Support animal conservation and give back to the community in your free time
Volunteers enhance many areas of the Indianapolis Zoo. Possible adult volunteer opportunities include: Animal Care, Horticulture, Special Events, Special Needs and Wild Ambassadors.
We are not currently accepting volunteer applications. Please check back soon for information regarding Christmas at the Zoo. After completing the application, you will be asked to complete a background check before signing up for shifts.
How to Apply to Become an Adult Volunteer:
Applications for our regular adult program will be accepted again in December.
Accepted regular volunteers are required to attend an in-person Program Introduction, interview with a staff member and complete New Volunteer Orientation prior to their first day. This orientation reviews Zoo policies, safety and security procedures and the benefits of volunteering.
Selected candidates are asked to purchase a uniform shirt and commit to a minimum of six consecutive months of volunteer service.
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 for all weather conditions and must be extremely dependable — animal lives are dependent on animal care personnel! Positions may be available in the following areas: Deserts, Encounters, Marine Mammals, Plains, Primates and Oceans. Volunteers in Animal Care areas volunteer on a consistent every-other week schedule with shifts starting as early as 7am and ending by noon. Animal Care volunteers are asked to make at least a one-year commitment.
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 for all weather conditions and must be dependable.
The Indianapolis Zoo’s Wild Ambassadors provide informal engagement with on-grounds Zoo guests. Wild Ambassadors engage with guests through quality interpretive techniques, and use story, artifacts and hands-on activities to make deeper connections between Zoo guests and the natural world.
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, ZooBoo, and Christmas at the Zoo, are dependent upon volunteers to run smoothly. Positions are varied based on the needs of each event.
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 complete the online 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.