International student chooses Riverside Discovery Center for internship.

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) One of the wonderful things about Riverside Discovery Center is that they offer internships. Now they're getting international attention.

Alana Pay is a registered veterinary technologist in Canada. She graduated from Olds College in Alberta Canada, 26 hours north of here.

She grew up on a hobby farm with animals, and zoo medicine has always been a passion of hers. Alana said she “came down to the states because they don’t offer these (zoo internships) in Canada.”

So, when she was looking for a zoo internship, she hopped on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums website. That’s where she found Riverside Discovery Center among the list of AZA accredited zoos that offer internships.

She had a few offers. What sealed the deal was the size of the zoo which means more diverse training, but also the quality. She got a chance to stop by Riverside Discovery Center before she made the decision.

“I was on my way to St. Louis Missouri for a conference,” said Pay. She decided the trip was the perfect time to make a pit stop, “might as well go check it out.’” The trip turned into a bit of a reconnaissance mission.

“I didn’t introduce myself to anybody. I just came in and looked around to see where everything was. Sort of -what was happening on the outside day-to-day basis.” After the visit she decided that RDC was the right fit.

Alana will be experiencing many facets of zoo keeping and animal husbandry. According to the intern, that kind of diversity is limited to zoos like RDC because larger zoos tend to keep interns in one area like carnivores or petting zoo animals, for instance.

She won’t be practicing veterinary medicine because her training is from another country, but she is very excited to get to work with all of the animals. Alana will be working at the zoo until late summer 2019.