F&M Stories

F&M Junior Wants to Be Where the Wild Things Are

The Franklin & Marshall student experience doesn't stop when the academic year ends. From internships in Lancaster, to travel around the world and research across the country, our students continue their quest for knowledge this summer.

If Mary Adams ever found orphaned or injured wildlife in her yard, she knew exactly who to call: Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge Rehabilitation Hospital in Medford, N.J. Little did she know, Adams herself would one day be the expert on the other end of the line as a Cedar Run intern.

"I wanted an experience that was very hands-on with animals this summer," Adams, a Franklin & Marshall College biology major, said. "The fact that Cedar Run specializes in rehabilitation piqued my interest. I have always been fascinated by the work of wildlife rehabilitators and inspired by the ultimate goal of successfully reintroducing animals to their native habitats."

Adams explained that shifts at Cedar Run revolve around the animals' feeding and medication schedules, but her other responsibilities can take many forms. She described days filled by tube-feeding an infant opossum, vaccinating a raccoon, treating a mangy fox (mange is a skin disease caused by mites), providing enrichment to permanent refuge residents, cleaning and preparation work, and performing intake and initial examinations of incoming patients. Adams even takes phone calls from the public similar to those she herself has made, helping assess and determine whether an animal needs to be brought into the hospital for treatment.

"I have had amazing opportunities to master skills I never imagined I would be exposed to," she said. "I knew interning at a wildlife refuge hospital would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I didn't ever imagine that I would take so much away from this experience."

Though Adams' vision of her future isn't crystal clear, she knows she wants to work with animals and is excited by the many forks in the road she might follow.

"Every experience I take on, every class I take, opens my eyes to something new and opens me up to new interests," she said. "This internship at Cedar Run has introduced me to so many new things, and I've fallen in love with every single creature I've held — especially the baby raccoons. It makes me so happy to see them thriving and returning to their natural habitats."

Mary Adams is one of 40 F&M students pursuing summer experiences supported by donor funding awarded through F&M's Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development. In particular, Adams' summer experience in particular was funded by the Schapiro-Cadwell Internship Endowment.

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