant smells, and possibly noisy conditions

  • Willing to assist with administrative, customer relations, and housekeeping tasks as well as animal care

  • Able to commit to upholding all safety and personnel policies, and support the overall non-profit mission

  • Must provide proof of tetanus/booster shot within past seven years and a negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test result

**Black Pine prefers participants have their own transportation, however arrangements may be made for carpooling with local staff members.  If transportation is a challenge, please disclose the need when applying for a position.
 

Internship applications are accepted year-round with start and end dates to be determined on a case by case basis.

Resources

Interns are not compensated. Housing is not available.

Compensation

Interns are provided a staff handbook and must abide by verbal and written expectations, instructions, policies, and guidelines. All participants must read all materials provided in advance, and sign all documents required, prior to beginning their internship. Documents requiring a signature may include a waiver of liability and compensation, proof of receipt of staff handbook, and an internship agreement that outlines the commitments of both the intern and Black Pine.  Additional written work instructions, charts, and other resources will be posted and made available for reference at any time. Black Pine's training program may require trainees to complete training "assessments", administered online, following one-on-one hands-on training on assigned tasks. Training materials may be available online upon acceptance into the program.

Evaluations

Each intern may be provided written performance evaluation(s), upon request. Feedback will be given verbally, routinely, throughout the internship period in an effort to fulfill Black Pine's commitment to education and excellent service. Letters of recommendation, after an intern fulfills their commitment, may be provided upon request, and indefinitely, to aid in job searches and other career-related endeavors. Any additional evaluations, as may be required for college credit, will also be provided upon request.

Rewards & Apparel

Interns are provided the same opportunities to earn "milestone rewards” as Black Pine's volunteer staff members. Rewards include discounts on merchandise in the Wolf Den Gifts & Things and free admission to special events. All interns will be provided staff logo apparel, if required, to be worn throughout their internship period.  Optionally, interns may purchase additional apparel at a discount. 

College/University Credit Hours

While interns may be eligible to earn college credit for completing an internship, the responsibility lies upon the student to determine, with their college or university advisor, what is required. Interns will be responsible for communicating requirements to Black Pine as soon as possible to determine if they may be met within the internship program and organization’s own policies and guidelines

Minimum Requirements for Hospitality / Guest Service Interns:
  • At least 16 years old with valid driver’s license**

  • Minimum commitment of 8 weeks on site to complete a minimum of 200 hours of service

  • Available to work when the sanctuary is open to the public

  • Be able to lift up to 30 pounds

  • Able to stand for extended periods of time

  • Able and willing to read and follow verbal and written work instructions and work independently

  • Able and willing to work in an environment where exposed to animals, animal by-products, animal carcasses (feed)

  • Basic computer / keyboarding skills

  • Good math skills

  • Good verbal communication skills

  • Able to commit to upholding all safety and personnel policies, and support the overall non-profit mission
     

**Black Pine prefers participants have their own transportation, however arrangements may be made for carpooling with local staff members.  If transportation is a challenge, please disclose the need when applying for a position.
 

Internship applications are accepted year-round with start and end dates to be determined on a case by case basis.

The Hospitality / Guest Services Internship program provides a hands-on learning opportunity to gain practical experience in public relations and public speaking in a "tourist attraction" setting that includes public parking and directional signs, retail store, multi-line telephone system and recorded menu options, public restrooms, and outdoor pavilions, landscapes, an online retail store, online reservations system, and more. 

 

Black Pine's mission to educate people about responsible animal care and conservation provides a great platform for participants to learn how to engage with all ages by telephone and in person, to provide excellent customer service, set appropriate expectations, respond to a variety of requests and needs, and to help ensure a high quality experience that focuses on education and family-friendly experiences.

 

Internship participants will carry out a wide variety of tasks and assignments, including but not limited to:  welcoming guests, providing oral orientations to set appropriate expectations for behavior around the animals, opening/closing the point of sale (POS) computerized system, transacting admissions and retail merchandise purchases, maintaining tourism and organizational literature and merchandise displays, data entry and database management, online reservation system management, answering phones and returning phone calls, general housekeeping, and general upkeep of all guest-related service areas within the sanctuary grounds.

