Olivet senior Crystal Sauder interns with National Tiger Sanctuary

This Olivet Tiger is working with tigers for a roaring summer internship.

June 18, 2018 Uncategorized

School may be out for summer, but Crystal Sauder, senior zoology major at Olivet Nazarene University, continues to embrace the “ONU Tiger” identifier. She is journeying through her three-month internship with the National Tiger Sanctuary in Saddlebrooke, Missouri.  

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“This internship is all about knowing the animal’s behavior,” says Crystal. “Olivet’s animal behavioral classes have helped me become more intuitive when it comes to recognizing the animal’s mood and health.”
How did it all begin? The summer before her junior year of high school, she visited the National Tiger Sanctuary and loved it.
Crystal’s mom engaged in conversation with one of the zookeepers, who then told her about the internship program. Within a week, she applied and a month later was accepted into the summer 2018 internship program.

During the three-month program, the interns are placed in different levels based on their experience. In addition, the program provides housing for the interns.
Just weeks into her internship, Crystal says, “Right now, I’m in training. I’m learning more about animal care, the animals’ diets, and I’m also giving tours. I get to tell guests about each cat’s personality and background.”

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Crystal recalls having a passion for animals since preschool, prompting her to take zoology classes in addition to her regular schoolwork.
In fifth grade, she joined the Junior Zookeeper Program at the Miller Park Zoo, in Bloomington, Illinois. She stayed in the program for eight years, until she graduated from high school. 

“In the future I want to work with animals who have come out of difficult situations,” Crystal says. “Some have been abused or have special needs. I want to help make life better for them.”
Along with her zoology major at Olivet, she has minors in interior design and intercultural studies. She plans to use her knowledge of interior design to create design structures at different zoo locations.
As she actively seeks to learn more about the conservation of animal life, Crystal plans to stay in a Sanctuary setting and care for animals. 
To learn more about Olivet’s areas of study in the areas of zoology and interior design, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Photos submitted by Crystal Sauder and used with permission.

Published: 6/18/2018


Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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