Junior enjoys Purrrrfect Internship
TARGET TRAINING. Junior Erika Cline trains Freya during her summer internship at the Conservators Center in Burlington, N.C.
Junior Erika Cline had an active social life this summer, that is, hanging out with dingoes, New Guinea Singing Dogs, and Chausies. Not to mention lions and tigers.
Her internship at the Conservators Center in Burlington, N.C. took place over six weeks, and she had the opportunity to help train the exotic animals. She had daily chores of working on food prep, feeding and cleaning the animals, keeping the facility in top shape for USDA inspections, making enrichment items for the animals, and working on their enclosures.
"One of my favorite moments was target training," Cline said. "Another was dropping food to the lions - they stood under the drops and yelled, but it was super cool! Another great part was socializing the dingoes, New Guinea Singing Dogs, and Chausies. We got to go into their enclosures with them and hang out. It was great!"
Though Cline says she "absolutely loved" the internship, her dream job has nothing to do with big cats.
"My love is the ocean and all the amazing things that call it home," she said. "I would love to help save it. Sharks would be the dream. I am going on a trip with Malone Zoo members in January (over break) and we will be going shark tagging, to the Everglades, and to see wild manatees. We are going to learn so much and have wonderful hands on experience. I am very excited for the shark tagging and I could see myself working with sharks in the future."