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Zoo Crew Volunteer

Make a difference...Volunteer!

The Washington Park Zoo welcomes enthusiastic volunteers who have a love for animals and a passion for serving the people of our community. Zoo volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and bring a variety of experience, knowledge and skill to the Zoo's operations. Of course, no prior experience is necessary, we'll teach you what you need to know. Whether you have just a few hours each month to spare, or are looking for a new avenue in life, there is a home for you at the Zoo.


As a ZooScaper volunteer, you will assist with projects for the Horticultural Department. Projects range from light physical duty such as planting, weeding, mulching, and watering, to more physically challenging projects such as moving deadfall and clearing brush. The ZooScapers program requires 20 hours of volunteer work each year in order to participate in the next year’s program. Various time commitments are available. Opportunities are available March-October and Youth volunteers 14 years to 16 may participate but must be accompanied by a parent volunteer at all times.

Special Events

Washington Park Zoo TurtleMaybe you do not want to do the dirty work.  Some Zoo volunteers only help with the special events: Kids day, Boo at the Zoo, Parade floats, etc.. You can be an important part of the fun!

Special Skilled Volunteers

Do you have a special skill or talent that could help the zoo, such as an artist, carpenter, welder, fundraiser?  We can use you to.

Community Volunteers

The Washington Park Zoo also has volunteer opportunities for local schools, scouts and other organizations that wish to do one day or weekend group projects.  We enjoy engaging young people in age appropriate service projects, but for safety all volunteers must be at least 12 years of age on or before the date of service and be willing to work a full assigned shift.  Also for safety compliance, volunteers will not be allowed in to the Zoo as a part of the group project with younger guest and some projects or events may require a higer age minimum.


Zoo Aide Volunteers

Washington Park Zoo Volunteer 3We are always accepting new volunteers into the Zoo Aide program. This program has been designed to give volunteers the opportunity to experience a deeper involvement with the Zoo. They have the privilege to volunteer alongside Zoo staff throughout the Zoo and assist them with daily operation task, such as cleaning the petting barn area, diet preparation, grounds work and with special events. Zoo Aides have limited contact with the animals until they have completed 50 hours of volunteer time, then they are welcomed to apply for the Keepers Aide program.

Time Requirement:Volunteers are permitted to make up their own time schedules - between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily but we have a minimum of 2 hours per shift.

Must work at least 20 hours a year to remain in "active" status.

Age Requirement :18 years or older

Keeper Aide Volunteer

Washington Park Zoo Volunteer 4To qualify for this program you must either be a Zoo Aide who has completed 50 hours of experience time or have successfully completed the Keeper Internship Program.

This program allows qualified volunteers to have a more hands on experience assisting keepers with the cleaning, feeding, enrichment, maintenance of animal exhibits, zoo grounds and Educational interactions with Zoo guest. Keeper Aides work under the direct supervision of zookeepers and at times in close proximity to animals, so a current negative T.B reading is required.

Time Requirement: Keeper Aides are permitted to make up their own time schedules - between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, with a minimum of 2 hours per shift.

Must work at least 30 hours per year to remain in "active" status.

Age Requirement:18 years or older

Keeper Internship

Keeper Internship candidates must plan to attend or currently be in college and working towards a degree in biology, zoology, animal behavior, or another related field. Interns work under the direct supervision of the zoo staff and a research paper is required to successfully complete the program. Interns are involved in various aspects of animal care, including daily husbandry, diet preparation and delivery, exhibit maintenance, behavioral enrichment preparation, animal observations, operant conditioning, and educational interactions with Zoo guests. There are three sessions throughout the year and program is limited to three to four students per session. Students are chosen based on the best applications. Since Intern’s work alongside keepers and have contact with the animals, they must provide the Zoo with a negative T.B. test reading before they can start the program. This is an experienced based position and is not paid.

Time Requirement : The internship term is 12 weeks with a minimum of 16 hours per week or 4 weeks with a minimum of 40 hours per week (schedules may be flexible based on the candidate's availability)

Age Requirement:18 years or older