Volunteer Swap

In March, the Virginia Zoo had the great opportunity to partner with the Virginia Living Museum for a fun activity for our volunteers – a volunteer swap!

Volunteers from the Virginia Living Museum (VLM) visited the Virginia Zoo in March.  They were first treated to a behind-the-scenes experience with the Aldabra tortoises.  Zoo Keeper Dennis McNamara spoke with the volunteers about the tortoises and gave advice on how to get started in the animal care field. The VLM volunteers witnessed the power of AJ, our big male, as he moved about the exhibit, and were even able to touch some of these giant and magnificent animals.  After the behind the scenes experience, two of our volunteers led a tour of the entire zoo.  Many of the VLM volunteers had not been to the Virginia Zoo before, so we were excited to treat them to this special opportunity.

Eleven of our Zoo Crew volunteers were able to take a trip to the Virginia Living Museum.  Of course, the rain was pouring outside when our volunteers left for the museum and they were all soaked getting into their cars.  Once our volunteers were there, however, they forgot all about the bad weather.  The VLM staff led a behind-the-scenes tour of many areas of the museum, starting with one of their diet prep kitchens.  While on the tour, the volunteers saw seahorses, baby sharks, a groundhog and many other great animals.  They fed some of the fish on exhibit and one of our volunteers even fed a shark!  Although the volunteers left for the Virginia Living Museum in the middle of a storm, it cleared up just in time to walk along the outdoor trail.  They all took in the sights and smells, and spent time watching a bobcat, foxes, otters, beavers, and many birds.

The Zoo Crew volunteers are hoping to schedule at least one more “volunteer swap” with the Virginia Living Museum in the summer.  These trips are one of the many ways we try to thank our volunteers for all of the hard work they do for the Zoo throughout the year.

If you are interested in joining our volunteer program, applications are available on our website!