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Fortress of the Bear

Fortress of the Bear, located in Southeast Alaska, is a fast growing bear rescue facility. We take in injured or orphaned bear cubs, where they are trained and brought to optimum health. Following our care, they placed them in zoos or sanctuaries nationally. Our resident collection currently consists of eight bears. Interns will play a role in the daily husbandry for these bears. We encourage candidates to visit our website and learn more about what we do:

Bear Keeper Intern (Seasonal)

We are seeking an experienced, enthusiastic individual to support our team in current bear care techniques. This is a temporary, unpaid position that will last approximately 20 weeks (May – September), during the Fortress of the Bear summer tourist season. Candidates that cannot commit to this full time period need not apply. Housing and transport will be provided.

Under direct supervision, interns are expected to perform a wide range of tasks, including all aspects of bear husbandry, giving educational presentations to the public and general maintenance. Responsibilities include (but are not limited to) the following:

1.     Provide quality interpretive talks to our visitors – typically crowds of 50 people.

2.     Provide the best guest experience possible through guided tours.

3.     Prepare daily diets for the animals.

4.     Record daily animal behavior, nutrition, health, enrichment, and training records. 

5.     Help implement daily animal enrichment and training programs.

6.     Maintain a professional level of cleanliness throughout the whole facility.

7.     When required, work in the facility gift shop, taking admission fees and selling merchandise.

Active. Some heavy lifting – interns must be able to lift and carry items weighing up to 50 pounds. Sufficient mobility, vision and hearing are needed to ensure a safe work environment. Must be able to be on feet for several hours at a time.

Fortress of the Bear is located in a temperate rain forest. Be prepared for wet and cold weather conditions.   

Interns must have, or be enrolled in, a college program working towards a degree in zoology, animal behavior or a related field. Previous experience of working in a zoological environment (particularly with bears) is preferred, though not necessary.


  • Knowledge of animal behavior.

  • Knowledge of procedures used for the proper care and handling of bears.

  • Eventual knowledge of Fortress of the Bear safety rules and regulations.

  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions, including procedures for care and maintenance of animals, exhibit, service and holding spaces.

  • Ability to tolerate stress working with high risk situations when feeding, or transferring animals.

  • Ability to exercise judgment concerning assigned work activities. Must be able to recognize potentially dangerous situations and report immediately.

  • Skill in diplomacy and tact when interacting with coworkers, visitors and volunteers.

  • Skill in observation in order to recognize and evaluate conditions of animal health, diets and behavior.

Ability to work weekends, evenings and holidays, during all climatic conditions.

Interns are guided daily by a Bear Manager, Director and other senior staff.

*This job description does not imply a contract to work.

How to Apply

Submit your resume, a cover letter, two letters of reference and two contactable references via e-mail to Claire Turner at

Fortress of the Bear
Sitka, AK

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