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HOURS: Open 10am - 5pm
PHONE: (208) 608-7760

Volunteer

More than 350,000 visitors come through Zoo Boise’s gates each year. We depend on our dedicated volunteers to provide a fun, educational, and conservation-driven experience for each and every person that comes through the gate.

Whether interpreting exhibits, assisting animal care staff, aiding with education programs, greeting guests, or helping with special events, volunteers are a crucial part of turning the act of visiting the Zoo into a conservation action.

Whatever your talents and reasons for volunteering, Zoo Boise has a place for you. No prior animal experience required, but a passion for wildlife and conservation is!

Click Here to Apply

APPLY TO VOLUNTEER TODAY:

Zoo Naturalists

Zoo Naturalists donate their time and talents to supporting the zoo during its busiest season. Volunteers work with the public to raise funds for conservation and educate visitors about the zoo, our exhibits, and our conservation mission.

Volunteers rotate through six areas as needed including: butterfly exhibit, education stations, zoo farm, giraffe feeding station, sloth bear encounter, and the Wallaby Walkabout.

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must commit to a minimum of 4 hours per week during one of the following:
    • March-October
    • March-August
    • May-October
  • Shift times are 9:15am-1:15pm or 12:45pm – 4:45pm; Monday-Sunday
    • Weekend volunteers have the option to volunteer every-other weekend
  • Commit to volunteering at one special event OR rental per year
  • Attend a group interview
  • Participate in an 8-hour volunteer orientation
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 24 hours
  • Pay a $40.00 program fee
    • Note: financial assistance is available, please contact the Volunteer Services Office for more details
  • Abide by all policies in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Enjoy working with people of all ages
  • Desire to further develop customer service, public speaking, and teaching skills (training provided)
  • Interested in educating public about wildlife conservation
  • Must submit a negative TB test annually at own expense
  • Must be willing to submit to a Federal background check if deemed necessary by Zoo Boise staff

Click Here to Apply

Animal Care Volunteers

Animals are the reason visitors attend Zoo Boise! Animal Care volunteers assist the Animal Care staff in creating a comfortable home for the animals and beautiful exhibits for visitors to see.

Positions are available in the following sections: Primates, Penguins, Small Animal Kingdom, Africa, Pampas, and in the Zoo Commissary. Due to the danger involved, volunteers do not work in enclosures of large carnivores or inside primate enclosures.

General responsibilities include: exhibit maintenance (removing feces and bedding from exhibits and cleaning the glass), diet preparation and feeding some of the animals, animal observations, preparing animal enrichments, and opportunities to train in another section after one year of service.

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must commit to one four-hour shift per week for 6 months
  • Shift times are 8:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 5:00pm; Monday through Sunday
  • Commit to volunteering at one special event OR rental per year
  • Attend a group interview
  • Participate in an 8-hour volunteer orientation
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 24 hours
  • Pay a $40.00 program fee
    • Note: financial assistance is available, please contact the Volunteer Services Office for more details
  • Abide by all policies in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Great customer service and ability to work well with visitors
  • Good physical condition and able to lift 50 lbs.
  • Willing to get dirty!
  • Must submit a negative TB test at own expense
  • Must be willing to submit to a Federal background check if deemed necessary by Zoo Boise staff

Click Here to Apply

Conservation Cruise Captains

Volunteers will have the opportunity to educate Zoo Boise visitors while driving the Conservation Cruise across the lagoon into the Africa exhibit. Captains will teach visitors about the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund, recently funded projects, and how they can contribute to wildlife conservation.

General responsibilities include: safely driving the Conservation Cruise boat from dock to dock; educating visitors about exhibits, conservation needs, Zoo Boise’s conservation efforts, and recently funded projects; generate excitement amount visitors regarding their positive impact for conservation; collect Conservation Cruise fee ($1 per person).

Requirements:

  • Must be over 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license
  • Must commit to one 4-hour shift per week May 1st-October 15th
  • Shift times are 9:15am-1:15pm and 12:45pm – 4:45pm; Monday through Sunday
  • Pay a $40.00 program fee
    • Note: financial assistance is available, please contact the Volunteer Services Office for more details
  • Participate in a 2-hour volunteer orientation
  • Commit to volunteering at one special event OR rental per year
  • Participate in boat trainings
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 24 hours
  • Abide by all policies in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Pass a Federal Background check
  • Ability to work well with visitors and exhibit good customer service
  • Interested in educating public about wildlife conservation
  • Must submit a negative TB test at own expense annually

Click Here to Apply

Conservation Station Host

Conservation Station Hosts will engage visitors by hosting school students at an education station. They will learn about wildlife conservation through the presentation of animal biofacts and activities.

