UA Little Rock Student Spends Summer Interning at Wildlife Rescue Center, Animal Hospital in Thailand

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock student took a walk on the wild side this summer as she interned at a wildlife rescue center and animal hospital in Thailand.

As a future veterinarian who is considering a career working with animals in the wild, Tabitha Waite, a junior biology major from Bryant and member of the Donaghey Scholars Honors Program, was looking for a diverse summer internship that would provide her with some international experience working with animals.

From June 4 to July 30, Waite had a once-in-a-lifetime, two-part internship experience through World Endeavors. She spent one month interning at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, a wildlife rescue center that serves as a rehabilitation center and refuge for wildlife in need.

“When I was at the wildlife center, some of our responsibilities included feeding wild animals that were rescued, cleaning a lot of enclosures, and doing enrichment with the animals,” Waite said. “I really enjoyed walking with the elephants and being up close with them. Many of them had been rescued from tourist traps where people would pay to ride on the backs of elephants.”

Tabitha Waite feeds an elephant during a summer internship at a wildlife rescue center and animal hospital in Thailand.
Tabitha Waite feeds an elephant during a summer internship at a wildlife rescue center and animal hospital in Thailand.

During the second month, she interned at a 24-hour emergency animal hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Waite shadowed a veterinarian and learned about Thai culture while living with a host family.

“My host family is Buddhist, so I got to visit a lot of temples and learn about their culture,” Waite said. “Getting to see animals in their natural habitat, meeting new people, and trying new spicy food has been amazing!”

Now that she’s back in Little Rock, Waite will continue to grow her extensive experience working with animals as she completes an internship with the Little Rock Zoo this fall.

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