Meet the Interns! Winter 2019

We have five incredible wildlife rehabilitation interns this term that we’d like you to meet. Each of them brings enthusiasm, dedication, and knowledge – we are so glad to have them with us!




Emilee is from Clackamas, Oregon and has been attending Oregon State University since 2014. She is currently finishing out her bachelor of science degree with a major in Zoology and minor in Chemistry and will be graduating in June of 2019. She has had previous experience with being a carnivore keeper for 2 years working with tigers, lions, leopards, servals, lynx and much more. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching Netflix, baking and hanging out with her cat, Gerald, and her boyfriend. Emilee is excited for the opportunity to be a wildlife rehabilitation intern here at Chintimini Wildlife Center as well as gaining new knowledge and skills!


IMG_4335Annabelle is a 4th year undergraduate student at Oregon State University. She will be graduating with a bachelor of science in Biology with a Chemistry minor in the spring of 2019. She starts classes at the OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 2019 and will graduate in 2023 with a DVM degree. When not studying or working, she loves riding horses, rock climbing at Smith Rock, and skiing. She’s almost always in the company of her dog, Poke. Annabelle is grateful for the opportunity to learn from experts at Chintimini Wildlife Center for the duration of winter term.



IMG_3520Ashlee grew up in Arizona and recently moved to Oregon in the last year to finish her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Oregon State University. She has enjoyed discovering everything Oregon has to offer over the last year, including its wildlife! She started out as a volunteer and when the intern positions were posted, she jumped at the opportunity. She will be applying to Oregon State University to pursue her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and hopes to continue to volunteer at Chintimini Wildlife Center after her internship comes to an end. When she’s not at Chintimini she enjoys going on road trips to discover new places, working on a cross stitch project, baking something yummy and spending time with her two cats.




Spenser joined the Chintimini team 3 years ago; He began his journey with us as a volunteer on Saturday mornings, and last year he was asked to join our team of shift leaders. In addition to his shift leader role he is now a wildlife rehab intern for the winter term. Spenser spends 3 days a week at CWC and is passionate and dedicated to helping our local wildlife.




IMG_2999Desirée is earning her bachelor of science degree in Animal Science & Spanish with a pre-vet track at OSU. She is completing a year-long wildlife rehab internship with Chintimini Wildlife Center and continues to volunteer her time in our clinic as well. In her downtime, she loves to travel, ride horses, and practice aikido.

Season of Raptors

If there’s one thing that’s certain in the field of wildlife rehabilitation, it’s that there’s a time and a season for everything. As unpredictable as wildlife rehab can be, it’s accurate to say that we can expect to see certain types of patients arrive at roughly the same time each year.

Spring and summer mark the “busy season” for most wildlife rehabilitation centers. Enclosures are at capacity, there are hungry orphaned mouths to feed from sun-up to sun-down. Autumn is when we look forward to our raccoon releases, our migratory bird releases, and the start of winding down the chaos. And then, like clouds parting after a storm, winter arrives. Suddenly the patient load is at a glorious minimum, there’s time to take a real lunch break, and the big projects that are put off during busy season get crossed off the to-do list.

An emaciated owl receives subcutaneous fluids placed in the bird’s inguinal region

Winter is also a time where we tend to see an influx of two common types of patients: the emaciated raptor, and the collision with vehicle raptor. We see a lot of trauma in patients this time of year, due to the nature of winter itself. Food is scarce, visibility is oftentimes low for drivers, and people are generally not “out and about” as much (and are less likely to come across an animal in need).

This is the time of year when many first-year raptors (for example, a young Red-tailed Hawk) haven’t honed in on their hunting skills and, combined with colder weather and less prey availability, end up starving. Some will feed on roadside carrion, thus increasing the risk of being struck by a vehicle.

Some emaciated or severely injured raptors come to us too critical to survive or are beyond surgical repair and are humanely euthanized. While we are saddened, we are also grateful to aid in the relief of their suffering. Others come to us just in time, and with fluid therapy, followed by a specialized tube-fed diet, they slowly mend and recover. These success stories are truly remarkable!

A Barn Owl recovering from emaciation receives fluid therapy via feeding tube

How can you help?

  • If you see a bird of prey on the ground, and something seems “off,” it probably is. If you begin to approach it and it doesn’t fly away, it likely needs to be examined by a wildlife rehabilitator.
  • If you pass a hawk or eagle on the side of the road, don’t assume it is injured. Sometimes these birds are picking at roadkill and are simply finishing up a meal. If it’s safe and you are able, you can always turn around to get a better look at the situation to determine if the bird is indeed injured.
  • If you are unable to check things out, please make a mental note of the location (cross streets, mile post markers, which side of the road, etc.) and call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to report the bird when you are able to park your vehicle – there may be other calls in about the same bird, and your report will help rehab staff know what to do!
  • Any raptor with obvious injuries needs to be brought to a wildlife center for examination. Please call your nearest licensed rehabilitator for instructions on how to proceed.
  • Drive with care – just as you are aware of other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, please keep an eye out for birds on the road who might be looking for their next meal. While not every accident can be avoided, we can all do our part by being more alert and aware to the wildlife learning to navigate the world alongside us.

Erika Seirup, Animal Care Assistant