ZooGuides are adults who match their skills and enthusiasm with the zoo's needs. As part of the zoo's most extensive volunteer program, ZooGuides work throughout the zoo and offsite as well, bringing animal conservation programs to schools and seniors.
ZooGuides look a lot like all of us: retired professionals, college students, people changing careers, freelancers, and more. If you enjoy contributing, learning and making a difference, you've got what it takes to be a ZooGuide.
Who can volunteer
ZooGuides are adults ages 18 and older who:
- have completed high school or equivalent
- can attend 32 hours of training
- can volunteer at the zoo for at least 88 hours per year.
What you'll do
- as "animal talkers" who share their passion and knowledge for a particular animal at the relevant exhibit
- in the information booth helping guests plan their visit to the zoo
- on conservation activities such as habitat restoration and wildlife surveys in nearby wildlife refuges and natural areas.
- in research, conducting animal behavior observations and visitor surveys
- with landscapers, working on horticultural projects
- on the volunteer enrichment team, working on animal enrichment items
- in animal care, helping prepare food and cleaning exhibits
Many ZooGuides say they receive as much or more than they give.
- a meaningful volunteer opportunity
- a chance to learn new skills
- camaraderie, working as part of a dedicated team of volunteers
- free zoo admission throughout the year
- discounts in the zoo's restaurants and gift shop
- a monthly volunteer newsletter
How to apply
- Apply online; you will be signing up for an information orientation session in the application.
- Attend an information orientation session.
- Participate in an interview with a member of our Volunteer Training Team.
- Upon acceptance to the ZooGuide Training Program you will need to successfully complete a background check which includes finger printing.
Informational Orientation options are:
Tuesday, September 12, 10-11:30 a.m. - FULL
Saturday, September 16, 9-10:30 a.m.
Saturday, September 16, 1-2:30 p.m.
If accepted to the ZooGuide Training program you will be required to attend all training sessions in full, spend additional time becoming familiar with the Zoo grounds and participate in two (2) required program observations which are approximately two hours each.
Training session dates are:
Four Saturdays: September 30, October 7, 14, 21 you must attend all four trainings in full. The average day being 9 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
To apply for the program and sign up for an orientation session please fill out the application.
If you are an adult who intends on volunteering with a job coach please contact the volunteer coordinator prior to completing the application process.
503-220-2783 or email the Volunteer Coordinator