ANIMAL SERVICES – ZOO KEEPER INTERNSHIPS

The current application period is for an internship running from September 15, 2022, to January 2, 2023. Applications will close on August 19, 2022, or when positions are filled.  

Interns in the Animal Services department should be motivated individuals interested in pursuing a career as a Zoo Keeper. While working with our Africa, Asia, Birds/Australia, Program Animal, Reptile, or ZooFarm/North America, interns will learn all aspects of animal care and management, as well as a working knowledge of applied behavioral management.

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Interns working at the zoo must commit to wearing designated PPE (personal protective equipment) as assigned, such as masks and gloves, while working inside and outside in all kinds of weather. Negative TB test and COVID vaccination are required.

Are you interested in gaining valuable, hands-on experience in the zoological field and first-hand knowledge and mentoring from experienced animal care professionals? Come join the animal care team at the Virginia Zoo! We are currently accepting applications for interns in the Animal Services department from motivated individuals interested in pursuing a rewarding career as a Zoo Keeper. Interns will work with our Zoo Farm/Americas, Africa, Asia, Animal Ambassador, Birds/Australia, or Reptile/Herp teams. Interns will learn all aspects of animal care and management in an AZA-accredited zoological organization.

Applicants should either be college graduates, currently in college, or have some college semester credits completed. Applicants need to be able to commit to the four-month program, with a weekly work schedule of 40 hr/week. The internship does not provide an hourly salary but can qualify as paid zoological experience through a small monthly stipend for living costs. 

There are 6 different area teams that prospective interns may apply for:

(Click a team to learn more and how to apply)

Applicants should submit a resume, 3 references (include phone numbers and email addresses of references given), and a cover letter to Zookeeperinterns@norfolk.gov

Please indicate which team you are interested in applying for in the subject line of your email. No phone calls or in-person inquiries at the zoo. Due to the volume of applicants, only those selected for an interview can be contacted.

BEHAVIORAL OBSERVATION INTERNSHIP

The next round of this internship open to new candidates runs from September 15, 2022, to January 2, 2023. Applications will close on August 19, 2022, or when positions are filled.

The Behavioral Observation intern will work with staff to observe zoo animals and provide observational data that will contribute to the evaluation and assessment of the behavior and welfare of the Zoo’s animals. The intern will learn about conducting, recording, and evaluating behavioral observations for a variety of species.

Learn More

Interns working at the zoo must commit to wearing designated PPE (personal protective equipment) as assigned, such as masks and gloves, while working inside and outside in all kinds of weather. Negative TB test and COVID vaccination are required.

Interested in learning more about animal behavior? Come join us at the Virginia Zoo! We are currently looking to fill our next round of behavioral observation internships with the Animal Services department. The Behavioral Observation Intern will work with staff to collect and provide observational data that will contribute to the evaluation and assessment of animal behavior and welfare. The intern will learn about conducting, recording, and evaluating behavioral observations for a variety of species. Duties will include observing animal behavior, developing and evaluating enrichment, assisting with educating zoo visitors, and training volunteers on observation methods. The internship is unpaid, but there are many other benefits that will afford interns valuable experience. The next round of this internship open to new candidates runs from May 19, 2022, to September 5, 2022, and requires at least 15-20 hours of time devoted to the internship weekly.

Duties

  • Document observations of animal behavior relating to exhibit usage, behavior, con-specific animal interactions, and/or other similar welfare indicators
  • Assist with evaluating enrichment usage of zoo animals
  • Develop enrichment for a variety of zoo animals
  • Assist with training volunteers on observation methods

Qualifications

  • Be a current undergraduate or graduate student or recent graduate.
  • Coursework in animal behavior, psychology, anthropology, biology, or ecology is recommended but not required
  • Proficient with Microsoft Excel
  • Experience with conducting ethograms on zoological animals preferred but not required
  • Be available for at least 15-20 hours per week for the duration of the internship period
  • Available on weekdays and weekends
  • Able to use smartphone or tablet to input data via ZooMonitor app (training on data input and using the app will occur at the zoo and a tablet will be provided)
  • Have reliable transportation to and from the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a resume, 3 references and a cover letter to: Zookeeperinterns@norfolk.gov.

Please include “Behavioral Observation Internship” in the email subject line and indicate this specific internship in your cover letter. No phone calls or in-person inquiries please.

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT INTERNSHIP

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to teach conservation in an informal setting? Explore the many facets of environmental education at the Zoo: from field trip programs, Safari Camps, visitor programs, and more! The intern will build skills in program development, public speaking, and interpretation while learning about environmental issues and conservation education techniques used by zoo and aquarium professionals.

This internship is currently unavailable.

SUMMER SAFARI CAMP INTERNSHIP

Do you want to spend your summer break connecting children to the natural world? The Summer Safari Camp Intern will help to develop, create, and facilitate camp programs for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Along the way, they will be introduced to a variety of conservation issues and learn how to promote environmental stewardship in youth.

This internship is currently unavailable.

TEEN PROGRAMS INTERNSHIP

Are you a college student or recent college graduate interested in helping inspire the next generation of environmental stewards? Then the Teen Programs Internship is for you! The intern will train and supervise teen volunteers, inspire guests to care for the environment, and learn valuable management skills.

This internship is currently unavailable.

VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT INTERNSHIP

Are you looking to gain valuable management experience in a fun and dynamic setting? The Volunteer Management Intern will help recruit, interview, train, and supervise volunteers, while also learning about important environmental and conservation issues.

This internship is currently unavailable.