Zoo News and Updates




:

Volunteer at the Zoo


Current Volunteers

Please Log In Here

Wild Opportunities

Thank you for expressing an interest in volunteering with the San Antonio Zoo! If you are passionate about animals and conservation then volunteering for the Zoo will be a fulfilling experience. The Zoo is open 365 days a year so our volunteer opportunities are flexible.

The San Antonio Zoo does not accept community service, court appointed or short term volunteers.

The benefits of volunteering with the San Antonio Zoo:

  • Personal development
  • Volunteer shirt and nametag
  • Orientation session and volunteer handbook
  • Annual TB testing for volunteers working in animal care departments
  • Extensive animal, plant and conservation training
  • Invitations to special Zoo functions and opportunities to volunteer at special events
  • Quarterly Volunteer Newsletter
  • Annual volunteer recognition party
  • 10% discount at Zoo Gift Shops
  • 30% discount at Food and Beverage Stands

Volunteer Calendar Highlights

Youth Volunteer (age 14-18)

ZooTEAM Volunteers must participate in Summer Camp or Summer Naturalist before selection will be considered.

Summer Camp and Summer Naturalist Volunteer application
deadline is April 27, 2014

Docents

Docent interviews will take place November-December.

Applications are always accepted.
Training for new docents begins in January.

All interviews for all volunteer opportunities will be conducted at the Education Center.

Interns

Fall Internship application deadline is September 1, 2014.

Winter/Spring Internship application deadline is February 1, 2014.

Summer Naturalist Internship application deadline is March 9, 2014.

For all other Summer Internships application deadline is May 1, 2014.

Corporate or Military Group Volunteers

Need is periodic.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information.

 

Application Section

All applications are to be completed online. No paper applications will be accepted. Please click the links below to access the online application. Incomplete applications will be deleted by the system. 

Adult Opportunities

Docents

Docents serve a vital role in helping the San Antonio Zoo reach its mission of providing a diverse educational experience to our many visitors each year. With provided training, they are involved in a variety of educational opportunities including touring school groups, interpreting zoo exhibits, and presenting education animals.

There are currently two docent programs: weekday and weekend. Weekday docents are required to volunteer one 3-hour shift a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday). Weekend docents can create their own schedule on either Saturdays or Sundays and are required to volunteer 6 hours a month. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Docent interviews take place November-December and training classes start on Saturdays January-February.

San Antonio Zoo Docents must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Agree to a criminal background check
  • Complete application
  • Read and abide by the policies listed in the Volunteer handbook
  • Maintain a customer friendly attitude
  • Keep an accurate record of volunteer hours
  • Report on time for volunteer service
  • Provide annual proof of TB testing
  • Be available once weekly or 2 weekend days a month
  • Wear a designated uniform and nametag while volunteering on Zoo property
  • Commit to either the Weekday or Weekend docent program
  • Complete two 7-week training sessions over a two year period
  • Attend continuing education training to remain current on animal presentation procedures
  • Notify Volunteer Services, in writing, of any change in volunteer status

Click here for application link

College Internships

The San Antonio Zoo internship program is designed to allow college students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. Internships are unpaid* and housing is not provided. However, credit hours may be earned depending on the intern's school policy regarding internships. Interns are required to work for a minimum of 200 hours.

Internships are available throughout the year, but positions are limited and occasionally may not be available. The summer is our busiest time of the year and all applications must be received by the appropriate due date in order to be considered. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Applicants must complete the application online and either email, mail or fax a copy of your current transcript and a letter of intent explaining what you want most out of an internship with the Zoo. Please send these after you have completed the online application. Applications will not be reviewed without a transcript and letter of intent. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

*The Summer Naturalist Intership is the only exception and does provide a small stipend.

