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Internship: Wolves

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PHOTO: PROVIDED BY EMILY BLADE

Animal sciences major Emily Blade was working on a research paper about wolf-dog hybrids for class when she stumbled upon her dream internship working with wolves at the Wolf Education and Research Center in Idaho.

“I saw the internship as a chance to work with an animal I always have loved,” said Blade, “and also as a new experience that might help direct the course of my future.”

The most challenging part of her internship was dealing with people who had formed opinions about wolves based on stories and myths. “It is true that wolves have the potential to be dangerous, but the same is true of any other predatory animal and even some prey animals,” she said.

The most important thing about wolves, according to Blade, is that they are more like humans than most people think. “Their social structure is the most complex outside of the primate family,” she said. “In fact, the wolf pack is structured much like a human family and includes a breeding pair and their offspring with the occasional aunt or uncle.”

During her internship, Blade gained skills in handling wild animals, interpreting and analyzing behavior, educating people of all ages, and talking to people who have different views on a topic.

Blade wants to pursue a graduate degree in wildlife biology and would like to work with endangered species. She said her ideal job always has been to study wild wolves in Alaska or Canada.