Marine Mammals Internship
The Marine Mammal Training internship is designed to give students an inside look into what it takes to care for marine animals, with an emphasis on Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and North American river otters.
We use training as a way to stimulate our animals since they can never rejoin their counterparts in the open ocean. Our animals are trained for medical management behaviors, like blood draw, gastric and fecal samples, and even ultrasound. We also train mentally stimulating behaviors like mimicking and match-to-sample behaviors to challenge their intelligence and the ‘fun’ aerial behaviors such as bows, somersaults and speed swims to give them the same physical workout they would receive in the wild.
During your internship, you will learn how to prepare diets, maintain exhibits, provide enrichment and mental stimulation, keep behavioral records, and give public presentations to educate our visitors about these amazing animals and environmental conservation.
You will also learn how trainers use principles such as positive reinforcement, classical conditioning and shaping to train these animals. Due to the fact that internships are custom designed to each individual’s skill level, you may or may not have the opportunity to assist trainers in behaviors, or even maintain some established behaviors by the end of your internship.
Candidates should be able to perform physically demanding duties and be enrolled in a four-year college program in psychology, biology, marine biology or another related field.
SCUBA, First Aid and CPR certification is also a plus.
Start Date: May or August
Duration: 3-5 Months
Location: Tampa area, Florida