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What does it take to become a wildlife rehabilitator?

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Helping and conserving wildlife is an interest of mine. What major or classes should I look at to become one? #wildlife-rehablilitation #wildlife-conservation #wildlife-biology #biology

2 answers

Kelsey’s Answer

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The first and most important thing you need is a passion for animals - be prepared to care for anything from snakes to deer!


If you are thinking of going to college, you may consider a major in Zoology, Animal Behavior, Biology, or Environmental sciences. One of the great things about Wildlife Rehabilitation, though, is that you don’t necessarily need to have any of these majors!

I have met and worked with Wildlife Rehabbers who graduated with degrees like Criminal Justice, Accounting, and Dance!

While I am not a licensed wildlife rehabbed, I have several hundred hours of hands-on experience caring for animals of all kinds (squirrels, skunks, hatchling and nestling songbirds, raptors, etc.) - and I majored in anthropology!


Instead, the most important thing for actual employment is looking at what certifications you need. Each state may have different requirements and laws about keeping and handling wildlife.

Example: In one state, you may need 1,000 hours of hands on work caring for wild animals, need to pass a tough exam, and also need to be “sponsored” by a recognized wildlife rehab facility.


The first step to any of this is finding a way to do hands-on work caring for wild animals. Search for wildlife rehab centers near you, and contact them for volunteer or internship opportunities!

Updated
Hey I am not a Wildlife Rehabilitator (yet) but that is my goal. I am a Wildlife Conservation major and Virginia Tech and I love it. I get to do hands on work in every lab I work in and even though it is challenging I wouldn't change it. Mostly get hands on experience. Start at a local vet clinic or shelter volunteering and continue from there. There's volunteer opportunities and wildlife rehabilitation facilities and zoos all over the country. Another area to consider is gaining some knowledge in research. This is helpful to learn about animal behavior and is also a good skill to have. Finally, make connections! Knowing people is a key in this field so keep reaching out and keep asking questions and making those connections because they can help you later. Good luck :)

Denish’s Answer

Updated

To restore wildlife species after a danger or threat has lead to their decline