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HOURS: Open: 9am - 5pm
PHONE: (208) 608-7760

Volunteer

More than 350,000 visitors come through Zoo Boise’s gates each year.  In order to provide a fun, educational facility offering a variety of programs and events we depend on the help of our dedicated volunteers.

Whether conducting tours and programs, interpreting exhibits, assisting animal care staff, or helping with special events, volunteers contribute greatly to Zoo Boise and its conservation mission. Whatever your talents and reasons for volunteering, Zoo Boise has a niche for you. No prior animal experience required, but a passion for wildlife and conservation is!

To learn more about our General Volunteer Opportunities and to begin the application process click here.

Current Volunteer Opportunities Include:

Zoo Naturalists

Volunteers will be working with the public in a variety of ways, and will rotate through six areas as needed.   Minimum 4 hours per week, March  – October  (With an option to run until late November).  The six areas are: butterfly exhibit, education stations, zoo farm, giraffe feeding station, sloth bear encounter, and the Wallaby Walkabout.

Requirements:

  • Must be over 18 years old
  • Must commit to a minimum of 4 hours per week, March-October
  • Shift times are 9am-1:00pm  or 1:00pm – 5:00pm; Monday through Sunday
  • Participate in a 20 hour volunteer orientation
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 24 hours
  • Pay a $35.00 training fee for manual and uniform shirt
  • Submit an application and accept offered position after an 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 educating public about wildlife conservation
  • Must submit a negative TB test at own expense annually
  • Submit to a Federal background check

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 often available in the following sections: Primates and Penguins, Small Animal Kingdom, Birds and Binturong, Small Carnivores, and Hoofstock. 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 cross-train on other sections after one year of service.

Requirements:

  • Must be over 18 years old
  • Must commit to one shift per week for one year
  • Shift times are 8:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 5:00pm; Monday through Sunday
  • Participate in a volunteer orientation
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 24 hours
  • Pay a $35.00 training fee for manual and uniform shirt
  • Submit an application and accept offered position after an interview
  • 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
  • Submit to a Federal background check

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 Africa. 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, educate visitors about exhibits, conservation needs, Zoo Boise’s conservation efforts, and recently funded projects, generate excitement amount visitors regarding their positive impact for conservation,  and collect Conservation Cruise fee ($1 per person).

Requirements:

  • Must be over 21 years old
  • Must commit to one shift per week for six months
  • Shift times are 10:00am – 1:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm; Monday through Sunday
  • Participate in a 12 hour volunteer orientation
  • Participate in boat trainings
  • Successfully complete an introductory period of 24 hours
  • Pay a $35.00 training fee for manual and uniform shirt
  • Submit an application and accept offered position after an interview
  • Abide by all policies in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Submit to a Federal Background check
  • Ability to work well with visitors, good customer service
  • Interested in educating public about wildlife conservation
  • Must submit a negative TB test at own expense annually

Click Here to Apply

ZooTeens

ZooTeens focus on education for Zoo Boise visitors and gain experience with teaching, leadership, and public speaking. They learn about animals and share our wildlife conservation mission.

2015 ZooTeens have already been selected.

Please review the ZooTeen FAQs before applying.

Duties:

Assist with summer camps for children, provide informal educational presentations for zoo visitors, assist in the operation of seasonal exhibits, and help with daily maintenance of the Simplot Education Center.

Time Commitment:

Weekly 4-hour shift (9:15am – 1:15pm or 1:00pm – 5:00pm); minimum 40 service hours within June, July, and August.  ZooTeens assisting with camp will volunteer from 8:00-5:00.

Training:

An initial two-day training and orientation is required by those accepted into the ZooTeen Program. New teens are required to attend training in June.

Fees:

$50.00 for training, manual, and uniform t-shirt (non-refundable).

Age Requirement:

Ages 13 (entering 8th grade the following fall) to 18 (entering 12th grade).

A Note to Parents & Guardians:

The ZooTeen Volunteer Program at Zoo Boise provides a fun and educational activity for your teen. We make every effort to maintain a quality program which also requires assistance from you. We emphasize to the student that they are making a commitment to Zoo Boise and it requires your support for them to fulfill their commitment. Please encourage your teen to take the application and interview seriously as it will assist Zoo Boise in selecting applicants.

2015 ZooTeen Calendar:

Jan 15 – Applications Available (online)
Mar 5 – ZooTeen Preview Hour for teen & parent/guardian (choose one) – 6:00-7:00pm
Mar 12 – ZooTeen Preview Hour for teen & parent/guardianm (choose one) – 6:00-7:00pm
Mar 14 – ZooTeen Preview Hour for teen & parent/guardian (choose one) – 6:00-7:00pm
Mar 15 – Application due by 5:00pm – includes all paper work
Apr 7-17 – Interviews
May 1 – Notification of acceptance
June 4 – Training/Orientation – 9:00-4:30 Returning Teens Only
June 5-6 – Training Orientaion – 9:00-4:30 New Teens Only (Both days are mandatory)
June 8 – Vounteer shifts begin
Sept 1 – Last day of ZooTeen Program

The ZooTeen program is generously sponsored by Holland & Hart.

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, contact the Volunteer Coordinator. Applications and materials fees are not required for volunteering at special events. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old. 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 guide you with your own conservation project. The minimum age for participation is 15. To begin the process for group participation, please fill out this application You will hear back when your application has been received, but your project will not be confirmed any sooner than four weeks before your requested project date. For more information please contact the Volunteer Coordinator.

 

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