LCF is pleased to welcome Michael Barnas, Shruti Daga, Taylor Fisher, and Lauren Rager as our summer 2021 interns. These new additions bring great experience to LCF’s animal husbandry program. We are very appreciative that they have joined us during this challenging time and we’ve implemented ongoing precautions to keep them and our staff safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our thanks to Michael, Shruti, Taylor, and Lauren for following our protocols, which have included a ‘mini quarantine’ period that prevented them from shadowing husbandry staff for one weeks after their arrival at the reserve. Additionally, with their adherence to LCF PPE requirements, we provided them with presentations and activities that did not directly involve lemurs during the transition. Presentations included a general orientation, animal welfare, and enrichment, while projects included making banana circles for compost, tidying up our browse/vegetable garden, and planting new browse plants for the lemurs.
Read about their accomplishments and why they were attracted to LCF’s internship opportunities.
Michael is from Mokena, IL and is currently a senior at the University of Florida where he is earning a degree in Zoology with a minor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. He previously volunteered and interned at the Brookfield Zoo working in the education department, and currently volunteers at the Lubee Bat Conservancy when he’s at school. Michael hopes to pursue a career in animal research and conservation of endangered species, with an interest in birds and primates. He looks forward to this summer at LCF and can’t wait to gain new skills and make many memories.
Shruti is from Jamesburg, NJ and is currently a rising senior at Franklin & Marshall College where she is pursuing a degree in Animal Behavior with a minor in Japanese. She plans on pursuing a career in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Shruti has been working on the husbandry and enrichment teams for capuchins at the F&M vivarium and works at Animal Rescue Force during her breaks. She is looking forward to working with the lemurs at LCF and learning more about husbandry and caretaking.
Taylor is originally from the St. Louis area and is currently a rising junior at Eckerd College is St. Petersburg Florida. She is majoring in Psychology and Animal Studies and plans on pursuing a career in Animal Behavior. Outside of the classroom, Taylor also examines orangutan behavior as a student researcher at ZooTampa. Growing up she spent most of her summers at the St. Louis Zoo where her love of animals started. Primates are a large interest of hers and she can’t wait to gain valuable experience with the lemurs at LCF.
Lauren grew up in the small town of Bristolville, Ohio and she is currently a junior attending Youngstown State University. She is pursuing a degree in Anthropology with minors in both Biology and Psychology. Lauren’s end goal is to become a primatologist with a focus on infant development and rehabilitation. She has a background in wildlife rehabilitation, is the founder of a feral cat trap, neuter, and release program on her university’s campus, and is also an active teaching assistant at her university. Lauren is eager to work with the lemurs at LCF to get a taste of working in primate husbandry at an AZA accredited facility.