From Rescues to Releases: Wildlife Rehabilitation Interview with Joey of the Jungle

Episode 102
54m | Dec 12, 2023

I have so many followers interested in careers in wildlife rehabilitation so I am especially excited about this week’s episode of the Fancy Scientist podcast. I sat down with veterinarian nurse and wildlife rehabilitator, Joey Solimine AKA Joey of the Jungle. Joey is not your average adventurer - she travels all over Central and South America volunteering at different wildlife rehabilitation centers taking care of animals that have been injured, trafficked, and rescued with the hopes that they can be released back into the wild. She's the founder of Jungle Rescue Reform, an initiative dedicated to bringing attention and support to smaller rehabilitation centers throughout Central and South America so that they can more effectively take care of wildlife. In this episode, Joey and I discuss everything from the day-to-day life at wildlife facilities to the nitty-gritty details of vet tech/nurse work. We dive into Joey's extensive background, exploring her experiences in veterinary medicine and wildlife rehabilitation and the incredible stories she's gathered from her travels. 

Throughout our conversation, you'll gain valuable insights about the industry, learn about different aspects of the job, and be inspired by Joey's commitment to making a difference. If you've ever wondered what it's like to embark on a career in wildlife rehabilitation, this episode is your backstage pass. 

Specifically, we discussed:

  • Joey's background leading to becoming a vet nurse and wildlife rehab volunteer
  • What the day-to-day life of a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer is like
  • What it’s like to work as a vet nurse
  • The wildlife trafficking problem and how animals end up in rehab centers
  • The problems wildlife rehabilitation centers can face
  • Tips for finding ethical wildlife rehabilitation organizations
  • The mission of Joey's organization Jungle Rescue Reform
  • Amazing rescue stories about animals like tapirs
  • Opportunities to contribute with Joey and learn more about rehabilitation centers in Central and South America 
  • And MORE!!

I’m Dr. Stephanie Manka (formerly Schuttler), a wildlife biologist of nearly 20 yrs with 20+ peer-reviewed scientific publications, author of the book Getting a Job in Wildlife Biology: What It’s Like and What You Need to Know ( and founder of Fancy Scientist. My channel and the Fancy Scientist LLC is dedicated to connecting people to science and nature, breaking stereotypes of, and empowering scientists. I help aspiring and struggling wildlife biologists get the right training so they can get jobs, live out their life’s purpose and make a difference in this world.

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Fancy Scientist with Dr. Stephanie Manka