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.   We welcome all applicants, both local and international, who are seeking careers in animal husbandry, zoology, veterinary, biology, and other animal care related fields.

Animal Keeper Internship Overview

This position requires a highly motivated personality who is eager to learn and perform duties associated with the husbandry and maintenance of exotic animals on exhibit in a working, education-focused facility. Interns work alongside and are supervised by professional zookeeper staff who will mentor and coach them during their internship, at a minimum of 240 hours.


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.

There are four session opportunities:

  • Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer

Summer Session

  • Session: May 14th – August 27th
  • Deadline: January 31st***Applications are still welcome after this date in the event that there is an opening.

Fall Session

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

Winter Session

  • Session: December 15th – March 15th
  • Application Deadline: September 30th

Spring Session

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

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 $75 Intern Placement fee. This includes 2 shirts that the intern can keep.  $50 will be refunded 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.

To ensure that the chosen candidate undergoes a comprehensive internship experience, only two time-off requests will be allotted for the duration of the program. These requests must be submitted in writing prior to the intern's start date. 

*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.