Wild Sun Rescue Center, Costa Rica

Description of Elective Experience: 

Get externship credit in Costa Rica! Wild Sun Rescue is now taking applications for 2020.

Our 4-week vet student externship focuses on the veterinarian’s role in conservation medicine.  Follow our vets as they treat injured wildlife and give support to 2 very different yet interrelated conservation initiatives.  You will participate and learn from a wildlife rescue center and a Scarlet Macaw reintroduction program on the same site.  Our goal is to inspire you to be a voice for conservation and to show you how, as a future veterinarian, you can make a difference in saving wildlife and their habitats in all corners of the world.

Wild Sun Rescue Center works closely with howler monkeys and capuchins, but often sees anteaters, parrots, iguanas, coatis, pacas, kinkajous, woolly opossums and more.

Learn more at www.WildSunRescue.org/vet-externship-prevet-internship

Institutional and Educational Resources - staffing, equipment, etc.: 

Wild Sun Rescue Center is working 24/7 to rescue, rehabilitate, and release wildlife back to its natural habitat. We have 3 full-time managers and a team of 12-15 volunteers to help with the husbandry of ~70 animals on site. We have a fully equipped veterinary clinic and ICU where much of the animal care takes place.

Dr. Ricardo Jimenez is our primary externship instructor. He is a Costa Rican licensed veterinarian who is an associate professor at the University of Georgia. Along with his degree in veterinary medicine, he holds a master's degree in Conservation Medicine and is a member of AWÁ Science and Conservation and CONMVEFAS (National Council of Veterinary Wildlife Physicians). Dr. Jimenez focuses on the One Health approach in his teachings during the Wild Sun externship.

Along with Dr. Jimenez, each externship session hosts a visiting veterinarian as a guest lecturer for one week. Additionally, our management team consists of a primatologist, zoologist, and conservation biologist. Our students are exposed to a variety of specialties and perspectives within conservation medicine. 

Student Responsibilities - what is expected of students in terms of hours, days of the week, shadowing or actual support?: 

Students at the Wild Sun Rescue Externship are expected to be on duty 6-8 hours per day, 5 days a week. At least 2 hours per day are focused on the husbandry of the wildlife in our care. The rest of the day is split between clinical rounds, lectures, and workshops with the on-site veterinarian. 

Student Housing (include costs, amenities, pet friendly, contact info if different from elective contact info): 

Total cost includes all of the following:

Students live on-site in our poolside shared deluxe Accommodations with A/C, private bath with hot water showers, mini-fridge, digital safe, satellite tv, ocean view, and patio. Maximum 3 people per room.

Our students receive our professional meal plan including 3 meals a day Sunday through Friday plus breakfast on Saturdays (you have access to a shared kitchen between meals). On Saturdays you may choose to cook for yourself, participate in pot lucks or go out to one of the many delicious restaurants in Cabuya, Montezuma or Santa Teresa.

All academic materials are provided.

Educational field trips and recreational excursions through our wonderful corner of paradise are also provided weekly. More details on our website.

Total program fee: $5,850 USD (all-inclusive) 

E. Marie Rush, DVM, DACZM
Contact email: 
Del Super Chicho, 100m al Sur, 700m al Oeste
60111 Cabuya
Costa Rica
Is student housing available?: 
Hours of supervision by a licensed veterinarian per week: