Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Internships

What is the difference to being a volunteer and being an intern? Both roles mean that you want to help animals, learn more about our wildlife, and experience the wonderful country that is Costa Rica. Although many of your duties will be the same, we aim for interns to be able to gain more knowledge and experience that can be directly applied to future career goals. To see how you could fit into our program, check out our wildlife husbandry and veterinary internship pages to find out more about our requirements and how you can apply.

We expect all of our internships to carry out an independent project whilst they are here to ensure they are spending their time productively, and they can make their time here a little more specific to their interests.

In addition to this, we believe we provide the perfect setting to not only gain animal husbandry skills but to also develop many other skills that may not seem directly relevant to a wildlife sanctuary in Costa Rica. Although not specifically listed, we encourage all people, studying many different things, to come and work with us. Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary can be helped in so many different ways; the possibilities are endless. We can use your unique skill sets and your individual interests to cater internships specifically to you! Just get in touch and we would love to talk to you more about how we can help you grow as a professional, and how you can help us be the best that we can be. For further information on different internships, please email us at

Wildlife Husbandry Internship

We are firm believers of learning outside of the classroom and we understand how beneficial a good internship can be to your studies as well as your career development. That is why we want to make your experience as constructive as possible; giving you the opportunity to be a part of the work we do here but also allowing you to complete independent research within your chosen topics. We want to tailor these internships to the individual so we can all benefit from your time here and you can leave feeling that you are one step closer to your future goals.

As a wildlife husbandry intern you will primarily be working on our sanctuary and in our rehabilitation center where you will help clean enclosures, learn how to prepare a nutritionally balanced diet, and create enrichment devices to promote natural behaviors in all of the animals, as well as many other activities.

We aim to make this internship all-encompassing so we will also give you the opportunities to observe surgeries and necropsies in the clinic, learn how to feed neonates and juvenile animals, and discover how we manage our on-site camera trap project, as well as many others. There will be numerous occasions where you can learn and develop new skills, as well as master some that you may already know.

It is important to understand that we cannot make any guarantees as to what will occur while you are here; whether it be animal emergencies or animal releases; but we aim to give you as many opportunities as possible, and we hope you can understand that no two internships are the same.

Read more: Wildlife Husbandry Internship

Veterinary & Orphan Care Internship

We understand the importance of education outside of schools and universities so we want to make our internships as fulfilling as possible – allowing you to take away as much as you can but also giving you the opportunity to grow and expand in the areas you are interested in.; As a veterinary intern, you will shadow our veterinary staff during the morning duties and any scheduled procedures; you will be able to observe surgeries, necropsies and emergency triage as well as assist when deemed appropriate by the supervising staff.; As you become more confident in our clinic and with the animals we are working with, there will be more opportunities for you to get more involved and hands-on.;

We feel our interns get the most out of this experience when they already have some base knowledge on clinic practices or wildlife rehabilitation, therefore, it is preferred that you have some past experience.; This is also why we send you our recommended reading list for you to learn from before you arrive.

It is important to know that orphan care is a large part of the internship program which includes completing scheduled feedings throughout the day to the numerous juveniles in our care.; In addition to this, we want you to be a part of every step of our rehabilitation and release process, so you can learn about exactly what it takes to get an animal back into the wild. This means we will also ask you to clean enclosures, work in our animal kitchen preparing diets and help maintain the hygiene standards in the clinic. Finally, we cannot predict how many emergencies we will receive in your time here, therefore, it is important to understand that every internship experience is different.

Read more: Veterinary & Orphan Care Internship