Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Working With Big Cats - An Intern's Dream

Being an intern at In-Sync Exotics has been one of the most rewarding and interesting experiences of my life.  No other internship program I’ve participated in or researched offers the sort of hands-on, intense experience that In-Sync offers.  You make such a fast connection with the animals and people that it doesn’t take long to feel like you’ve always been here. 
Aramis sticking out his tongue at me!
I completed my first internship at In-sync this past summer (one of the hottest on record I hear) where I had the privilege of being part of the Poetry rescue.  As heartbreaking as it was to see the animals in such poor conditions, it was uplifting to see how hard everyone worked to better their temporary situation.  There was such a feel of accomplishment every time another stall was clean and ready for rehabbing.   The best memory I have of Poetry was once we got Layla, Eve, Aurora, and Aramis back to In-Sync and the girls got their first taste of toys. 
Eve and her toy duck!

Eve went after that decoy duck like it was the Christmas present she’d always been waiting for and most of us discovered Aurora had a “slight” ball obsession.  Of course none of us can forget the look on the Poetry cougar’s faces when they touched grass for the first time.

Now in the winter months I’m gaining new experiences, like cleaning out the winter dens (oh the joy) and of course I’m learning more and more about exotic cats from everyone here.  As part of the internship program we participate in animal behavioral training. 
Alysia training Stryker to stand-up
and stay still for a full-body examination
Currently I’m training Stryker and Aasha, two very different cats when it comes to temperament, on how to enter the vet chute and to come to me on cue so I can conduct full body exams of the cats for potential health issues.  Aasha is your excitable cub with a short attention span and Stryker wants to know the source of every noise around him (not that it cuts into their progress; they’re both very smart cats). 

Alysia teaching Stryker how to lay down
and remain still while being examined

I would recommend the In-Sync Internship Program to anyone out there who is looking for experience in this field.  It’s a lot of hard work and long hours, but it is by far worth all of the effort to have a true experience working with exotic cats (and one coatimundi J).

Blog Posting Written By:  Alysia Lavender, In-Sync Exotics Intern 


No comments:

Post a Comment