Adult Volunteers

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​"It's great to be around animals but you can still make a difference without ever touching an animal. It's important to teach conservation because we can inspire people to save animals' habitats."

— Adult Volunteer Jerry S.​

Volunteers are an essential element in many areas of the Indianapolis Zoo. Possible Volunteer Opportunities include: Animal Care, Horticulture, Naturalists, Special Events, and Special Needs.

Current adult volunteers can sign up for shifts here.

We will begin accepting volunteer applications later this summer. Please check back soon for more details.

Follow these easy steps to begin your volunteer experience:

  1. After completing an application, candidates will be invited to a Volun​teer Program Introduction meeting to learn more about the volunteer opportunities and meet current volunteers. ​The next 2017 introduction meeting is July 11.​

  2. After attending a Volunteer Program Introduction meeting, a Volunteer Services representative will contact interested candidates to schedule an interview.

  3. Accepted volunteers are required to attend a New Volunteer Orientation prior to their first day. This orientation reviews Zoo policies, safety and security procedures and the benefits of volunteering.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities are available for individuals 18 years and older. Opportunities for high school students ages 14-18 can be found on the Zoo Teen page.​

Animal Care

Animal Care volunteers play a vital role by assisting zoo keepers in exhibit maintenance, diet preparation, and behavioral enrichment. Animal Care volunteers should be prepared to work in all weather conditions and must be extremely dependable — animal lives are dependent on animal care personnel! Positions may be available in the following areas: Commissary, Deserts, Encounters, Marine Mammals, Plains, Primates, and Oceans.

Horticulture

Volunteer gardeners help staff at either White River Gardens or on Zoo grounds with Zoo Horticulture.
Duties for both areas include routine plant care, such as watering, pruning, fertilizing, weeding, planting, and transplanting. Horticulture volunteers should be prepared to work in all weather conditions and must be dependable.

Naturalists

Are you an engaging and fun storyteller, a caring and inspiring friend, a trustworthy and energetic leader, and a guide who's at home in the wild? If so, then you have what it takes to speak in our "Voice of the Zoo" and would make an excellent Naturalist. We are always on the prowl for people passionate about animal conservation.

Special Events

From exhibit openings to events on Zoo grounds, Special Event volunteers play an integral role in making Zoo events a success. Annual events, such as Zoobilation, Zoo Boo, and Christmas at the Zoo, are dependent upon volunteers to run smoothly. Positions are varied based on the needs of each event. 

Special Needs

Individuals with special needs and their support staff can assist our Guest Services staff in the following ways:

Exit Greeter — A stationary position to thank guests for coming to the Zoo, collect maps for recycling, and stamp hands of guests who are temporarily leaving the Zoo but plan to return later that same day.

Grounds Care — Walk the Zoo and help keep the grounds clean by picking up debris.

Special Needs Volunteers and support personnel should fill out the Volunteer Application and check Special Needs. Rather than attend the Volunteer Program Introduction, these individuals will schedule a meeting with Volunteer Services to discuss the specific opportunities available.