Senior Katherine Bauer Rehabilitates Big Cats at Wildlife Sanctuary Internship

Published by Brooke Lange 8 months ago on Thu, Aug 3, 2023 10:11 AM

Katherine Bauer is a senior at Concordia majoring in environmental science with a double minor in biology and marketing. Her dream is to someday work at a rehabilitative wildlife center. This summer, in order to fulfill her environmental science major requirements, she decided to do an internship at In-Sync Exotics. In-Sync Exotics is a Wildlife Rescue and Educational center in Wylie, Texas. The center currently houses 78 big cats of varying species, from lions, to leopards, to cougars. 

Bauer was looking for a sense of mission in her internship search, and she quickly found it with In-Sync Exotics. "I decided on In-Sync Exotics because it gave me the opportunity to work with a variety of cats, and there was a specific goal behind what they’re doing. Their motto is ‘To provide a caring, safe haven to some of God’s most beautiful creatures. We put their needs above all else; the old, the maimed, the unwanted can find sanctuary here.’ With ideals like that, there was no way I was passing up the opportunity to be a small part of their organization.”  

Bauer contributes to the organization day to day by feeding the cats and cleaning their enclosures.The day begins at 8 with prepping food for the cats. After that, the staff cleans the cats’ playground, and then while the cats are in the playground, the staff goes back and cleans the cats’ enclosures. Additionally, there are specific nights when she works with night feeding, which begins at around 7:30 pm. There are times when she works 13-hour days. The work can get tiring, but Bauer is able to find meaning in even the most strenuous activities. “Any project that I started that began to feel brutal, I put in perspective when I see a tiger playing with its toys or I hear a lion roar. Then I remember how lucky I am to be where I am.” 

Katherine finds the opportunity meaningful because of the significant emphasis In-Sync Exotics places on second chances. “It is so awesome to see how everyone and everything that steps on property is changed and loved here. One of the happiest and silliest tigers on property came from an awful and abusive home and looked to be on death's doorstep when they got him a few years ago, and now he chuffs with everyone who comes near him, and loves playing with his toys in his tub. Even some of the volunteers that are here now came from difficult pasts but have a home working here. Helping the cats have happy and healthy lives while I’m surrounded by amazing people is something I will never forget and will be forever grateful for.” 

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