My name is Naomi Tripp. I just finished my first year at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and am originally from a place far far away called the Midwest, in the town of Pella, Iowa. I am studying biology with a pre-veterinary concentration and hope to become a veterinarian. This summer I am interning at Wild Care of Cape Cod. Wild Care is a nonprofit wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in Eastham, MA. I have the privilege of helping with the baby bird program as well as with the many animals we receive.
In this internship I have learned how spontaneous and quick thinking a wildlife rehabilitator has to be. We never know what is going to be brought to the door or what situation a phone call could entail. Each animal is different and has to be treated in a way that fits their needs and will help them get better. The rehabilitators at Wild Care are incredible! They have a vast knowledge of what has worked in the past and they quickly improvise and are able to come up with solutions to assist the animals. For example, we have used straws to help a baby bird’s foot grow straight and have used a giant puppet crow to help lower the chances of a baby crow imprinting on us humans. I have also had the opportunity of assisting on rescues and releases of animals such as a seagull, a chipmunk, and a turkey.
Interning at Wild Care has allowed me to use the knowledge I learned in my animal biology course this past semester at Gordon College and see the behaviors and anatomy of animals in person. A take-away that I will bring back to the classroom is knowledge on wildlife and how to best respond when I see an injured animal. Where should I take it? Is it really injured? Should I give it food? There have been many different species of birds brought into Wild Care and it is thrilling to learn something new every day, like how a certain type of bird functions and what that means for treatment. Another take-away from Wild Care is teamwork. Wild Care would not function as well as it does without the amazing volunteers that we have working alongside us. We all work together to keep the place clean and the animals fed and on track for recovery. Every single person is a huge contributor and greatly appreciated.
Some advice I would give to a college student seeking an internship is to think BIG. Apply for many internships, even the ones you think are long shots. You never know what is going to happen or where you will be led. Internships are an incredible way to get hands on experience in a job field you are considering, even if you are unsure you want to pursue that exact career, it can help you decide where to go from there. You will learn so much and have experiences to bring to your next job or internship.
I have learned an incredible amount from my internship at Wild Care and have met some unbelievable people. I could not think of a better way to spend my summer on Cape Cod than at Wild Care.