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Volunteer Opportunities

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Commit Some Free Time to Give Back and Create New Memories as a Volunteer

Support Animal Conservation While Giving Back to the Zoo and Guests!

The Indianapolis Zoo has lots of ways for you to get involved! It takes several hundred talented, passionate, and dedicated adults, college interns and Zoo Teens to maintain the Zoo as downtown Indianapolis’ most popular cultural attraction and a worldwide leader in animal conservation. For more information about opportunities, contact Volunteer Services below or 317-630-2041.

You Can Make a Big Impact on Animal Conservation
Adult Volunteers

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

How to Apply to Become an Adult Volunteer

  • After completing an application, candidates will be invited to a Volunteer Program Introduction meeting to learn more about the volunteer opportunities and meet current volunteers. The Volunteer Program Introductions for 2018 are scheduled for: Feb. 5, March 8, June 19 and Aug. 9 at 6:30pm.
  • After attending a Volunteer Program Introduction meeting, a Volunteer Services representative will contact interested candidates to schedule an interview.
  • 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.
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You Can Make a Big Impact on Animal Conservation
Adult Volunteer Opportunities
  • 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.

Zoo Teen Volunteer

Have you always wanted to work in a zoo? Would you like to do something “wild” next year? The Zoo Teen Program at the Indianapolis Zoo is an exciting way for high school students ages 14 to 18 to explore career opportunities, meet new friends, gain customer service skills, and much more!

We seek responsible, reliable, enthusiastic students who are interested in learning about animals, can interact with Zoo guests, and can be role models for their peers. Students of all academic levels will be considered for the program.
(Candidates must be 14 years old by the application deadline. No exceptions.)

The Zoo Teen Program can further students’ interests, help them to explore career goals, and develop interaction skills in a professional zoological environment. These skills will also apply to any other work environment. This is a unique opportunity for students to work on the wild side in the unmatched setting of the incredible Indianapolis Zoo.

How to Apply to Become a Zoo Teen Volunteer

Positions for the 2018 Zoo Teen program have been filled. Check back for details on next year’s application!

Zoo Teens are asked to volunteer:

  • One day per week (the same day each week) throughout the summer, OR two one-week time blocks depending on assignment
  • One shift (two-five hours) per month during the school year (April, May, September and October)
  • Volunteer at least one shift at ZooBoo or Christmas at the Zoo.
  • Consistent attendance is required for all Zoo Teen assignments.
Current Adult Volunteers and Zoo Teens
Sign up for shifts and special events!


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