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Ornithology Exchange

    • Employer: Rescate Animal Zooave
      Location: Alejuela
      Country: Costa Rica
      Last Date to Apply: 02/28/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes



    Applicants should send a cv/resume and a cover letter detailing what you can contribute and what you hope to gain form this experience. Please also include a list of professional references we can contact via email. Email applications to jeannemarie@wildlifeaidint.org. This position will remain open until filled.


    Rescate Animal Zooave is a registered non-profit wildlife rehabilitation facility founded in 1989 and located on 34 acres of natural forest in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica.  Rescate Animal Zooave’s mission is to protect and restore the country's biodiversity through wildlife rehabilitation, endangered species breeding, habitat preservation, and the provision of lifetime care for non-releasable animals. There are three main facilities at Rescate Animal Zooave; a state-of-the-art Wildlife Rescue Center and veterinary clinic (equipped with digital x-ray, ultrasound, etc.), an Endangered Wildlife Reproduction Center and a Life-time Care Sanctuary consisting of 35 acres of lush tropical forest with more than 125 species of animals. Roughly 800 of the birds, mammals, and reptiles that have been rescued cannot be released due to health or behavioral reasons and find lifetime sanctuary in Rescate Animal Zooave’s Life-time Care Sanctuary, including, jaguar, tapir, puma, coyote, margay, ocelot and numerous species of monkeys, birds, and reptiles. Follow this link for photos of the Rescue Center and Life-time Care Sanctuary: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rb2239e59ebx7cp/AABM8tlO42u5o3InBC6HncBea?dl=0

    In addition to the rehabilitation, breeding and sanctuary facilities in Alajuela, Rescate Animal Zooave also maintains two release sites; Bosque Escondido Wildlife Refuge, a 1,800 acre dry tropical forest in the Nicoya Peninsula and; Golfito, a 90-acre tropical rainforest in the province of Puntarenas where wild animals are returned to their natural environment. Wildlife Rehabilitation assistants may participate in a trip to the Bosque Escondido Wildlife Refuge*, where they will see first-hand the final step for successfully releasing animals into the wild.  Follow this link for photos of Bosque Escondido Wildlife Refuge:



    The Avian Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant will work directly with an experienced wildlife veterinarian in the avian intensive care units and the avian quarantine facility. Over 1,500 birds are admitted to the rescue center on an annual basis and include orphans, injuries, confiscations and surrendered pets. We receive a wide variety of species including macaws, parrots, parakeets, toucans, toucanets, hawks, owls, hummingbirds, water birds, songbirds and various passerines. You will assist in the intake of injured and orphaned birds, provide routine daily cleaning and feeding, assist with hand rearing, maintain incubators, and assist with medical treatments and record keeping. The Avian Assistant should expect a busy, highly variable environment with a significant number of emergency cases and/or confiscations coming in at a moment's notice. Some assistance with mammalian species may also be required, but the main focus of the position will be working in the avian intensive care units. Assisting with the transfer of avian rescues to the permanent release site in the Nicoya Peninsula may also be required.


    We are seeking serious, passionate individuals with the desire to dedicate themselves to helping us return Costa Rican wild birds back to wild where they belong. Previous work with birds (wild or domestic) and coursework in the veterinary fields, zoology, biology or a similar field is preferred. Basic conversational Spanish language skills are required. Experience traveling/working in a tropical country and living in a group setting are highly desirable. Flexibility, ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds and ability to maintain a positive attitude in stressful situations is essential. Tetanus and rabies vaccinations as well as health insurance are also required.  


    The Avian Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant will be scheduled in the rescue center for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week with two days off for rest or travel. The clinic is staffed from 6 am to 6 pm. The Avian Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant work a flexi-schedule depending on the needs of the birds and the time of the year. Some night feeding may be required.


    ·         Assisting with hand rearing activities

    ·         Collecting browse (leaves, flowers etc.)

    ·         Cleaning the intensive care units (floors, counters, scales etc.)

    ·         Assisting with medical treatments and surgical procedures

    ·         Assisting with laboratory procedures

    ·         Assisting with record keeping

    ·         Cutting fruits and vegetables

    ·         Preparing diets

    ·         Cleaning enclosures

    ·         Feeding animals in the rescue center

    ·         Washing dishes and equipment

    ·         Maintaining insect breeding colonies

    ·         Restocking intensive care units

    ·         Conducting ethograms (behavior studies)

    ·         Designing enrichment items

    ·         Applying enrichment to enclosures

    ·         Monitoring effects of enrichment

    ·         Assisting with social media content


    Accommodation will be provided in a secure 6 bed (2-bedroom) dormitory with a shared bathroom and kitchen area. Rescate Animal Zooave is fenced and has 24-hour security.

    Follow this link to see photos of the guest house. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vq7nzwtyvn5rdux/AADGco-KVw86lXrTzvnAP87Ya?dl=0


    WIFI is available 24 hours a day in the accommodation and at various sites throughout the Life-time Care Sanctuary.


    Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica for visits under 90 days, however, you must have a current valid passport and a return ticket to exit Costa Rica. Follow this link to find out what the requirements are for citizens from your country http://www.costarica-embassy.org/index.php?q=node/51.


    The Juan Santa Maria International Airport (SJO) is only 15 minutes away from Animal Rescue Zooave by car or taxi. Local and Uber taxis are available at the airport for a very reasonable price, however, transportation to and from the airport can also be arranged through Animal Rescue Zooave at no additional cost. There is also a bus stop just in front of Rescate Animal Zooave, with very cheap buses that will take you to the mall or other shopping centers in Alajuela and there are more long-distance buses that go to downtown San Jose. Coach style buses leave from San Jose to all the major tourist areas of the country on a daily basis, making it easy for you to visit other areas of the country during or after your stay with us.


    Transport from Juan Santa Maria International Airport (SJO), shared accommodation and three meals per day are provided for qualified applicants who can commit to 3 months or more.

    MEALS (For applicants who can commit to three months or more)

    ·         Breakfast: Eggs, fruit, cereal, milk, coffee and tea are provided. Avian Wildlife Rehabilitation ASSISTANT prepare their own breakfast.

    ·         Lunch and dinner: Cooked meals are provided in the on-site restaurant (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other special diets will gladly be accommodated on request)

    ·         Food can also be purchased a la carte from the restaurant in the Life-time Care Sanctuary.

    ·          Follow this link to see photos of the restaurant and buffet: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b9pxkf0ip9tvn9l/AAAGwH42eC_pPDmGkwmM6tyNa?dl=0

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