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New World Primate Caregiver/Documentarian Internship

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a wildlife conservation organization dedicated to the protection, preservation and permanent care of threatened, endangered, and distressed primates. Since 1984, the Sanctuary has maintained a federally authorized facility for vulnerable New World monkeys, many of whom have been rescued from research laboratories, tourist ventures, and the inhumane exotic pet trade. Much of our population is elderly, and the individuals require unique treatment plans, including specialized diets, medical care and customized enclosures.  

We provide refuge and rehabilitation, creating naturalistic habitats where primates can live in the green world with others of their own kind. The monkeys are nurtured with dedicated care and provided an abundance of organically grown food and forage in an ideal subtropical climate. As part of our zoological horticulture project, we propagate plants indigenous to subtropical rain forests, many related to the plants found in the monkeys’ native habitats.  

This is truly a Sanctuary, a beautiful place for people with a deep appreciation of the natural world. We would welcome someone with a background and interest in animal husbandry, welfare and conservation, exotic veterinary medicine, biology, and related fields, who is a mature team player with respect for others. We need a good, clear communicator (written and spoken English), and coordinator with a minimal personal agenda, who seeks mutual growth for all and is able to make a long-term commitment to the primates and the staff. Candidates should have received, or be working towards, a university degree in biology, zoology, primatology, ecology, and other relevant majors, and/or have a minimum of one year experience working with domestic or exotic animals in a professional setting. Applicants must be 20 years of age at the start of their Internship. A one-year commitment and the practice of selfless service to the animals is required.

The position requires a self-starter and hard worker, someone who is humble, compassionate, self-reliant, organized, professional, computer literate, open to learning, capable of problem solving and completing a task. We need someone who can function independently as well as in a group. Our resident Intern would need to be physically fit, with no communicable diseases or criminal record, who would enjoy a rural lifestyle with simple amenities. Citizens of foreign countries would need to secure their own visas and permits independently.

This in a unique immersion program, facilitating learning about New World primates and animal sanctuary management on an intimate, in depth, all-encompassing level. Training is tailored for each Intern and progress is evaluated at each stage of instruction. The Intern is awarded Primary Animal Caregiver Certification by senior personnel, after successfully acquiring a high level of competence, skill, and expertise in primate care, record keeping, and facility management. 

Interns are trained by experienced members of our staff in all aspects of New World primate care (Callithrix, Cebus, and Ateles). This is more than a full-time position and includes on-call duties as needed.

In the early stages, Interns learn how to provide daily care, enrichment, and nurturing to new world monkeys, preparing food, cleaning enclosures, and maintaining the Sanctuary facility. Interns then receive Emergency Care training, becoming proficient in capture, transfer, restraint and handling, and specialized individual care. They can then begin to acquire skills in Colony Management. 

Next Interns get specialized medical training: calculating medication dosages and administering medication, checking vital signs (temperature, respiratory, and pulse rate), providing subcutaneous fluid therapy and intensive care (heat, fluids, special diet, wound care, etc.). They play an intimate part in veterinary consults, treatment plans, and follow up.

Interns also participate in Sanctuary Management: training new volunteers, keeping detailed records and reporting on the daily status of the primates, making updates and revisions to PPS Manuals and creating new protocol and procedure documents (Mac: Excel, Word). They read and review relevant texts and articles and present short summaries along with current primate status reports for our monthly staff meetings. 

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization 501(C)(3), run entirely by volunteers. Our small staff is made up of 5-7 local volunteer caregivers (who volunteer one or more shifts each week), 1-3 interns, and an off-site support system of veterinary and other professionals. Since the well-being of the monkeys is our primary focus, they are not on exhibit, are not subjected to any medical research, and the facility is not open to the public. 

As a result, our organization is not eligible for funding from any governmental agencies, nor do we receive funds from admission, as public zoo does. Therefore, we must rely solely upon donations from compassionate individuals and organizations. Our operating budget is extremely small. Financial independence for personal expenses would be required (estimated by Interns to be between $35-$50 per week per week). 
We provide fully furnished and equipped Yurts (traditional round structures designed specifically for tropical living) with wireless Internet service. Utilities, paper goods, and cleaning supplies are also provided. Interns and volunteers maintain an on-site organic garden and fruit orchard. The Yurts and bathroom facilities are adjacent to the Sanctuary. The verdant 4-acre site is landscaped with tropical ornamentals, flowers, and trees. The Sanctuary is a beautiful place for people with a deep appreciation of the natural world.

You may begin making application for the position by submitting the following preliminary documents: your Letter of Intent in making application, your Resume/CV, the completed Volunteer Intern Application (this form will be sent to you once you contact us), and three Letters of Reference (from instructors, employers etc.).

For additional information and to apply for the Resident Internship, please contact Pacific Primate Sanctuary Inc., Phone: 808-572-8089; Email: