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Lindsay Wildlife Museum


The Lindsay Wildlife Museum has excellent veterinary medical facilities. The medical records for the wildlife hospital are computerized. Paper and computer charts are maintained for the animals of the Live Collection and Pet Education. The Lindsay Wildlife Museum is highly regarded in the captive animal field because of the extraordinary enrichment that is provided for our captive wild animals. Such an experience will be valuable for any veterinarians wishing to work with exotic species. In addition, they will be able to observe and participate (if they wish) in the process of teaching people how to partner with wild animals to give educational programs.

The Museum has an excellent regional reputation and often works with U.C. Davis on research projects (current associations are investigating the incidence and pathogenicity of Trichomonas sp. in house finches and mockingbirds (Dr. Bondurant's lab) and providing samples for investigations into hemoparasites, West Nile virus, and avian influenza. The Museum also has a similar working relationship with zoology researchers at U.C. Berkeley and Cal Academy . Wildlife or Live Collections animals requiring medical attention beyond on-site capabilities are transported to U.C. Davis or other local veterinary specialty clinics (ophthalmology, specialized ultrasonography, etc.).

The Live Collection consists of approximately 100 wild animals native to northern California including bobcat, grey fox, coyote, raccoon, bats, a variety of rodents, raptors (including eagles, vultures, buteos, falcons, and owls), corvids (ravens, jays), songbirds, woodpeckers, rattlesnake, non-venomous colubrid snakes, western pond turtle, desert tortoise, salamanders, toads, fish, arthropods (tarantulas, black widow spiders, scorpions, walking sticks, etc.). Typically 1-2 animals require veterinary examinations per day for preventive or other medical concerns. The Pet Education Program consists of about half a dozen rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and rats. These animals require approximately 1 to 2 visits per week for medical concerns. A preventive medicine program is in place and usually consists of several physical examinations performed in a 1-2 day period during the winter. These exams could be scheduled to coincide with veterinary student visits.

Although much lab work is sent out to IDEXX labs, the hospital performs many in house CBCs, chemistries, fecals, cytologies, etc. We have in house radiology capabilities with an automatic developer. Equipment list: Isoflurane vaporizer, Tel-inject system, pulse oximeter, ECG, electrocautery, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery packs, IM fixation equipment, external fixation ability, X-ray machine, automatic processor, rigid arthroscope, multiple microscopes, video teaching microscope, hemocytometer, refractometer, centrifuges, multiple cytology stains, equipment to support routine parasite control program, ICU unit, multiple incubators, oxygen cage, rigid endoscopy, Abaxis chemistry analyzer. Separate rooms in the wildlife hospital: Treatment, ICU, animal holding room, X ray room, baby bird room, quarantine, laboratory, kitchen, dry food storage, walk in freezer, laundry room, office, break room. 


Associate Veterinarians and special expertise available

  • Nancy L. Anderson DVM, ABVP (Avian), PhD
  • Anneke Moresco DVM, PhD
  • Kathy Hamilton DVM

In addition to exposure to veterinarians, the veterinary students will have the benefit of learning from the wildlife hospital Supervisors. The three main Supervisors have worked full time in wildlife rehabilitation for 31 years, 30 years and 12 years respectively. They provide a wealth of practical experience, which includes a phenomenal knowledge of the natural history, husbandry, behavioral needs, and restraint concerns of wildlife species native to northern California . Their knowledge base is not available in any book.

The students will also be able to work with the keepers of the Live Collection. The Lindsay Wildlife Museum connects people with wildlife inspiring respect and a sense of responsibility for the world we share. To accomplish this goal, the Museum runs a Wildlife Hospital that treats approximately 6000 wild animals per year and maintains a Live Collection of approximately 150 wild animals native to northern California . The Museum also runs a Pet Education Program to inspire people to responsibly care for small domestic pets. In concert with its captive wild animal collection the Museum reaches over 170,000 people per year through its in house and outreach programs.

Educational Resources

  • complete library concerning wildlife and captive wild animal medicine
  • Journals; Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, Annual Proceedings, Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Education, Journal Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, and Annual Proceedings of AAZV, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Annual Proceedings of International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, Proceedings National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
  • articles not found but wanted can be obtained through Dr. Anderson through the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
  • internet access


Externships are generally available for periods > 4 weeks. Shorter externships are not recommended because students generally require 2 weeks to become familiar with hospital procedures and to get used to the rapid pace. In addition, the staff require the first 2 weeks to train students and to assess their abilities before assigning responsibilities. When time is available, students' requests for shorter externships will be considered. However, students accepting shorter externships should recognize that their experience will likely be limited to observation.

The preceptor will participate in a fast paced, high quality wildlife rehabilitation center and a moderate paced, high quality captive wild/exotic animal practice. In the wildlife hospital, the student will work with veterinarians and experienced wildlife rehabilitators in recognizing, diagnosing and treating a wide diversity of wildlife diseases and traumatic injuries. To the level of their ability, students will have ample opportunity to practice their anesthesia and surgery skills.

The type of veterinary medicine practiced for the animals of the Live Collection is slightly different. These animals have relationships with their keepers that are important factors in developing treatment plans in some cases allowing intensive management of problems similar to domestic animals and in others limiting treatment options. The student will learn the art of medical management of animals that cannot be touched without general anesthesia. The animals of the Pet Education Program offer the opportunity for students to become familiar with small mammal medicine from both the perspectives of population medicine and individual pets.

In addition to the opportunity to fine tune their veterinary skills, students will have the chance to learn to manage large case loads while maintaining high quality, the economic trade-offs inherent in treating animals in a non-profit environment, management of volunteers, communication/public speaking skills through telephone and interpersonal communications,record keeping, enrichment techniques for captive and hospitalized wild animals, and techniques used to partner with wild animals in educational settings.

The Wildlife Hospital sees approximately 6000 wildlife cases per year. The diversity of species and clinical signs is astonishing. In the spring, students can expect to see between 40 and 100 wildlife cases per day. These cases consist of a wide diversity of species and problems. The three most common problems seen in the spring are orphans, cat bites, and head trauma. In the winter, students can expect to see 10 to 20 wildlife cases per day. Winter cases usually consist of raptors and omnivores/carnivores with advanced disease problems requiring in depth medical care.

After consultation with Dr. Anderson, students will be expected to complete a project during their externship.

Additional experiences can be arranged for students to make field trips to other regional wildlife centers and zoos. The following facilities are within a two hour drive: Marine Mammal Center, Oakland Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, Sacramento Zoo, California Regional Primate Center, Marine World Africa, International Bird Research and Rescue Center, UC Davis VMTH, UC Davis Raptor Center, Micke Grove Zoo, UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, Steinhardt Aquarium. 

Student Supervision

The student is expected to have direct access to the supervising veterinarian at least 6 hours every day. The students will be supervised by Wildlife Hospital Supervisors, Live Collection Keepers, or volunteer veterinarians when the supervising veterinarian is not available.


No, There is no financial aid of any sort. In the past, there have been museum volunteers who have sometimes agreed to rent a room in their house to a vet preceptor for the month they spend with us, but there is no guarantee.

Practice Information

To apply:

Submit a resume, letter of intent (including suggested rotation dates), and three references to:

Nancy L. Anderson, DVM
Director of Wildlife Services
Lindsay Wildlife Museum
1931 First Ave
Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Fax: 925-935-8015



Updated: 7/22/09
Signature on file: Dr. Nancy L. Anderson


To allow for the best possible matches, for students that live within driving distance, a visit/tour of Lindsay Wildlife Museum scheduled with Dr. Anderson is highly advised prior to application.

Walnut Creek, CA
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