Job Postings

Animal Zookeeper Shadowing Internship


LEO Zoological Conservation Center

Closing Date
December 6, 2017

LEO Zoological Conservation Center is a low impact, accredited, off-site breeding facility for rare, threatened and endangered animals with a focus on breeding species at risk. Education and non-invasive research are the cornerstones of the center’s conservation efforts.

We’re looking for dependable, hardworking, college students interested in gaining valuable experience working with seasoned professionals and exotic animals. We welcome students from educational institutions for internships projects for credit, recognizing that what one learns in the classroom is enhanced by hands on experience of caring for animals and helping to explore animal husbandry and its relationship to conservation.

Here are some of the elements of our shadowing internship experience:

Enrichment activities, including the creation of and executing food puzzles, foraging devices, and browsing devices.
Behavioral observations, including monitoring and documenting specific animal behavior.
Participation in providing for and monitoring health, growth, diet, behavior, reproduction, safety and comfort of our animals.
Exposure to veterinary and tech work (last summer our interns observed a necropsy).
Participation in a USDA Animal Care Clinic.
Enclosure care, including upkeep inside and outside of animal enclosures.
Kitchen duties, including preparation of species-specific daily diets and cleaning the kitchen area.
Application Requirements:

Academic Credit:

The LEO Zoological Conservation Center is able to award academic credit through universities. Students are encouraged to fill out the required proper paperwork directly with their adviser and/or department. We offer either seasonal 3-month long internships or 8 month long apprentice programs. Both require at least a 40-hour per week commitment, and independent study typically requires three hours per week in the lab for each credit hour, although university policies vary. Full-time (semester long) internships are available by special arrangement. Shadowing interns may also have the opportunity to continue their studies abroad. After completing our internship program, our Wild Partners are willing to accept our students to continue their development in their area of interest in the wild.

Education and Pre-requisites

Applicants with experience in zoology, animal behavior, biology, veterinary studies, and education, or with environmental or rehabilitation organizations are a must. We are looking for self-motivated and upbeat candidates who will interact well with current staff, volunteers, and zoo guests.

Compensation and benefits

This is an unpaid position; however, it is a very unique educational opportunity. While the seasonal internships are a great way of gaining experience, apprenticeships are usually a precursor to getting a paid zookeeping position. We have had many apprentices go on to obtain paid positions at other zoos, including The Bronx Zoo.

Application instructions

Please send a cover letter and resume to