Animal Keeper Internship Job Summary / 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. Interns who successfully complete the program are provided with a certificate of completion and letters of reference upon request.



  • Services and cleans animal habitats, holding areas, and general grounds
  • Prepares (according to precise instructions) and delivers animal diets
  • Creates and provides enrichment for animals
  • Observes and reports animal behaviors
  • Learns and strictly adheres to safety protocols and other procedures
  • Assists with projects that may include habitat and enrichment construction and maintenance, operant conditioning animal training, and supporting veterinary procedures 
  • Learns procedures for capture and restraint, animal training, and medication administration 
  • Performs additional tasks as requested by animal husbandry staff



  • Attention to detail
  • Strong focus
  • Ability to follow direction precisely
  • Ability to receive constructive criticism and take corrective action
  • Ability to work closely and communicate clearly with keeper staff and support volunteers, and to communicate occasionally if needed with members of the public visiting for tours or events



  • Minimum age of 18 required
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Enrolled in or recently graduated from a college or university program with a related focus
  • Preference given to students closer to their graduation date
  • Previous experience at a zoo, working with wildlife in rehabilitation, or in a veterinary clinic is preferred


  • Valid US driver’s license required
  • Covid vaccination required
  • Rabies pre-exposure vaccination preferred, but not required



  • Requires 40 hour work weeks, with 2 days off, though they may not be consecutive 
  • Requires prolonged standing, significant walking, and bending, stooping, stretching, and other intensive physical labor
  • Requires the ability to move safely over uneven ground while carrying items
  • Requires lifting up to 50 pounds 
  • Rural location requires reliable transportation 
  • Requires working outdoors in most weather conditions, including in temperatures from 0 to 105 degrees F
  • Work with deceased whole prey, raw meat, strong odors


Internship Application