Animal management

What can I expect?

Long days!  The working day typically lasts around 12 hours, with breaks for breakfast and lunch. 

The ALERT Animal Management Program focuses on the day to day welfare, care and management of lions in the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Programme.  Throughout their stay interns will shadow and assist the projects’ Lions Managers in all aspects of their work.

What will I be doing?

During your internship, you will be involved in all aspects of looking after the lions in our care.  This could include the following areas of work:

Feeding - On days where there is a delivery of food, interns will be asked to oversee the preparation and weighing-in of the meat to confirm that each lion gets the correct amount.  Please be aware that meat preparation can be somewhat upsetting at first.  For bigger groups of lions, animals such as cow and donkey may be given as a whole carcass, but you could be involved in helping to prepare the meat for smaller feeds.  It’s important to remember that we feed our lions well and that by assisting with meat preparation, you are directly contributing to their well-being.  

Health Checks - Daily health checks are carried out on all lions to catch any injuries or potential illnesses straightaway.  If any of the lions are on medication, that is also administered at this time. 

Behavioural Enrichment - Providing the lions with opportunities that  promote species specific behaviours to assist their development.  This may include creating toys from natural materials to encourage stalking and chasing.

Enclosure Cleaning - Cleaning is carried out daily.  Faeces and leftover bones are collected and disposed of.  All water baths are emptied, scrubbed and re-filled to allow the lions access to fresh water.

Enclosure Maintenance - The condition of lion enclosures is monitored constantly and interns are asked to carry out work, including essential boundary repairs, to the highest standards. 

De-Ticking and De-Worming - This is managed on a regular basis.  Since ticks attach themselves to any part of the lion and can easily spread disease, they need to be kept under control.  It is for the same reason the lions are also de-wormed. 

Veterinary Treatment - Should one of the lions become injured or sick, interns will assist the Lions Manager in treating the injury if it is minor enough and not involve the need for a Veterinary consult.  If a vet is called in to assist, you may have the opportunity to help them during any treatment.

Computer Work - A lot of intern work is also computer based.  You will be asked to regularly update the lion’s profiles and descriptions.  This will include taking and attaching up-to-date pictures of each lion, documenting health issues such as when they were de-wormed, de-ticked and vaccinated, or any injuries they may have sustained along with pictures of such injuries.  Stage status, hunting, mating and breeding data will also need to be updated regularly on each profile.

Taking care of the lions can be physically demanding, so please come prepared to work hard!

At Antelope Park interns may also be involved in caring for the Park’s resident elephants.

You can download our Animal Management internship brochure here.

What are we looking for?

When choosing an Animal Management intern we are ideally looking for a post-graduate who has studied animal care, behaviour, management, etc, although we are able to accept sufficiently motivated current students in selected project locations. 

To be considered for an internship, you must clearly have an interest in animals/wildlife and their conservation.  Experience is important as well, whether it be caring for your own pets, or working / volunteering at a veterinary practice, zoo or animal sanctuary (not necessarily with big cats).

On a personal level, initiative and a ‘go to’ attitude are a must!  Our Lions Managers have busy schedules and are looking for interns who are reliable and can do a good job under minimum supervision.  You will need to be able to think on your feet and learn to expect the unexpected. 

Click on these links for more information on the locations currently available:

Gweru (Antelope Park), Zimbabwe

An experience too good to miss, but don’t take our word for it.  Here’s what some of our previous Animal Management interns have to say about taking part in the Program...


Program fees for arrivals between 1st January and 31st December 2018 are GB£ 1,795 / US$ 3,310 per four weeks with a minimum stay of eight weeks.  

Your fee includes collection from the nearest airport to the project site, shared accommodation, three meals per day and memories to last a lifetime!  Invoice amount is charged on a per day basis.

The cost of flights, visas and permits, travel insurance, optional trips and activities are not included in this price.

If you wish to intern with ALERT, you will need to obtain a Police Check.  As an intern, you may be working closely with children or vulnerable adults to some extent during your stay; therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that these people are adequately safeguarded.  For applicants from the UK, we will arrange the check for you at a cost of £20, which will be added to your invoice and payable along with your deposit.  For applicants from all other countries, please contact your local police department for advice on how to go about arranging your check.  All participants on all of our programs are required to undertake a police check before their placement commences.

If the only thing stopping you from realising your dream of interning in Africa is the financial cost involved, why not join 1000s of other travellers around the world who fundraise to pay for their trip.  Volunteer Forever is an online fundraising resource that allows you to appeal for donations towards your costs while keeping family, friends and other potential donors up-to-date with your progress.  We also encourage you to download our fundraising guide here with lots of helpful ideas on how you can make your appeal effective.


To assess your suitability for this program, please read the What Are We Looking For? section of your chosen internship before submitting your application.  The minimum age for this program is 21 years.

Your application should be sent to and accompanied by:

  • A cover letter detailing your motivation for applying and the skills and experience you hope to bring to bear whilst with us
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae
  • A letter of reference from an appropriate academic or business source that confirms your experience
  • First choice of project location

Your application will be reviewed within one week of receipt and additional references may be requested.  Only candidates with skills appropriate to their chosen internship will be considered.  Successful candidates will be offered a placement at a location most appropriate for their skills and experience to ensure that both the intern and the project gain the maximum from the program.  Please note that you may be onsite at the same time as other Animal Management interns.  We regret that not all applications will be accepted and no appeals will be considered. 

You may consider yourself ineligible for this program but still want to become involved in the work that we do. Our volunteer programs give a wide range of opportunities, whatever your background. Click here for more details.
Please ensure you have read our terms and conditions before making your application.  Our internships operate under a responsible tourism policy to ensure your presence will have a positive effect on the environments and communities in which we work.




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