Providing a Safe and Caring Environment for Exotic Animals


Intern Program

Download Intern Application


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There are four to eight positions available within the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary Animal Care Department. The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary is the first sanctuary ever to be granted certification by the AZA. The Sanctuary cares for many exotic animals encompassing 13 different feline species and two different bear species.

This internship will help you decide very quickly if this is really what you want to do as a career.  You will get dirty and work long hours in all kinds of weather conditions.  But if you work hard, you will be able to learn so much that will take you to the next step in your animal welfare career.  Take a look at what these past interns had to say of their experience:

"This internship is not for the faint of heart.  They will work you hard, expect the best from you and help you succeed in whatever your future endeavors may be."

"This internship was as rewarding as it was demanding.  It was through this opportunity that I learned a great life lesson, which was, the more you put into something the more you get out of it.  The work at the Sanctuary is extremely difficult as there is much more to caring for these animals than feeding them."

"There's probably not much out there that's as mentally and physically draining as this internship has been.  I'll take that as a good thing!"

Read more testimonials from past IEAS interns and see where they are at now.

In addition to the testimonias, we also have tips that will help make your intern experience at IEAS the best it can be!  


Three month Intern sessions include:

Program Dates Application Deadline
Spring Internship *March 1-May 31 December 1
Summer Internship *June 1-August 31 March 1
Fall Internship *September 1-November 30 June 1
Winter Internship *December 1-February 28 September 1

*The beginning dates of the internship are tentative.

Candidates should have at least two years of undergraduate program studies in zoology, animal management, biology, or a related field or three years of experience at an AZA accredited facility. International applications are welcome. Interns must be able to perform regular, strenuous duties in 90 to over 100 degree weather and must be able to lift 50lbs. You must present yourself in a professional manner.  Interns will gain practical experience working with exotic animals, will be involved with our educational program and have the chance to be involved in our emotional and behavioral enrichment programs. Interns will be able to learn as much about exotic animals' behavior as they choose to learn within the three month session.

Experience includes feeding, cleaning, animal health, animal management, behavioral studies, record keeping, assisting in construction and habitat modification, and related activities. Interns will also be involved with the volunteer program and formal and informal presentations. Interns can learn as much about animal behavior and emotions has they choose by participating in our Emotional Enrichment Program.  Vehicles, housing and stipend are provided. Housing is in a new luxurious four bedroom-four bathroom air-conditioned dormitory home with a large kitchen.

Required materials:  completed application, copy of your driver's license, 3 letters of recommendation**, unofficial or official transcript, cover letter and resume

** If you have interned or volunteered somewhere, please include a letter of recommendation from your supervisor.
We also offer six month internships which have the same deadline dates as the three month internship. You can find our job description on the AZA Job Postings.

Apprenticeship Program:
This program allows a selected intern to transition to Assistant Keeper for a period of 6 months to 1 year. Admission into this program is based solely on selection by IEAS staff, and the position can not be applied for. In order to be considered for the position, interns must express interest in becoming an Apprentice prior to the end of their six months in the Intern Program. 

Consideration will only be given to those who send completed application and required documents listed above.

Please send all required materials to:

International Exotic Animal Sanctuary
Attention: Intern Program
PO Box 637
Boyd, TX 76023

Applications mailed that still have postage due WILL NOT be accepted.  Faxed or emailed applications WILL NOT be accepted!

  • If you are interested in applying for an internship, please visit our Intern Gallery. Here you will find a variety of pictures and videos of what you would be doing on a daily basis. This will show you what to expect and will help you in deciding if this is the right internship for you.

The majority of our interns that have completed the program here at IEAS have moved on to other reputable facilities to provide quality care for animals. We have former interns now working at a number of major zoos across the United States such as St. Louis Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Forth Worth Zoo, Dallas Zoo, Columbus Zoo, Cameron Park Zoo, Dallas World Aquarium, Memphis Zoo and a number of other animal facilities.


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