This program offers a flexible commitment, with a minimum of 200 hours of service over a minimum of eight weeks (an average of 24 hours/week) More time may be invested. 

 

Interns are provided a staff handbook and must abide by verbal and written expectations, instructions, policies, and guidelines. All participants must read all materials provided in advance, and sign all documents required, prior to beginning their internship. Documents requiring a signature may include a waiver of liability and compensation, proof of receipt of staff handbook, and an internship agreement that outlines the commitments of both the intern and Black Pine. 

Resources

Interns are not compensated. Housing is not available.

Compensation

Additional written work instructions, charts, and other resources will be posted and made available for reference at any time. Black Pine's training program may require trainees to complete training "assessments", administered online, following one-on-one hands-on training on assigned tasks. Training materials are available online upon acceptance into the program.

Evaluations

Each intern may be provided written performance evaluation(s), upon request. Feedback will be given verbally, routinely, throughout the internship period in an effort to fulfill Black Pine's commitment to education and risk management. Letters of recommendation, after an intern fulfills their commitment, may be provided upon request, and indefinitely, to aid in job searches and other career-related endeavors. Any additional evaluations, as may be required for college credit, will also be provided upon request.

Rewards & Apparel

Interns are provided the same opportunities to earn "milestone rewards” as Black Pine's volunteer staff members. Rewards include discounts on merchandise in the Wolf Den Gifts & Things and free admission to special events. All interns will be provided staff logo apparel to be worn throughout their internship period to meet 'uniform' requirements. Optionally, interns may purchase additional apparel at a discount. 

College/University Credit Hours

While interns may be eligible to earn college credit for completing an internship, the responsibility lies upon the student to determine, with their college or university advisor, what is required. Interns will be responsible for communicating requirements to Black Pine as soon as possible to determine if they may be met within the internship program and organization’s own policies and guidelines

Minimum Requirements for Maintenance Interns:
  • At least 18 years old with valid driver’s license**

  • Minimum commitment of 8 weeks on site to complete a minimum of 200 hours of service

  • Be able to lift up to 60 pounds

  • Able to stand, walk, bend, and/or lift for extended periods of time

  • Able and willing to read and follow verbal and written work instructions and work independently

  • Able and willing to work in an environment where exposed to animals, animal by-products, animal carcasses (feed), dirt, excrement, unpleasant smells, and possibly noisy conditions

  • Basic understanding of use of hand tools, power tools, and safe operating procedures

  • Good math skills

  • Previous education and/or experience in general maintenance (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, landscaping, and/or carpentry) preferred

  • Able to commit to upholding all safety and personnel policies, and support the overall non-profit mission

  • Must provide proof of tetanus/booster shot within past seven years and a negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test result

**Black Pine prefers participants have their own transportation, however arrangements may be made for carpooling with local staff members.  If transportation is a challenge, please disclose the need when applying for a position.
 

Internship applications are accepted year-round with start and end dates to be determined on a case by case basis.

The Maintenance Internship program offers an opportunity to gain practical experience in maintaining buildings and structures; electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other systems; as well as general upkeep of animal habitats and features, landscapes, public gathering places, restrooms and septic facilities, pavements, fences, and more.

Internship participants will carry out a variety of tasks and assignments including, but not limited to:  carpentry, electrical repairs, plumbing repairs, mowing, trimming, fence construction/repairs, preventive maintenance of equipment and vehicles, inventory and purchasing, development of requests for proposals, and more. 

 

This program offers a flexible commitment, with a minimum of 200 hours of service over a minimum of eight weeks (or an average of 24 hours/week). 

 

PARC, Inc.

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary
1426 W. 300 N.
P.O. Box 02
Albion, IN 46701
(260) 636-7383

Questions or comments?

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We do not buy, sell, breed, trade, or use animals for commercial purposes.

Named one of the "Best Tiger Sanctuaries in the U.S."

Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity Seal.
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