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Interns help care for exotic animals at local non-profit

Published on December 2, 2017

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Three Interns at Trinity, junior Arionna Johnson and sophomores Katharine Walsh and Isaiah Johnson, are receiving invaluable experience through their internships this year. All three Interns have found the perfect placement at the Herps Alive Foundation, a non-profit organization whose main focus is caring for reptiles. Arionna, Katharine, and Isaiah all share a passion and love for animals, and they all hope to enhance that passion by learning how to care for the many different species of reptiles kept at Herps Alive. At internship, the students learn how to care for, feed, and even treat the animals that are infected.

A normal day on internship can be pretty busy for the Interns, as their tasks include checking on all the animals and their cages, feeding and bathing the reptiles, and even treating reptiles that are infected or injured. This internship helps these students greatly in preparing them for what might be ahead in their career paths.

When speaking on his experiences during his internship, Isaiah says, "It is giving me examples on how veterinarians work. I am learning how to deal with different species and scenarios. I am learning how to make split-second decisions to keep both myself and the animals safe."

Our Interns agree that hanging out with all of the different species of reptiles is a key part in their enjoyment of their internships. Isaiah is particularly fond of handling some of the larger and more dangerous animals, such as an alligator snapping turtle, or even a five-foot, red-tailed boa constrictor. Katharine says that her internships has especially helped her in "realizing that I'm not scared of the reptiles that TV shows portray as scary or dangerous." Things don't always run smoothly however, as a big part of Arionna's day is "making sure the reptiles are where they are supposed to be, and making sure all the lights are on and none of them have escaped."

Arionna's, Katharine's, and Isaiah's internships with Herps Alive is another example of the wide range of experiences Trinity students are able to take advantage of through the Pre-Professional Internship Program. While a number of general internships are available in fields like medicine, information technology, graphic design, education, and others, our students also enjoy highly-specialized placements like the one at Herps Alive.

Thanks to President's Office and Journalism Intern, sophomore Katrina Castro, for preparing this article!