Animal Care Internship

Practical internship experience

Animal Care Internship

Dolphins Plus internship program offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students and recent college graduates interested in obtaining practical experience in the marine mammal care and training field. Working individually and in teams alongside our professional animal care staff and onsite research and education departments, interns delve into all aspects of day-to-day facility operations. From assisting with daily husbandry procedures with our resident population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), to collecting data for ongoing research projects, to participating in educational briefings for our daily interactive programs, interns enjoy a truly immersive educational curriculum that creates a valuable foundation for a career in animal care and training.

We are looking for candidates who are highly motivated and show strong interest in the animal care and training field. All competitive applications will be considered. No internship experience is required; however, priority will be given to applicants with relevant experience and academic backgrounds. The goal of the Dolphins Plus Animal Care and Training Internship is to expose participants to the marine mammal care and training field by offering a hands-on learning experience. Our three-month internship also introduces young professionals to the privileges and responsibilities of working alongside our resident population of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), as well as the important research and education opportunities made possible by zoos and aquariums.

Internship Duties/Goals

  • Assist animal care staff with daily operations including, but not limited, to:
    • Facility Cleaning and Maintenance
    • Diet Preparation
    • Daily Husbandry Procedures
    • Training and Enrichment Sessions
    • Leading Daily Public Educational Presentations
    • Directing Guests During Interactive Programs
    • Guest Relations and Customer Service
    • Data Collection, Entry and Analysis to Support Ongoing Research Projects
  • Participate in a three phase, comprehensive lecture series and complete relevant exams.
  • Receive constructive feedback through informal and formal evaluations.
  • Earn interactive experiences as incentives for successful completion of goals and checkpoints.

Note:  Handling experience is not guaranteed. Interns are required to pass two training exams in order to be considered for an introductory b-pointing opportunity with our dolphins.

**For more information, please view Dolphins Plus Internship FAQs or email the intern coordinator at

Application - Required Documents

  1. Completed Application
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Resume/CV
  4. Current College/University Transcripts (official or unofficial)
  5. Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Letters of recommendation must not be from friends or family, but rather professors, employers, supervisors, mentors, or another professional source. All letters must be sent on institution letterhead with a valid signature. Letters may be included in your application packet (in individual envelopes each sealed and signed by the reference) or emailed directly by the person providing your reference to

Mail Documents To

Please mail all above documents, together in one packet, before the application deadline to:

Dolphins Plus Inc.
Attn: Animal Care and Training Intern Coordinator
101900 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037 

This internship is no joke. This will completely give you a kick-start into the Animal Care industry. Not to mention falling in love with some of the greatest animals (and people) on the planet.
Sarah M.

Dolphins Plus animal care interns
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Candidates must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be fluent in English
  • Have completed at least 1 semester of college/university
  • Be available for a minimum of 12 weeks (approximately 40-hour/week)
  • Be willing to accept the internship as an unpaid position
  • Be willing to work both independently and in a team setting

Dolphins Plus does not provide housing. However, the Internship Coordinators are available to assist interns in identifying affordable housing near Dolphins Plus. Interns must be capable of maintaining financial stability throughout the duration of the internship, including the cost of housing (including utilities), transportation, meals, travel, and personal expenses. Candidates must be motivated, independent and able to take initiative. They should be physically fit, proficient in deep water, and capable of lifting up to 50lbs, as well as be able to withstand long periods of time outdoors in warm climate (~75°-95°F) and varying weather/environmental conditions (sun, rain, humidity, mosquitoes).


  • Winter Session: Mid-November to Mid-February (Application Deadline: August 15th)
  • Spring Session: Mid-February to Mid-May (Application Deadline: November 15th)
  • Summer Session: Mid-May to Mid-August (Application Deadline: February 15th)
  • Fall Session: Mid-August to Mid-November (Application Deadline: May 15th)

*Please note that these are strict deadlines and our programs are highly competitive. Materials received after the deadline will not be considered.