Many zoos around the world offer the opportunity to volunteer in their facilities. But, people don’t understand why anyone would volunteer at the zoo and have a negative connotation that volunteering is not beneficial to them. In all actuality, the people that truly lend a helping hand to zoo wildlife state that it changed their life!
At most zoos, volunteers play a major role in educating visitors by providing valuable information about the wildlife and exhibits. They also are known to use their energy and talents to lead educational programs, special events and shows. While teaching and entertaining the public, they also maintain zoo grounds and provide special care to select animals. So, you could be feeding a reptile frozen mice or feeder rabbits, or educating visitors on the habitat of a snow leopard depending on your current skill level. Listed below are common jobs volunteers receive:
- Animal Care – These volunteers prepare animal food and diets, clean animal habitats and interact with the wildlife.
- Education – It is common for these volunteers to provide education to visitors about the wildlife and their habitats while assisting in demonstrations and shows.
- Research – These volunteers collect and interpret data to understand animal health and behavior.
- Visitor Assistance - Just as the name implies, these volunteers will help visitors by greeting them, answering questions, provide directions and more.
All in all, volunteers gain valuable experience that make them a more well-rounded individual. In fact, many employers are excited to see this type of experience on a former volunteer’s resume because they gain many skills that will help them in the real world.
There are many other benefits associated with volunteering at zoos. Not only do you gain respected skills and experience, many zoos offer discounted or free admission and memberships, take part in special trips and make many new friends!
So, the next time you see a volunteer at the zoo thank them for their hard work and shake their hand!