College Interns may submit their transcripts and letter of intent by the following methods:

Email: Ibrown@sazoo.org

Or

Mail:

San Antonio Zoo
ATTN: Volunteers Services
3903 N. St. Mary's Street
San Antonio, TX 78212

Or

Fax: 210-734-6989

San Antonio Zoo interns must:

  • Complete 200 hours either through a part-time or full-time internship
  • Must work 2-3 days a week
  • Agree to a criminal background check
  • Read and abide by the policies listed in the Volunteer handbook
  • Maintain a customer friendly attitude
  • Provide annual proof of TB testing
  • Keep an accurate record of volunteer hours
  • Report on time for volunteer service
  • Wear a designated uniform and nametag while volunteering on Zoo property
  • Meet with Volunteer Services at the end of the internship to conduct an exit interview
  • Notify Volunteer Services, in writing, of any change in volunteer status
  • Complete education objectives and evaluations set by Volunteer Services

Internships Available:

Education Department

The Education Department is responsible for formal and informal program offerings available for Zoo guests. These include scheduled classes for children, adults, families, school groups, summer camp programming and educational special events. This is a great opportunity for communication, public speaking, education, and drama majors.

  • Education Department Intern: Projects vary with interns program of study, semester of completion as well as intern interest.

  • Nature Spot Intern: This is a fantastic learning experience for students majoring in Environmental Education, Early Childhood Education, or related field.  Students conduct their internship in Kronkosky's Tiny Tot Nature Spot under the supervision of the Nature Spot Coordinator.  This exhibit is specially designed for children under the age of 5 and their families to Get Wet and Get Dirty.  Interns develop and implement play-based nature activities, facilitate exhibit exploration, monitor age appropriate use of the exhibit, and participate in a wide variety of interpretation opportunities.  We are looking for students who enjoy working outdoors, interacting with the public through conversation and play, and have a love of nature and children.

  • Summer Camp Intern: This is an excellent opportunity for education and natural science majors to gain hands on experience teaching informal science education as well as zoological and naturalist studies. Camp interns assist in the planning and facilitating of daily camp activities and teach zoo-related curriculum as well as participate in animal handling.

  • Graphic Design Intern: The San Antonio Zoo handles all graphic design for signage and most printed materials in-house. Interns are responsible for computer generated materials that vary from project to project and semester to semester.
     
  • Evaluation Intern: Interns will support several current evaluation projects by assisting staff with data collection, data management, data analysis, literature searches/reviews, and reporting. Interns will have the opportunity to work on elements of a variety of different projects, depending both on the project need and on the intern’s interest. Examples include exhibit graphics; exhibit use; guest encounter experiences; and teen volunteer programs. 
     
  • Summer Naturalist Intern: Are you interested in a conservation career? Do you love being outdoors, mentoring teens, and protecting the environment? Join the San Antonio Zoo and become empowered to make a difference in the world by participating in the Summer Naturalist program! As a Summer Naturalist intern, you will act as a mentor and guide teens in presenting conservation messages to Zoo guests. Applicants should be interested in being a mentor to teen volunteers, gaining experience working in a Zoo environment, speaking directly with the public, and have knowledge of conservation efforts. Summer Naturalists agree to work from May-August, on Wednesday – Sunday from 9:30am-3:30pm, with occasional off-site meetings. Applications must be received no later than March 9, 2014.
    Click here for application link.

Animal Care

The San Antonio Zoo's animal collection includes more than 3,500 animals representing over 750 species. An animal department internship may include experiencing the daily operations of animal care, exhibit maintenance, animal behavior and record keeping. When possible interns will be placed in areas that match their goals and interests.

These internships are not research-based positions. 

Animal Departments are organized into 9 different areas:

  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Aquarium
  • Mammals North Department (elephants, giraffes, zebra, cheetah, wild dog, etc.)
  • Mammals East Department (rhinos, big cats, hoofstock, marsupials, etc.)
  • Mammals South Department (hippos, okapi, prairie dogs, squirrel monkeys, bats, sloth, etc.)
  • Mammals West Department (primates, large and small cats, anteaters, armadillos, bears, etc.)
  • Nutrition Center (food prep for all animals in the collection)
  • Vet Interns (available only to 2nd year vet students, no pre-vet internships are available)

Development, Human Resources, IT department

Occasionally, positions may become available in these departments.

  • Marketing/PR Intern: A great experience for anyone entering the fields of marketing, public relations and tourism. Opportunities include creating animal fact sheets for the Zoo’s website, assisting with basic press releases, and guest surveys. Knowledge of basic computer skills, Photoshop, and photography is a must. Must have a great attitude and be able to approach visitors.

All internship candidates please apply by clicking the application in the link below.
Click here for application link

Youth Volunteer Opportunities

Started in 1991, the San Antonio ZooTEAM became the first youth volunteer program at the San Antonio Zoo, and we’ve had a lot of fun ever since. Teens applying must have a drive to learn and the ability to share with the public information on the plants and animals in the Zoo. They should be comfortable working as a team and be looking for an opportunity to display leadership.

First year ZooTEAM do not handle animals.

San Antonio Zoo Teen Volunteers must:

  • Be at least 14 years of age or older
  • Complete online application
  • Be interviewed
  • Be mature and maintain a professional attitude while representing the Zoo
  • Attend mandatory orientation(s)
  • Be interested in learning about animals and conservation
  • Agree to read and abide by the policies listed in the Volunteer handbook
  • Maintain a customer friendly attitude
  • Keep an accurate record of volunteer hours
  • Sign a parental consent form
  • Report on time for volunteer service
  • Must participate in ether Summer Naturalist or Summer Camp Youth Volunteer programs.
  • Wear a designated uniform and nametag while volunteering on Zoo property
  • Notify Volunteer Services, in writing, of any change in volunteer status

In order to be considered, you must have a complete online application form and, once interviewed, you must complete a parental consent form.

ZooTEAM

ZooTEAM is a year-round teen volunteer program. Applicants must have volunteered for Summer Naturalist or Summer Camp to be considered for ZooTEAM. Volunteers are interested in increasing their knowledge of zoo animals and conservation. Volunteer opportunities are scheduled on weekends and teenagers pick from a list of scheduled opportunities. Throughout the year, volunteers help out with special events such as Zoo Run and Zoo Boo. ZooTEAM volunteers work with the Education Center to: educate zoo visitors, assist with craft and activity tables in the Zoo, assist with office work, help direct and answer general guest questions and assist the zoo with service projects that become available. All ZooTEAM volunteers must commit to one-year of service and volunteer at least 6 hours per month. ZooTEAM are eligible to work as either Summer Naturalist or Summer Camp Volunteers during the summer.

First year ZooTEAM do not handle animals. In order to be considered, you must have completed the entire online application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Click here for application link

Summer Naturalist

Are you a teen interested in a conservation career? Do you love being outdoors, learning about animals, and protecting the environment? Join the San Antonio Zoo and become empowered to make a difference in the world by participating in the Summer Naturalist program! As a Summer Naturalist volunteer, you will team up with like-minded teens that are passionate about conservation. College interns will act as mentors and guide you in presenting conservation messages to Zoo guests. Teens will have the opportunity to interact directly with guests as they introduce topics about endangered species, conservation efforts, and more! This position is modeled after a traditional job setting, and applicants should be prepared to be treated as an employee. Successful applicants should have a desire to gain experience working in a Zoo environment, speak directly with the public, have knowledge of or are interested in learning about conservation efforts, and attend all training and orientation sessions. Summer Naturalists agree to work 60 cumulative hours during the summer, on Thursday – Sunday from 10am-3pm. Applications must be received no later than April 27, 2014.

Click here for application link

Summer Camp Team Assistant Volunteers

Summer Camp volunteers assist the Education Department with the summer camp programs for children 4-13 years of age. Camp volunteers help by facilitating crafts, preparing and cleaning up classrooms and helping instructors tour the campers in the Zoo. Summer Camp Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older.  Volunteers must commit to volunteer for at least two whole weeks everyday, Monday-Friday. Applications must be received no later than April 27, 2014.

Click here for application link

Corporate or Military Group Volunteers

Adult corporate or military group volunteers that are seeking volunteer service hours are needed upon occasion. These needs are short-term and periodic. For more detail please email lbrown@sazoo.org with the following information. 

  • Name of organization.
  • Reason(s) for the desire to volunteer for the Zoo.
  • Number of volunteers.
  • Date(s) and time(s) available.