We are currently accepting Zookeeping Internship applications from motivated and qualified individuals interested in pursuing a rewarding career as a Zookeeper. This internship will provide interns with a valuable hands-on experience with a large number of animals from the zoo’s varied collection including our giraffe, zebra, bison, elk, goats, donkeys, sheep and birds of prey. Please note none of our internships provide the opportunity to work directly with our big cats or our veterinary staff.
Zookeeper interns will work directly alongside our dedicated and experienced keepers in order to gain experience in all aspects of animal care and management in an AZA-accredited zoological organization. These duties include, but are not limited to: daily animal husbandry, diet and nutrition, regular cleaning and maintenance of animal areas and exhibits, behavioral observations, animal enrichment and guest interactions.
In addition interns will have the opportunity to gain experience in the following areas as available: exhibit set-up and design, positive reinforcement training programs, animal welfare/wellness assessments and record keeping. Applicants must be able to work a minimum of (2) 10 hour shifts per week and work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures. Interns will be working side by side with experienced keepers as well as staff and volunteers from various departments in the Zoo and should be comfortable working in a team environment. All applicants should be willing to approach the internship as a valuable opportunity to learn, gain experience and create a network to advance their career.
– Current college students, recent college graduates preferably with a biology or animal science related major
– Applicants that are serious about a career as a Zoo professional
– Previous animal experience is not a requirement, but desired
– The ability to work as part of a team is crucial, as are strong communication skills.
– Must be able to do physical work on your feet for more than 8 hours, lifting up to 50 pounds and perform activities such as raking or shoveling
– Must have complete/clear TB test, PA Child Abuse Clearance and PA Criminal Background check
– You must be at least 18 years of age
– Two 10 hour days per week (more may be available if desired)
– The three sessions mimic most college semesters: Fall runs Aug-Dec, Spring runs Jan-May, and Summer runs May-August
– Must be able to attend a scheduled interview and a scheduled orientation prior to start of session
– Shifts are 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m
– Intern shifts occur every day regardless of inclement weather, except in cases where travel in the weather may be dangerous.
– Intern shifts occur every day regardless of holiday except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day, New Years Eve & Day when the zoo is closed.
– Preparing/distributing animal diets
– Maintaining exhibits/enclosures
– Preparing and developing animal enrichment
– Assisting keepers with animal training (as available)
– Speaking to guests as part of keeper talks
– Daily observation and reporting of animal behaviors
– Interns will be provided with the opportunity to learn in a non-profit AZA accredited facility that meets the highest standards in zoo practices
– Interns will be provided with hands-on experiential learning and mentored by our talented keeper staff
– Internships at Elmwood Park Zoo are developed to provide a rich learning experience and are non-remunerative
– EPZ Internships may be applied to receive college credit in accordance to your school’s policy
ZooKeeping Internship Application
- You are at least 18 years of age
- You must complete a PA Criminal Background Check and PA Child Abuse Clearance and submit the results to us.
- You are a current college student or a recent graduate majoring in or having majored in a relevant course of study to the internship that you seek. OR; You are a current professional considering a career change and are seeking relevant experience.
Applications are kept on file for 12 months. Incomplete applications will not be considered.