• Be able to commit at least 4 to 6 months
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Have a current tetanus vaccination (good for ten years)
  • Must have two doses of Covid-19 vaccination
  • International emergency medical insurance while interning
  • Willingness to get dirty, sweaty, tired, and work for wildlife
  • The ANIMAL RELATED INTERNSHIP(s) must get the rabies vaccination to apply. 

Application Deadlines & Service Dates

Headquarters (HQ) in San Josecito, San Isidro, Heredia | Release Site (RS) in Nazareth, Sarapiqui, Heredia


Animal Husbandry & Zookeeping at Headquarters: San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica

Wildlife Veterinary Internship at Headquarters: San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica

Sloth Rehabilitation Internship(s) at Headquarters: San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica

Wildlife Nursery at Headquarters: San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica

Conservation Marketing Internship at Headquarters: San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica

Wildlife Veterinary Internship at the Release Site: Nazareth, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

Wildlife Care Internship(s) at the Release Site: Nazareth, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica


Primate Rehab & Research Internship at the Release Site: Nazareth, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica


Professional Internships with the Toucan Rescue Ranch!

Get involved by becoming an intern at the Toucan Rescue Ranch! By applying for an internship - you are given a unique experience, gaining an in-depth understanding of our mission and the animals we serve. We have several internships requiring various skills and experience - from marketing, business administration, animal clinical work, conservation research, ecology and environment, and veterinarian education. We also work with various schools worldwide if you want an externship or earn credit with your university. We happily accept university students, graduates, individuals working in their respective fields, and so on. Please read our various descriptions for a better understanding of your applied position.

Your Safety, Our Priority:

Regardless of your role, we are committed to providing a rich internship opportunity that utilizes your unique skills to help Toucan Rescue Ranch achieve its mission of rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing wildlife. Your health and safety are of utmost concern to us during your internship assignment. While working with animals, it’s essential to understand and minimize the risks you take to ensure your safety and that of the wildlife. We’ll work to provide our interns with appropriate training and protective gear throughout their stay.

We require that ALL internships have a current tetanus vaccination. You must also have international medical insurance covering you in Costa Rica. We have insurance coverage recommendations for those being covered in Costa Rica. If you are interested, please ask in your application. You must turn in document proof of your current vaccinations and insurance during orientation.

By agreeing to come to volunteer/intern at Toucan Rescue Ranch, you must be aware that while working with wildlife, you may encounter zoonotic diseases. It’s your responsibility to follow strict biosecurity measures advised by the staff while volunteering or as an intern at Toucan Rescue Ranch.

What you will gain from this experience: 

As an intern at Toucan Rescue Ranch, you will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with a variety of animals, including toucans, sloths, owls, and more.

  • Animal care, rehabilitation, and release, as well as the importance of conservation efforts.
  • You will also be able to work alongside experienced professionals and volunteers, gaining valuable knowledge and skills that will benefit your future career.
  • You will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful country of Costa Rica, learning about its culture and history while immersing yourself in its natural beauty.
  • You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the important work of protecting and rehabilitating animals in need.
  • Interning at Toucan Rescue Ranch is a unique and rewarding experience that will provide you with valuable skills, knowledge, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Why We Charge for our Internships:

We have tried to keep our internships free to make them available to the broadest range of people. But as costs keep increasing and income from tourism varies, we must implement fees to maintain our operations. The fee covers room and board costs the education you will receive, and contributes to the medical care, food, and general husbandry of the animals in our care. We continue to improve and expand our facilities and staff, providing you with an excellent learning environment.

Read what past interns & volunteers have to say!

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Best experience I’ve ever had: being able to help a great cause, plus meeting a group of amazing people that do everything they can to help and take care of injured or neglected animals; it’s the best. I get inspired every day by each and every vet, coordinator,guide, volunteer and their passion for the cause. I hope I can stay there helping for as long as possible.

I toured the Toucan Rescue Ranch and had such a great experience, I decided to start volunteering there! Tours in English and Spanish are offered ... the staff is really nice and very professional. Highly recommend a visit!

I began my volunteering a couple of months ago in Toucan Rescue Ranch, since then I have been overblown by the commitment of the owner, staff, interns and volunteers. What amazes me that most is that the people who works there are mostly from abroad. Thank you for the work you have done and continue to do to preserve wildlife in Costa Rica!

I started my journey at Toucan Rescue Ranch as a Marketing Intern in 2020. It quickly became a place for me to grow, learn, make friends for a lifetime, and enjoy the little things in life that nature teaches us. Every single animal that the staff works on truly gets the best treatment possible, which really made me believe there are real people who care for conservation. If you want to learn and experience wildlife up close with the best teachers in Costa Rica, you found your place!

I’ve been to the ranch four times, three of them as a volunteer. The Toucan Rescue Ranch staff and volunteers are like my family and I consider it my home away from home. They all share their passion and love for wildlife with everyone who visits. Leslie Howle and the veterinarians, along with the others who work there should be recognized as one of Costa Rica’s biggest assets as an animal rescue and release facility.

A really great organisation. A lovely place, weather to visit, volunteer or donate too. The toucan rescue ranch provides excellent care for all wildlife and always aims to release and rehabilitate. The team and owners are all so hardworking, pleasant and welcoming and all just want the best for the animals. Supporting important initiatives such as the no animal selfies and trying to educate locals and tourists on why holding or taking photos with animals is a bad thing, the rescue ranch is doing an amazing job and is a leading example of how to run a great wildlife sanctuary. I miss this place with all my heart!

Latest Service Program News

  • Life As The Animal Husbandry Intern!

    Toucan Rescue Ranch’s dedication to wildlife goes beyond rescues and releases. We provide a lifelong home for many permanent residents who have found refuge in our sanctuary. Ensuring their health, happiness, and overall well-being is the biggest responsibility of our dedicated Animal Husbandry Intern.  Caring for Permanent Residents Our Animal Husbandry Internship is a unique […]

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  • Everything You Will Get as a Sloth Intern at Toucan Rescue Ranch!

    Are you passionate about wildlife conservation and eager to make a difference in the lives of sloths? Our sloth rehab internship program offers a unique opportunity to acquire valuable skills and knowledge while actively contributing to the rehabilitation and care of these fascinating creatures. Let’s dive into what you can gain from this enriching experience. […]

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  • What it’s like being the Marketing Intern for Toucan Rescue Ranch!

    Hi, my name is Maria, and I’ve been working as the Marketing Intern at Toucan Rescue Ranch for the past six months. It feels like I just started yesterday; time flies when you are doing something you enjoy. I will tell you more about my experience of What it is like to be a marketing […]

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