Shania Osgood’s desire to restore the environment through helping wildlife has led her to pursue a career in animal conservation.
This summer, the Georgia State University biology major is receiving first-hand experience in animal conservation while also getting up close and personal with some of her favorite animals thanks to an internship with AWARE Wildlife Center.
“Sometimes I have to contain my excitement,” Osgood said. “I’m living out my childhood dream.”
AWARE Wildlife Center, a metro Atlanta nonprofit that treats about 2,000 injured or orphaned animals a year, rehabilitates native Georgia wild animals and educates the public about peaceful coexistence with wildlife.
As an intern, Osgood is responsible for cleaning animals’ enclosures and checking on their diets and health status. She also helps preps animals for surgical procedures.
“Working with wildlife, you have to stay on your toes, even with the turtles,” Osgood said, laughing.
Osgood said her favorite part of her internship is working with her favorite animals— possums.
“I love them,” Osgood said. “Possums have negative stereotypes about them, but after working with them, they’ve become my favorite animal. They’re just very misunderstood.”
Osgood said her internship with AWARE has given her a new appreciation for the animals she works with and is looking forward to her future career possibilities.
“I never had a lot of pets growing up so my curiosity about animals only strengthened my love for them,” Osgood said. “One of the cool things about working here is seeing all these animals in person. It’s so exciting.”