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.

ZooGuides are made up of 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 34 hours of training (28 hrs classroom, 6 hrs program observations)
  • can volunteer at the zoo for an average of one shift per week

Your opportunities for the first 6 months:
ZooGuides work:

  • on zoo grounds sharing the zoo’s story of its animals, animal welfare and conservation through meaningful engagement with guests
  • on the volunteer enrichment team, working on animal enrichment items
  • on conservation activities such as habitat restoration and wildlife surveys in nearby wildlife refuges and natural areas.
  • in providing support for the zoo’s annual and seasonal events.

Opportunities after 6 months:

  • with landscapers, working on horticultural projects
  • educational outreach
  • onsite educational classes
  • school group ambassadors
Opportunities after 1 year of active volunteering:
  • specialized presentations on grounds
  • in animal care, helping prepare food and cleaning animal habitats
  • in research, conducting animal behavior observations and visitor surveys
  • volunteer safety team


Many ZooGuides say they receive as much or more than they give.

ZooGuides receive:

  • a meaningful volunteer opportunity
  • a chance to learn new skills
  • opportunities to learn and keep up to date on trends in zoos, particularly the Oregon Zoo
  • camaraderie, working as part of a dedicated team of volunteers
  • free zoo admission throughout the year
  • free parking while volunteering
  • discounted Oregon Zoo membership
  • discounts in the zoo's restaurants and gift shop
  • a monthly volunteer newsletter

How to apply:

We are not currently recruiting for this program.


Email the Volunteer Coordinator