Wildlife Medicine & Conservation

The Wildlife Medicine & Conservation Internship is conducted in partnership with the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) under Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand (BWRC Director and Wildlife Veterinarian) and BWRC’s clinical staff.

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The aim of the BWRC internships is to develop students’ and interns’ clinical skills including patient intake, physical examinations, compiling medical records, diagnoses, diagnostic testing and interpretation, and selecting and administering appropriate treatments. The internship experience also addresses clear and professional communication both internally with clinic staff and with clients as relevant.

Vet, pre-vet and vet tech students and professionals are welcome to apply. Interns participate in the daily operations at BWRC, both in the clinic, and in the field as necessary. Interns may also arrange to visit other wildlife centers in Belize as part of their internship. While no prior wildlife experience is required, We select individuals with strong interest in wildlife medicine and conservation; who are most likely to apply knowledge and skills professionally. Interns may also participate in the small animal services at BWRC.

The internships start at two weeks and may be extended. BWRC pays fees and donations to ourselves and partner organizations; arranges local accommodations in hotels or guesthouses with kitchenette (as available); arranges daily transportation to and from the work-site as available; and organizes a weekend recreational excursion and any other field site visits. Your Wildlife Medicine & Conservation internship helps BWRC and its partners provide free or subsidized wildlife medical services, conduct research and other conservation programs. Special rates apply to longer term internships. Airfare not included. 

Daily Activities and Tasks:

The following represents a list of tasks in which BWRC interns typically participate. Because of the dynamic nature of work at the BWRC, tasks and opportunities to work with various species vary by circumstance. An intern’s level of participation in the medical arena is adjusted based on educational level and learning objectives.

  • Handling and restraint of certain species.

  • Reptile immobilization and restraint.

  • Surgery (mostly trauma).

  • X-Ray and processor operation.

  • Possible field site visits.

  • Laboratory work (fecals, parasitology).

  • Reptile Husbandry and Rehabilitation.

  • Observing and assisting in emergency medical care.

  • Observing and participating in the physical intake exams/surgery for Reptiles & Wildlife.

  • Daily maintenance tasks are required for all interns. This includes daily cleaning of facilities and cages, feeding, laundry, etc.

  • Developing treatment plans including (determining fluid requirement, determining drug dosages; determining nutritional requirements for various species; instituting treatment plan).



BWRC arranges housing at local hotels and guest houses for interns and students. Standard accommodations include multiple occupancy, shared bath and kitchenette. Upgrades and private accommodations are available upon request. Students and interns have free access to BWRC kayaks for wildlife spotting and recreation.

Acadamic Credit:

We encourage interns to apply to their home institution to receive academic credit for their internship experience. Our interns are routinely awarded both credit and in many cases scholarships to cover some of their travel costs and program fees. If you are seeking academic credit, please provide forms to be filled out by your supervisor in advance of your arrival in Belize.


Our team invites interns from around the world and do our best to accommodate a full range of diversity. For many of our interns, English may be a second language. As such, we require a basic working knowledge of English, and are happy to receive interns who are more comfortable working in Spanish, French, and German.


Applicants will be provided with an application and waiver form which states that applicants must provide their own comprehensive medical insurance which includes international air evacuation and trip insurance in case of interrupted travel to the airport.



Transfers from the International Airport to your accommodations are arranged with local companies. Courses include daily transportation, and interns are generally housed within walking distance of their internship station. Under some circumstances, interns may be asked to use public transportation.


Belize is a beautiful eco-tourism destination bounding with outdoor recreational opportunities, Maya Archeological Parks, Caves, Rivers, Waterfalls and of course the largest reef in the Caribbean! We encourage our guests to visit local attractions during their stay with us and we can help plan your excursions.

Kitchen & Laundry

Students enrolled in courses have breakfasts, most lunches and some dinners included. No kitchen is needed. Laundry service is available. Interns have access to a kitchen with cooking utensils, stove, and basic appliances (as available). Interns must supply their own food. Laundry services are available in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.

Videos & Photos Permission

Interns and students are routinely filmed and photographed during BWRC wildlife rescue events. If you are not willing to be on film or in photographs, please inform the photographer on site.


BWRC arranges housing at local hotels and guest houses for interns and students. Standard accommodations include multiple occupancy, shared bath & kitchenette. Upgrades and private accommodations are available upon request. Students and interns have free access to BWRC’s kayaks for wildlife spotting and recreation.

What to pack:

The big day is quickly approaching when you’ll depart to Belize to begin your adventure with BWRC, and we want to make sure that you are clear on what to expect when you arrive. Internship and course durations vary, and you should pack accordingly. Any interns undertaking specialized internships should inquire about specific items to bring. Please feel free contact us with any questions or concerns between now and the time you depart for Belize. 

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Note that we do charge a small registration fee of $50.00
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