White Oak conserves and sustains some of the earth’s rarest species through sustainable conservation breeding, education, and responsible land stewardship. The conservation programs span 700 acres along the St. Marys River in northeast Florida, surrounded by 17,000 acres of mixed forest and wetlands that make up the beautiful White Oak property.

White Oak’s animal programs are widely recognized for their natural environments and large spaces, species appropriate social structures and regularly reproducing populations. The low intensity management style results in animals that exhibit natural behaviors and resiliency, making them prime candidates for recovery and release programs.

The Carnivore Conservation Husbandry Internship provides participants hands-on management experience with conservation breeding populations of carnivore species. The internship offers direct experience working alongside staff in all aspects of animal care. Selected interns will work within the carnivore team caring for species such as cheetah, maned wolf, and Florida panthers. The carnivore team manages one of the largest and most successful cheetah breeding programs in North America and is one of the only facilities to rehabilitate and release Florida panthers back to the wild, in partnership with state agencies. Candidates should have a keen interest in carnivore husbandry, breeding and captive management with focus on individual animal behavior.

Skills, Experiences, and Duties:

Interns will have a detailed list of learning objectives which may include:

  • Animal husbandry – general feeding and cleaning
  • Animal behavior and observation, including reproduction and parental care
  • Diet preparation and medication
  • Voluntary medical care and chemical immobilizations
  • Protected-contact and Free-contact management
  • Sample collection
  • Enclosure maintenance
  • Intra-facility transportation
  • Class-1 animal safety procedures
  • Observation of veterinary care and necropsies

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Candidates must have previous experience working with animals, domestic or exotic.
  • Candidates should be currently enrolled, or recently graduated (less than 2 years) from high school, college or university, with a career focus that reflects White Oak’s missionconservation biology, wildlife management, animal science, veterinary, research, or education.
  • Candidates should be self-motivated, able to work well alone and with others, and willing to learn new skills and make the most of the internship experience.
  • Candidates should exhibit clear attention to detail and flexibility in their daily routine
  • Candidates must be at least 18 years, have proof of a valid driver’s license and health insurance, and pass a drug test upon the start of the internship.
  • Commitment to a 40-hour work week, the selected schedule and individual work duties is required.
  • Candidates must be able to lift 50 lbs. without difficulty, work in adverse weather conditions, and remain on their feet for long periods of time.
  • Candidates must be legally able to work in the United States (US Citizen, Permanent Resident, or hold an Employment Authorization Document)