Wildlife Rehabilitation (minor)

As humans, we share earth with a vast number of species. The Wildlife Rehabilitation minor offers you the opportunity to become intimately familiar with the care, needs, and behavior of wild and domesticated vertebrates. You’ll learn about the treatment and temporary care of injured, diseased, and displaced indigenous wildlife in order to return them to the wild.

For those students with an interest in providing healthcare to wildlife or domestic animals, the Wildlife Rehabilitation minor will offer you several structured intern and clinical opportunities to do just that. It will also prepare you with a strong academic foundation for graduate work and veterinary school.

What You'll Study

As part of the program’s two main objectives, you will be provided with experiential clinical opportunities as well as the chance to integrate those experiences with rigorous academic programming. You can work with hundreds of injured and orphaned native wild animals, and will complete an 11-week (12 credit hour) intensive Summer Clinical internship. Over the course of your education, you’ll also assist in long-term research projects and field studies.

In addition to learning about the medical treatment of releasable wildlife, you will also work with the center’s permanent non-releasable animal ambassadors, which are used in educational settings.

In your senior year, you will complete your own senior research project based on the collection and analyzing of data in order to present to your peers and professors. For those interested in graduate schools or a career in wildlife rehabilitation, the senior research project serves as a great example of your honed skills.

Wildlife Rehabilitation
Study wildlife science this summer on our campus!

The wildlife science summer program at Lees-McRae College is designed to offer a summer academic enrichment program to students who have (1) completed at least their freshmen year of high school and (2) who are currently enrolled in or have completed a high school level biology course. 

After Graduation

Common Career Areas

Wildlife Biology
Restoration Biology
Wildlife Rehabilitation
Environmental Education 
Conservation Organizations
College Professor

Alumni Spotlight: Savannah Trantham ’08

Executive Director and Co-founder of Appalachian Wildlife Refuge

Major: Biology, Wildlife Rehabilitation 

Trantham said she recognized the need for specialized care for reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals when she worked as a rehabber at WNC Nature Center before earning her degree, but wasn’t sure what she could do to help until she came to Lees-McRae.

“There was this very obvious need,” Trantham said. “Once I had the opportunity to work at the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and really see that there was a way this could happen, I said, ‘Okay, somebody has to step up and do something.’”

Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about Wildlife Rehabilitation? Hear a panel of alumni answer the most common questions potential students have about the program. 

Meet the Faculty

Amber McNamara, DVM 
Veterinarian, Associate Professor

Nina Fischesser, MA
Director of the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Senior Instructor

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