Animal Care and Conservation Opportunities

Group of volunteers holding a banner which reads "Action for Wildlife". Join the fun at Oakland Zoo! Volunteers are a key part of Oakland Zoo's commitment to the welfare of our animals. If you are interested in working with or observing animals, are committed to conservation, and are enthusiastic and dependable, then we have several options for you. All of our programs are designed for adults age 18 and older who are truly passionate about enhancing the lives of animals.

Animal Care Volunteers are a group of dedicated adults who don't mind getting dirty while working alongside the keepers and assisting with daily animal care. This year-round program offers volunteers the opportunity to take part in some of the zoo's day-to-day animal care activities like feeding, observing, enriching, cleaning exhibits, and other tasks that help give our animals a rich and fulfilling life.

Our Internship Program offers a more in-depth experience for those who are looking to start a career in animal care, health, research, or conservation. During the course of three months in any of the 3 internship programs, our unpaid interns learn the unique techniques needed to care for zoo animal welfare and conservation. Internships are offered in Animal Care, Conservation Interpretation, Welfare Research, or Zoological Commissary.

Our Conservation Volunteers work at our stations to interprete our conservation initiatives to zoo guests of all ages! Choose between our Quarters for Conservation or Beads for Chimps station, as well as additional stations at special events, such as Earth Day and fundraising events. Thanks to our Conservation Volunteers, our zoo guests truly understand the impact our zoo makes for animals all around the world.

Want to get to know the animals better? Our Behavioral Observation Team collects data that helps zookeepers to better understand how the animals are spending their day and utilize their exhibit. There are multiple long-term teams of observers, plus opportunities for data entry, statistics, and a call out list to assist keepers in observing introductions, births, and more.

Requirements for all ACCR Volunteers

  • Be age 18 or older.
  • Commit to regular attendance at the Zoo. See requirements for each program.
  • Be able to commit to volunteering for at least six months.
  • Complete an Animal Care Emergency Preparedness course, at least once every two years.
  • Provide the program fee, which includes a uniform t-shirt or badge, Animal Care Volunteer Handbook, and other training and informational materials required for their assigned string.
  • Abide by the procedures and expectations outlines in the Oakland Zoo Volunteer Manual, as well as those set by the Department of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research.
  • See each program webpage for additional program requirements.

Please call (510) 632-9525 ext. 141 or email us if you have additional questions regarding our Animal Care Volunteer, Internship, or Behavioral Observation Team Volunteer Program.

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