Mentorship and education are among our core guiding principles at MARS. As a result, every year the MARS Wildlife Hospital offers young aspiring wildlife rehabilitators an opportunity to gain hands on experience working with injured, ill or orphaned wildlife.

We accept work experience volunteers all year round. These are full-time unpaid positions filled on a rotating basis of anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on your availability.

What to expect

The Wildlife Hospital is staffed by a wildlife rehabilitation manager, assistant wildlife rehabilitation manager, a wildlife rehabilitator, and many dedicated volunteers. As a work experience volunteer you will become part of a team of like-minded people and will be treated with respect and friendship.

You can expect to be involved in all aspects of the rehabilitation process, although your main responsibilities will be diet preparation, feeding, and cleaning. You will also participate in animal rescues and releases, treatment administration, building projects, grounds maintenance, and our community outreach program.

Spring, summer, and early autumn are considered “Baby Season”. This is when we receive the greatest number of patients. We care for many different species of wildlife native to Vancouver Island, including songbirds, raptors, waterfowl, fawns, raccoons, and other small mammals. Be forewarned, work at the Wildlife Hospital can be very demanding! In the summer, our volunteer caregivers typically work varying shifts between 7 am – 10 pm, with occasional night feedings. The schedule can be intense, but you will also be given time off to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Vancouver Island.

MARS offers very basic housing, linens, cooking utensils, and bicycles for student use. You are responsible for you own food and meals, which you can plan on your own or coordinate with other students!

We accept work experience volunteers from all over the world, with a variety of different educational backgrounds. You must be at least 19 years of age and have a current Tetanus vaccination. We do not require our work experience volunteers to have any previous wildlife knowledge, nor do they have to be students. Come here prepared to give 100% to our wild patients and you will have an extraordinary experience.

If you are interested in volunteering with us to learn about and care for a variety of different wildlife species, MARS might be the perfect place for you!

Magali Vanderveken

Magali Vanderveken

Volunteer Intern

“I wanted to help wildlife and do something different. This is a special place and an opportunity for me to make a difference.” 

If this interests you

Please fill out the application form below, save it with your name, and attach it to an email, along with your resume and a short essay outlining your reasons for applying.

Email it all to:

We will contact all applicants during the selection process.  Thank you for your interest!