Intern Testimonials

As I look back on the past four weeks of my internship, I really cannot believe how quickly time has gone by. When I think about all that I have learned thus far and all that I will still be learning in the remaining month of my internship, I really am truly amazed with the workings of Chimps Inc. and the chimpanzees themselves.

Being more of an “elephant girl” myself, I was excited to start my internship with chimpanzees and learn about all different aspects of primate behavior, as well as how a sanctuary is operated. Since Topo is the alpha male, I met him first, and it was one of the most exhilarating moments to actually see a chimpanzee so close. I still feel this way every time I say good morning to them. It really is such an honor to be in their presence.

A typical workday is always interesting and fun at the sanctuary. We start out cleaning the enclosures and then do meal and enrichment preparation, assignments on the daily task calendar, and whatever else needs to be done. It’s never boring though, and the coolest part about doing all these tasks is that the chimps are able to see you wherever you go. So it’s more than likely that seven pairs of chimp eyes are following you around as you clean somewhere or are sorting produce. Just like the chimps, the staff is awesome as well. Everyone is always so helpful and patient when I have any questions, and I have a lot of questions!

Each day brings new stories to tell and fun little moments. For instance, Jackson and I have been hanging out after the workday is over. Jackson is usually so rambunctious and silly so it is fun to watch him just sit there quietly and stare intently at my boots. Even today, I got a nice little surprise from Topo, when he filled his mouth to the brim with water and then proceeded to spit it all over me. It was a nice way to wake me up this morning! I look forward to each day because something new and exciting always happens. I really am so excited to continue learning even more about the chimps in the coming month.

Miranda H., former intern (Hensonville, NY)

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The staff at Chimps Inc. are incredibly dedicated and devoted to the well-being of each and every chimp. Because of this facility, chimps who have been the victims of the entertainment or pet industries are offered the best life possible for them. The staff are highly attentive, catering to the specific needs of each chimp, interacting with them all day long, and As an intern, it is a privilege to learn about from such dedicated people. They are also fantastic about helping the interns get out and have some fun outside the sanctuary every now and then. The internship is a realistic experience in animal care. That means most of your time is spent cleaning and prepping food. There will be poop! It is tiring and does not smell like flowers, but it is rewarding and you really do get to know the chimps as you greet them each morning, work alongside their enclosures, and (eventually!) feed them chow or blow some bubbles for them! The academic part is whatever you make it. Ask questions of the very knowledgeable staff, observe the chimps, and find interesting topics to research! You have the opportunity to use your own knowledge and talents to make a positive impact on the lives of the chimps. Some people create elaborate enrichment and others do research projects. Whatever you’re interests are, if you care about animal rights and well-being, the chimps need you! The intern house is very comfortable, with a well-equipped kitchen. The area is absolutely beautiful. There are bard owls in the forest that you might be able to spot if you just go for a short hike after work. The internship was a great experience for me and I have a lot of really fond memories from my time there. The chimps all have a tragic past, but Chimps Inc. is their safe-haven and they are in great hands.

Kaitlin B., former intern (Chapel Hill, NC)

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I worked at Chimps Inc. for over six months. It was a wonderful experience. My sister was an intern some years ago, she always spoke very highly of chimps inc so I decided to apply. I’m from Manchester, England and I have to admit I was a little nervous. Once I arrived I was given a very warm welcome from the staff which immediately put me at ease. The experience from start to finish was a wonderful experience. The staff and volunteers became friends and the chimps were just wonderful intelligent animals to work with. They are treated with the up most respect. The work varies from maintenance of the sanctuary to making enrichment up for the chimps. I certainly felt part of the team and needed, working full time hours at the sanctuary and seeing the difference you can make is extremely rewarding. I would highly recommend the internship and I hope to go back some time in the future.

Katherine M., former intern (Shaw, UK)

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I am currently a second year veterinary student at NCSU and I spent a summer at Chimps Inc. during my junior year in undergrad and it was, by far, one of the best experiences I have had in my life. There are jobs with many sanctuaries where you have to do the difficult work but you get very little time with the animals themselves, well this is not true of Chimps Inc.. Not only do you live right beside the amazing chimpanzees you are helping take care of, but you have the ability to safely spend time with the chimpanzees every day.  Beyond the chimpanzee themselves, there are great people there that are willing to answer your million and one questions (as I had) while teaching you how to care for such intelligent animals and how to take care of all of the other important duties such as gardening, mowing, and cleaning. Overall, this internship helped me gain perspective on how closely related humans are to chimpanzees, realize how kind people can be if you ask, that hard work can go far, and that I needed to stay in shape for sanctuary work!

