Fauna Intern Trailer

The Survival Guide of a Fauna Intern

A Fauna Intern’s First Week

So you want to be a Fauna Intern, hmmm? Good choice. Fauna Foundation’s Visiting Intern Program is both invigorating and challenging. You have no option but to lose your ego, learn how to care for other beings and dig in that fine brain of yours! Coming to a nonhuman animal sanctuary is a fantastic way to give back to society, meet new people and feed your love for nonhuman animals. If you’ve never worked at a sanctuary before, it can be difficult to imagine what to expect. It’s a lot to take in and arousal levels are high at first but don’t worry, you will get acclimated in NO time. The staff here at Fauna does an excellent job making visitors feel at home at the sanctuary. Take it from yours truly!
I’m going to tell you a few tips on how to be a prepared Fauna Intern upon arrival. Feel free to take notes, snap some screenshots or jot this info I got coming for you in your memory.

Fauna Intern Rules to Live By

RULE #1: Be prepared to study, study, STUDY the first week. You will need to identify the residents of Fauna-the chimpanzees that is, in the first few days. But don’t begin to worry-Fauna has chimp ID flashcards, slideshows and other study materials to help you prepare for this. It is crucial to recognize the chimps because you are a visitor in their home and their personal identities matter. You will also learn behavioral taxonomy, wild chimp behavior vs. captive chimp behavior, and signing great ape studies. No matter what academic background you come from, you WILL leave Fauna with a newly nurtured noggin. (See the alliteration I did there? BAM!)  I suggest you bring index cards in order to make flash cards and of course a notebook, pen, and planner to jot down notes.

Fauna Intern Essentials

RULE #2: DO. NOT. I REPEAT: DO NOT PACK THE KITCHEN SINK!
If you are like myself and the other Fauna interns this summer you likely overpack to ensure that you are prepared for whatever chaos life decides to throw at you! AHHHH! Again, don’t worry! Fauna has your back! The trailers here are FABULOUS and are jam packed with items to help you get acclimated. Here’s a cute list of things provided in your trailer:

  • A stock of towels
  • Warm comforting blankets
  • Hair dryer
  • Kitchen utensils, plates, bowls, pots, pants, etc.
  • A variety of nutritious granola bars
  • Snacks & food to get you through the first few days
  • Lamp
  • Tissue Boxes
  • A microwave (Please do not bring a microwave on the plane)
  • A fan
  • Candles
  • Razors

DO BRING:

  • Flip Flops
  • Bug spray
  • Your favorite cooking spices
  • Headphones
  • A raincoat
  • Christmas lights (I mean…I brought some)
  • Shoes you’re okay with getting muddy
  • Journal/Diary
  • Daytime backpack or purse
  • Sweater (It can get cold at night!)
  • Pants with belt loops and/or pockets
  • Clothes you’d feel comfortable to wear to the city (Montreal)
  • Individuality
  • Positivity
  • Dignity
The trailers here are FABULOUS and are jam packed with items to help you get acclimated.

RULE #3: Okay there is no rule #3. Hey I can’t tell you EVERYTHING about Fauna and what to expect! That would ruin the fun surprises that we interns had to discover ourselves!

I hope these rules will help you figure out how to best prepare yourself for your Fauna Intern adventure here. The chimps, the humans, even the flock of kidnapping geese are elements that make Fauna Foundation taste like home. And remember — it’s not what the chimps can do for you, it’s what can you do for the chimps. Peace!

 


–By Cree Sahidah Glanz
Cree is from Chicago land and attends Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, studying biological anthropology and environmental science.