Nurture your love for animals and conservation with a hands-on animal husbandry internship at one of the world-famous parks managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore. The Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and the Singapore Zoo offer exciting and dynamic opportunities for aspiring animal professionals to acquire hands-on experience with a variety of species, building their knowledge of animal care, training, welfare, and husbandry alongside skilled zookeepers.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) manages four parks located within an integrated wildlife and nature precinct in northern Singapore. WRS is focused on providing meaningful and memorable wildlife experiences for visitors with a focus on protecting biodiversity in Singapore and SE Asia.
The Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo, spread out over 230 acres, are home to more than 16,000 animals (across 1,000 species). It is a leader in the industry and its parks have won many awards. The Singapore Zoo regularly a top ranked zoo/aquarium in Asia and the world; the River Safari is Asia’s only river-themed wildlife park; Jurong Bird Park is Asia’s largest bird park; and the Night Safari was the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park and has won the Singapore Tourism Board’s Best Attraction award 13 times.
A new bird park and rainforest park are expected to open by 2021, as well as an eco-resort by 2023.
WRS is a self-funded organization welcoming 4.6 million visitors annually. WRS aims to promote wildlife conservation, biodiversity, animal welfare, as well as sustainable consumption and practices. Learn more about WRS and its parks at www.wrs.com.sg.
Zoology interns will assist zookeepers in their daily duties including cleaning of animal facilities, food preparation, feeding the animals, undertaking behavioral and environmental enrichment improvements, and other tasks as needed. This internship does not include hands-on veterinary experience.
Interns may request a preferred park for placement (Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, Night Safari, or Singapore Zoo), but flexibility is encouraged. Interns will typically work with a wide variety of animals, but may indicate a preference among small mammals, reptiles, birds, invertebrates, and aquatic species. Due to safety and experience, single term interns will not typically work with the larger animals on-site.
Animal care is a full-time activity and interns should be prepared to work a rotating schedule which will include some weekends. The general working hours are approximately 8am to 5pm (depending on department’s specific needs). Interns should be comfortable being active all day and able to work in hot and humid environments.
Additional opportunities may be available, depending on current need and the intern’s background in areas of Education, Conservation and Research (for interns who can commit to two terms), or Wildlife Nutrition (especially collecting and analyzing data). Veterinary internships are possible for graduate students in their 3rd year or higher.
The Animal Husbandry internship is open to a wide range of students. Courses in zoology, life sciences, conservation, wildlife science, or veterinary science are required. Knowledge of food science/nutrition, education, and conservation research may also be relevant.
Prior experience in animal husbandry in a professional setting is preferred. All interns should be prepared to take on manual tasks such as cleaning and feeding. Comfort working with animals in captivity is beneficial.
The internship is in English. Candidates should be good written and verbal communicators.
Interns will be working both inside and outside during the day. Many of the tasks involve manual labor and interns should be prepared to carry these out in hot and humid environments.
Accepted candidates will need a current flu vaccine before starting the internship (obtained in their home country or Singapore).
Interns must be eligible for the Singapore Work Holiday Pass.
Budgeting Note: Estimated costs are based on typical internship-related costs and a modest standard of living. Each intern’s costs will vary based on lifestyle choices (eating out vs. cooking, taking public transportation vs. taxis) and recreational spending (travelling on days off, hobbies, etc).
This is an unpaid internship. However, lunch is provided free of charge for interns days they are on-site.
Interns are responsible for finding and arranging their own accommodations. Singapore has strict rules regarding short-term rentals for foreigners (less than three months), so interns should plan ahead to arrange suitable accommodations.
“Interning at the Singapore Zoo taught me so much more than I expected it to and was a “learning along the way” type of experience. From the very first day to the last I was participating in a different task; acquiring a better understanding about each animal, observing, monitoring behavior, interacting with animals and visitors, making friendships, learning something new, and improving my confidence personally and professionally. Along the way, I faced some challenges but used them in ways for strengthening my ability to problem solve, whether it be professionally, personally, mentally or even cross-culturally. Reflecting on my time at the zoo, the greatest reward was finally working in the field I am so passionate about while being surrounded by others who share the same excitement. As a bonus, I made a whole network of friends and acquaintances. The amazing zookeepers guided me through this new experience and showed me the art of working in a zoological field and also happened to be thoroughly entertaining. Working with the animals reminded me why I belong in this field and improved my chances for landing animal-related jobs. I even gained a clearer idea of what career I desire in my future, including a list of steps I can take to get there. This truly was an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15
- Zoology, veterinary science, or wildlife science majors
- Prior animal husbandry experience preferred
- Interest in zoo management and conservation
- Ability to carry out manual tasks in hot and humid environments