Taylor’s passion for wildlife rehabilitation has led him to work and internship opportunities at the Alaska Zoo, Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, and Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary.
Taylor Ruck ’19 has always enjoyed being around animals, yet never expected his passion for wildlife to give him opportunities to cradle a baby cub or come face-to-face with a raccoon.
While attending a wilderness program in Vermont, two Green Mountain College alumni suggested he check out the college’s unique programs for those who love caring for animals. Two years later, Taylor applied to and enrolled in GMC’s undergraduate program, initially majoring in Adventure Education and Outdoor Therapy.
Currently a senior Animal Conservation and Care (ACC) major, Taylor has plenty of wildlife rehabilitation experience from his work at Woodlands Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey and Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary in Newtown, NJ, where he also completed an internship. The work he has done to restore the health of injured and orphaned bear cubs, foxes, opossums, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, beavers, otters, Canadian Lynx, bobcats, and even alligators and snapping turtles before releasing them into the wild has been extremely rewarding.
This work has also led him to other work opportunities in Alaska. Taylor spent the entire summer of 2018 in Seward, Alaska working as a dog handler and musher for a dogsled team and volunteered with the Black bear enclosure at the Alaska Zoo.
At Green Mountain College, Taylor is involved in GMC’s Animal Care and Conservation Club and is minoring in music theory and literature and is currently immersed in his senior project, which is on Sea Shanties.
“The ACC program has expanded greatly in the time I’ve been here,” stated Taylor. “My favorite classes have been Wildlife Law, Captive Wildlife Management, and Animal Ethics. I would recommend to any student who has a love for caring for animals to explore this program – you won’t regret it.”
Upon graduation from GMC in the spring of 2019, he plans to continue his work as a wildlife rehabilitation expert and looks forward to opening his own wildlife rehabilitation center in Alaska.