Volunteer & Internship Opportunities
Cosley Zoo offers volunteer opportunities in animal care and education which provide valuable support to these areas.
Long-Term Opportunities (three months minimum)
Interpretive volunteers help motivate visitors to appreciate the earth and its wildlife, and to conserve its resources through interacting with visitors, answering questions and explaining exhibits. Training is provided. Individuals must have good oral communication skills and be enthusiastic and interested in meeting and working with many types of people. Hours and days are flexible.
Interpretive volunteers are primarily needed from April-October. Interviews are conducted in February and July, and training takes place in late March/early April and August.
Must be 18 years of age or older.
Animal Care Volunteer
Animal care volunteers work directly with the zookeepers to perform routine feeding, cleaning and general husbandry for domestic and wild animals. Training is provided. Individuals must be able to stand, climb, stoop and bend for extended periods of time as well as carry up to 50 pounds. A minimum of one four-hour shift a week is required.
There are currently no vacancies for Animal Care Volunteers. Notifications will be posted here when applications are being accepted.
Must be 18 years of age or older.
Cosley Zoo is looking for creative, enthusiastic, and responsible individuals interested in environmental education and working with visitors of all ages. Education Interns will take a leading role in creating and presenting informal programs to zoo visitors on a daily basis through the use of live animals, biofacts, and various other interpretive techniques.
Interns will be provided with a wide variety of opportunities to gain experience and further develop their education and interpretation skills. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparing and presenting interpretive programs, completing internal training including animal handling, and assisting with special events, birthday parties, and the development of new programs.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and will have completed a minimum of one year of course work at an institution of higher learning with an interest in conservation and education. This is an unpaid internship requiring a minimum of 20 hours per week for no less than three months. Hours and days are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Shifts must be completed in four-hour increments, and must include at least one weekend day.
Education Internship Sessions Available
- March-May (application deadline January 31)
- June-August (application deadline March 15)
- September-November (application deadline July 31)
Animal Care Intern
Cosley Zoo is looking for hardworking, enthusiastic, and responsible individuals who are interested in a career working with animals. Animal Care Interns will be provided with a wide variety of opportunities to gain experience and further develop their animal care and handling skills.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, cleaning and general husbandry for domestic and wild animals, diet preparation, behavioral enrichment set-up and documentation, behavioral observations, and special projects.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and completed a minimum of one year of course work at an institution of higher learning with an interest in conservation and animals. This is an unpaid internship requiring a minimum of 20 hours per week for no less than three months. Shifts must be completed in four-hour increments. Hours and days are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are currently no vacancies for Animal Care Interns. Animal Care Internship Sessions are held year round. Notifications will be posted here when applications are being accepted for an upcoming session.
Long-term volunteer and internship positions require a $45 onboarding fee on the first day. This fee covers all current training materials and a volunteer shirt.
Summer Teen Volunteer Program
We are no longer accepting applications for this year’s program.
Who are Summer Teen Volunteers?
Summer Teen Volunteers are young adults, ages 13 through 18, who have an exceptional interest in animals and the environment. Summer Teen Volunteers assist the Education Department by providing a range of interactive experiences for visitors. The volunteer program encourages teens to learn responsibility, develop job and career skills, and grow in their personal conservation ethic. Note that participants work in the education department to assist in programs and do not handle animals or work in animal-related areas. Summer Teen Volunteers are accepted into the program based on their application and an interview.
What is the commitment?
The Summer Teen Volunteer program is seasonal beginning with an orientation in May and a training in June. Weekly shifts, 2.5 hours in length, will begin mid-June and run through mid-August.
Is there a fee?
Yes, the fee for the 2019 year is $40. This covers the cost for the Summer Teen T-shirts and program materials. All accepted Summer Teen Volunteers will be notified of the fee due date.
Volunteer and Internship Application
If you are interested in volunteering or applying for an unpaid internship, please complete an online application
Are You a Teen?
In addition to some of the short-term volunteer opportunities listed above, individuals in grades 7 through 12 may visit our Junior Zookeeper page to find out how to get involved.