Animal Care Internships

Fall, Winter, and Summer Sessions

Teens and Adults

About the Program

The Internship Program in the Animal Care provides engaging learning experiences designed to inspire an ethic of stewardship in the next generation, stimulate interest in zoos as a viable career options, and to increase the diversity of professionals working in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) within zoos, aquariums, and in the wild.

Internship Types

Three Internship programs are offered: Animal Care, Animal Food Logistics, and Welfare Research. All interns work hand-in-hand with Oakland Zoo staff to gain knowledge and learn applicable skill sets in their chosen internship. To enhance and demonstrate their experience, interns complete a project to apply their knowledge within their internship program. Interns will also attend scheduled classes during the program to further increase their knowledge about all aspects of zoo animal management, welfare, and conservation.

Animal Care Internship

Interns in this area will work closely with animal keepers to develop their skills in managing the care, health, and welfare of a variety of zoo animals. Interns are exposed to all of the husbandry techniques that it takes to care for the animals at the Zoo. You will be given the opportunity to gain valuable skills, on-the-job training, and experience that will be a great asset to you in the future as you continue to pursue your career. It also offers valuable experience to those who are planning to pursue a job in the animal care field or to apply to vet school. Interns are assigned to one string per internship.

Zoological Commissary Internship

Interns in this area will work side by side with the Commissary Keeper to develop their skills as a zoo chef in a commissary kitchen through making diets and learning the dietary needs for each animal. They will be given the opportunity to inventory and place orders for produce, meat, feed, and other animal dietary items and implement special requests from the keepers. Interns will benefit from learning the USDA and AZA standards in keeping a clean, safe and maintained commissary service area.

Rescue & Research Internship

Interns in this area will work closely with Animal Welfare & Research staff to understand aspects of wildlife rescue and applied research on a variety of animals at the zoo and in the field. Interns will benefit from hands-on experience in an active programs and training in data collection and analysis, problem solving, and participation in in situ and/or ex situ wildlife rescue and recovery. Previous experience in animal management or data collection is recommended, but not required.

Application Requirements and Process

Please Note:


Internship Timetable/Application Deadlines


There are three Internships available each year with application deadlines:

*Due to the considerable differences between the end dates for semester and quarter-system schools, allowance is given for individual start dates for the summer session.

Intern Application Process: Five Steps to becoming an ACCR Intern!

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

Animal Care Intern Orientation:

Intern Orientations are held several weeks after program acceptance and are typically two to three hours long. During the Orientation you will learn about the Animal Care, Conservation, and Research Department, volunteer policies and procedures, and be given time for a self-guided tour of the Zoo. At this time, we will also collect the non-refundable volunteer fees and issue uniforms. Relevant guidelines, protocols, and other program-related information will be discussed.

Step 5

Enjoy your Internship! Once you have attended the Internship Orientation, you begin training and working with your assigned ACCR staff member.


Please email us or call (510) 632-9525 x169, or download the Details of the Intern Program and String Descriptions to learn more.

Email is the preferred form of communication for the program coordinators.