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must commit to a minimum of 2 hours per week, April 17th – May 31st
  • Shift time is 10:15 am-12:15 pm, Monday – Friday
  • Participate in a volunteer orientation
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 8 hours
  • Pay a $20 program fee
    • Note: financial assistance is available, please contact the Volunteer Services Office for more details
  • Abide by all policies in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Enjoy working with people of all ages
  • Be friendly and outgoing
  • Desire to further develop customer service, public speaking, and teaching skills (training provided)
  • Interested in educating public about wildlife conservation
  • Must be willing to submit to a Federal background check if deemed necessary by Zoo Boise staff

Benefits:

  • Unlimited admission to Zoo Boise for extent of active volunteer service
  • Discounts on education programs and gift shop or food café purchases
  • Zoo Boise day passes: Conservation Discovery Station Host volunteers will receive 3 day passes at the end of their volunteer position
  • Pride in enhancing Zoo Boise, a community asset and wildlife conservation leader

Click Here to Apply

Zoo Ambassador

Zoo Ambassadors will welcome and assist visitors by greeting them at the front entrance, presenting animal biofacts and activities, and educating visitors at our Zoo Farm. They will provide information to visitors concerning Zoo Boise, the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund, directions, guidelines, programs and events.

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must commit to a minimum of 24 hours of service between May 14th-September 4th (at least 3 times per month)
    • Shift Times: 10:00AM-12:00PM, 12:00PM-2:00PM, 2:00PM-4:00PM
  • Commit to volunteering at one special event OR rental per year
  • Must complete an 8-hour volunteer orientation
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 10 hours
  • Pay a $20 volunteer fee
    • Note: financial assistance is available, please contact the Volunteer Services Office for more details
  • Attend a volunteer interview
  • Abide by all policies in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Enjoy working with people of all ages
  • Desire to further develop customer service, public speaking, and teaching skills (training provided)
  • Interested in education the public about wildlife conservation
  • Must submit a negative TB test at own expense
  • Must be willing to submit to a Federal background check if deemed necessary by Zoo Boise staff

Benefits:

  • Unlimited admission to Zoo Boise for length of volunteer service
  •  Discounts on education programs and gift shop or food café purchases
  • Zoo Boise Day Passes – Receive one-day pass for every 15 volunteer hours completed
  • Pride in enhancing Zoo Boise, a community asset and wildlife conservation leader

Click Here to Apply

Zoo Ambassador - Family Volunteer

Families who would like to volunteer together may now do so as Zoo Ambassadors! They will welcome and assist visitors by greeting them at the front entrance, presenting animal biofacts and activities, and educating visitors at our Zoo Farm. They will provide information to visitors concerning the Zoo, the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund, directions, guidelines, programs and events.

Requirements:

  • Up to two children (ages 10-12) may volunteer side-by-side with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
  • Must commit to a minimum of 24 hours of service between May 14th-September 4th (at least 3 times per month)
    • Shift Times: 10:00AM-12:00PM, 12:00PM-2:00PM, 2:00PM-4:00PM
  • Must commit to volunteering at one Zoo Boise event per calendar year
  • Parent/guardian must complete an 8-hour volunteer orientation; child attendance is recommended but not required
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 10 hours
  • Pay a $20 volunteer fee per family member
    • Note: financial assistance is available, please contact the Volunteer Services Office for more details
  • Attend a volunteer interview – families attend together
  • Abide by all policies in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Enjoy working with people of all ages
  • Desire to further develop customer service, public speaking, and teaching skills as a family (training provided)
  • Interested in education the public about wildlife conservation
  • Must submit a negative TB test for each participating family member at own expense
  • Must be willing to submit to a Federal background check if deemed necessary by Zoo Boise staff

Benefits:

  • Unlimited admission to Zoo Boise for length of volunteer service
  • Discounts on education programs and gift shop or food café purchases
  • Zoo Boise Day Passes – Each family member will receive one day pass for every 15 volunteer hours completed
  • Pride in enhancing Zoo Boise, a community asset and wildlife conservation leader

Click Here to Apply

Special Events

Zoo Boise hosts a variety of special events throughout the year including Easter EGGstravaganza, ZooDaze, and Boo at the Zoo. To ensure these events are successful, Zoo Boise relies on help from both adult and teen volunteers.

For more information on how to become a special events volunteer, contact the Volunteer Coordinator today. Applications and materials fees are not required for volunteering at special events. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old (ages 13-15 must be accompanied by an adult). Please contact at least two weeks in advance.

Community Service Group Projects

Are you part of an organization, such as a work, youth, or school group that is interested in a Community Service Project? Zoo Boise frequently has exhibit enhancement and landscaping projects available. Zoo Boise may also guide you with your own conservation project.

To begin the process for group participation, please fill out this application.

Group Volunteer Policies

Groups interested in volunteering at Zoo Boise must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Contact Zoo Boise at least 6 weeks prior to your volunteer project
  • Volunteers must be 13 years or older
  • We can accommodate up to 15 people per group
  • For volunteers under the age of 18, the group must provide one adult chaperone to every 5 youth. Chaperones are responsible for youth at all times.
  • Group volunteers must identify a group coordinator that is responsible for the safety and well-being of group members, including providing the coordination and supervision for the group while volunteering
  • It is the responsibility of the group coordinator to complete and submit the Group Volunteer Waiver (provided by Zoo Boise) by the start of the project
  • The group understands that they will not receive any monetary compensation for their volunteer services

ZooTeen Program

Are you a teen looking for an opportunity to spend the summer at the zoo? Please visit our ZooTeen program page to learn more!

Zoo Naturalists, Animal Care Volunteers, and Conservation Cruise Captains also receive the following benefits: