Develop the Skills to Start Your Career

The Animal Park at the Conservators Center is committed to its mission of providing education about the species in our care. Therefore, we offer a highly competitive internship program that will provide you with a unique, hands-on, factual learning experience in exotic animal husbandry. The Animal Park seeks highly motivated individuals who will perform all their duties associated with the husbandry and maintenance of exotic animals in our education and conservation-oriented facility. We welcome all applicants, both local and international, who are seeking careers in animal husbandry, zoology, veterinary, biology, and other animal care related fields.

Although the internship program is made up of unpaid positions, our interns are paid in incomparable experiences in exotic animal husbandry. We are also dedicated to assisting our interns in finding career or educational opportunities within the animal care field upon completion of our program.

Becoming an Animal Park Intern

The best way to truly learn a trade is by immersion learning. We here at the Animal Park train and guide by immersing our interns into the daily routines within our animal husbandry department. This allows our interns  to learn not only the intricacies of caring for each individual species we house, but also to understand the Animal Park’s daily operations as an entire organizational unit. With this in mind, some interns may have the opportunity to participate in other areas, such as our guest or education services.

Glimpse Into an Intern’s Work Day:

  • Preparing diets
  • Assisting with feeding
  • Routine cleaning of food preparation areas and animal habitats
  • Helping in creating and implementing enrichment
  • General maintenance

Animal Park Intern Educational Opportunities:

  • Animal Socialization and Handling
  • Operant Conditioning 
  • The Zoological Industry: The Inner and Outer Workings

Develop The Skills To Start Your Career


From day one, interns will shadow an animal keeper daily. All interns will be educated and trained in specific skills that assist in maintaining our daily operations. Although some interns may have the opportunity to work independently in some areas, this is not the typical intern experience. Due to the hazards and risks that present themselves in some keeper duties, interns may not be able to assist with the performance of certain duties, but will have the opportunity to observe.

The collection of animal residents at the Animal Park allows interns to experience how the animal husbandry team cares for all manner of carnivore species, and also the special needs associated with geriatric animal care.

If time permits, interns may also have the opportunity to have formal educational sessions about: the animal industry, training and socialization, and creating enrichment for animals. Depending on the length of the selected internship, there may also be an opportunity for a field trip to another zoological facility in North Carolina.

Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared for advanced study, or have the ability to apply for career positions at similar facilities. The Animal Park also welcomes interns back as we know the relationships made here are irreplaceable. There are available opportunities to continue with the Animal Park in other areas as well, like our volunteer program, education program, and more.

Full-Time Intern Requirements

18 years or older with a valid U.S. driver’s license

40 hour work weeks, with 2 days off, though they may not be consecutive

Ability to work in all weather environments, stand for long periods of time, lift over 50lbs., driving, and other intensive physical labor

Work with deceased whole prey, raw meat, strong odors

Additional Information

Applications are reviewed shortly upon receipt and are followed up with an interview.

Due to the competitiveness of our program, only 4 applicants are chosen per session. If you are not chosen for a specific session, we invite you to reapply for alternate sessions.

There is a $50 Intern Placement fee. This is refundable after successful completion of the program.

Local housing is available on a limited basis. A $150 deposit is required, followed by $75 weekly rent. Requests must be sent through the application portal.

*Part-time internships may be available and are on a more limited basis. Dates are also flexible around university schedules. Please reach out to the Intern Program Management to have any of these requests or changes approved.

There are four session opportunities:

  • Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer

Summer Session (480 hours over 12 weeks)

  • Session: May 14th – August 27th
  • Deadline: January 31st

Fall Session (320 hours over 8 weeks)

  • Session: September 1st – December 15th
  • Application Deadline: July 31st

Winter Session (320 hours over 8 weeks)

  • Session: December 20th – February 15th
  • Application Deadline: September 30th

Spring Session (320 hours over 8 weeks)

  • Session: February 20th– May 1st
  • Application Deadline: October 31st

Other Internship Opportunities

We are currently in development of internship programs within other areas of our organization, such as Communications, Construction, Marketing, and more.

As other internship opportunities become available, they will be found on this page with the descriptions, requirements, and application.

Internship Application