UF animal science student, Caroline Billings (’16), is experiencing a unique perspective in wildlife medicine and conservation through her internship with the Ohio Wildlife Center (OWC) this summer.
Focus of the internship:
“I am interning at the Ohio Wildlife Center in Columbus, Ohio. This is a center dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation for Ohio’s native wildlife through rehabilitation and education. As an intern at OWC, I work in the hospital, the pre-release facility – where animals go when they’re almost ready to be released – and I also work with the public.
What type of hands-on learning have you experienced so far?
“At the hospital, I administer medications, feed and water animals, make sure all the cages are clean and monitor patients for signs of improvement or decline. At the pre-release facility, I feed and water animals, clean enclosures and monitor raptors to make sure they can hunt live prey before they are released. When I work with the public I am answering phone calls and giving advice on how to handle situations involving wildlife as well as in-taking animals and entering data into the computer system. Lately we have been getting a lot of calls about fawns that appear to have been abandoned, litters of bunnies that have been discovered in people’s gardens and baby raccoons hanging around neighborhoods.”
How is this internship unique?
“I absolutely love this experience, because I am very interested in exotic animals and this center offers me a unique perspective into wildlife medicine as well as wildlife conservation. I have already learned an incredible amount about Ohio’s wildlife that I previously did not know and I am confident that I will learn much more before the end of the summer.”