Sara R., former intern (Raleigh, NC)

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I began my internship in March intending to stay 6 weeks but decided to extend it to 10 because I was enjoying myself so much, and have stayed on as a volunteer once a week. It is paradise for an animal lover! This internship was definitely hard work, but taught me so much about what it means to actually run a sanctuary. Cleaning is tough, and tedious, but that is the nature of maintaining a livable and enjoyable environment for animals in a sanctuary. Everything must be scrubbed, every single day. Food must be prepared fresh, every single day. This is as tough mentally as it is physically. If you come into this without the expectation of hard work, it might be kind of a shock. If you are open though you’ll see that It’s so nice and refreshing to have the opportunity to work outside all day! I was so pleased to spend time with the caregivers and learn from them about their specialties. If you work hard and follow safety rules, the caregivers are happy to have you accompany them for feedings, behavioral training, and other observations. I also enjoyed going out into the community and talking about the sanctuary and the challenges of chimp conservation during outreach presentations. Aside from the hands on sanctuary management experience, it was a pleasure to get to know the chimps! I learned so much from spending time with them, and, with patience, was able to develop a relationship with them. Interns are encouraged to spend time with the chimps during the day as well as when the work is over. It’s always wonderful to observe the chimps using their enrichments or interacting with each other, and of course, no one can turn down a game of chase with Jackson or Topo. After a few days you won’t believe there was a time you couldn’t tell them apart. And the lynx! Alfie and Linky are gorgeous and demand creative thinking on the part of the caregivers, volunteers and interns to keep them occupied. The internship has an open structure so you can place focus where you want. I was able to look at the non-profit management aspect while others placed interest in behavior, primatology, psychology, conservation, social policy, veterinary medicine, animal welfare, behavioral training etc. This internship is truly unique, a chance to enter the sanctuary world and get some relevant experience with some amazing animals and people alike. I can honestly say that with this internship, you put in what you get out. As an animal rights advocate, I was challenged continually to refine my beliefs and ultimately learn what it means to put those beliefs into action. If you’re looking for a challenging, unique experience that will change the way you see the world, I highly recommend an internship with Chimps!

Kori S., former intern (Littleton, CO)

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I was an intern here last year and I had a fantastic experience. To be an intern here, you got to be passionate about animal welfare, and mentally strong to handle the needs of this particular animal species. Providing an enriched clean environment ensures physical and mental prosperity–which is essential for any and all animals living in captivity. The burden to accomplish this task may seem exhausting, yet it is much more rewarding since chimps exhibit a greater intelligence and greater range of emotions. Keep in mind that everything that you do is for the betterment of the resident animals at Chimps Inc. I’d say the main reason that this is a fantastic internship program is because there is a wide diversity of experiences that can suite a variety of educational backgrounds. For my educational focus, I gained a lot from the human dimensions associated with Chimps Inc. Chimps Inc has a strong outreach program that allows you to gain experience talking to business owners and the general public in private and public forums. Chimps Inc hosts and participates in several public events, fundraisers, and scholastic presentations, where you will have the opportunity to be the sole representative. There are so many great things about Chimps Inc that I cannot list all the beneficial experiences gained from my enrollment in this internship program. Seriously, these guys are awesome.

Ryan, T., former intern (Bend, OR)


 Fill out an intern application today!

Intern Application Form

Dates of Hepatitis "B" 3 shot series:
Please send photocopies of the following records to: Chimps Inc. Box 6973 Bend, OR 97708
  • TB Test
  • Tetanus Shot
  • Hepatitis "B" 3 shots
  • Proof of current health insurance (photocopy front and back of insurance card)
  • Valid driver's license
  • Resumé
Thank you for your application! You will be contacted via email once it has been received and processed. If you should have any additional questions regarding the internship program, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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