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Zoo Atlanta Animal Care Internships

Zoo Atlanta

Atlanta ,  Georgia

Show Birds and Animal Ambassadors InternLocation:Internships

Duties:We envision a world in which humankind values, protects and preserves the diversity of species on Earth. We strive to inspire the citizens of Atlanta and Georgia and all visitors to the Zoo to value wildlife on Earth and to help safeguard existing species through conservation. We do this by, providing an informative, educational, and engaging experience, being respectful and responsible stewards of the animals and the physical and financial assets entrusted to us, and engaging in related conservation activities and research.

Zoo Atlanta's Program Animals Department plays an integral role in the zoo's mission, by raising awareness of conservation issues and providing engaging, educational and entertaining experiences as we strive to inspire people to environmental action.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: What are Program Animals? We are the most diverse department in the zoo, caring for every animal taxa with the exception of fish. Program Animals are animals that have close contact with zoo guests on a regular basis and these include both our show birds and the animals used for educational programming both on and off grounds. Although Program Animals keepers and interns do not conduct classroom programs, keepers do conduct informal animal encounters on zoo grounds as well as host two different live animal shows on grounds. From Memorial Day to Labor Day we have 3 shows per day, six days per week. Much of the internship during this time will be spent ensuring keepers are able to present a high quality show to our guests by being an active participant in behind the scenes show preparation. From Labor Day to Memorial Day we have shows only on Saturdays and Sundays, so much of your internship will be focused on making enrichment, observing training sessions, and preparing enclosures for impending winter (or summer) weather.

RESPONSIBILIITES: This voluntary program provides the intern with professional experience in the daily care of the Program Animals animal collection. This collection includes snakes, lizards, invertebrates, small mammals, and a variety of birds. The main role of interns is to be educated in the roles and responsibilities of being a Program Animals keeper. This education is provided by participating in many keeper duties which may include cleaning animal enclosures to mopping area floors to making and giving environmental enrichment. Opportunities for observing animal training sessions and animal contact is not guaranteed to any intern and is determined based on the individual intern’s performance during the early part of their internship. By demonstrating a strong work ethic, interns may have the chance to participate in animal encounters and behind the scenes show support.

• Learn the roles and responsibilities of Program Animals keepers.
• Understand the basic health and welfare needs of the animals in the collection.
• When possible, meet zoo staff in other departments.
• Gain knowledge in the behind the scenes workings of Zoo Atlanta.
• Gain experience and knowledge that will assist you in making choices regarding a future career in this field.
• Receive recommendation letters for future internships and employment opportunities based on internship performance.

• Must be 18 years of age or older (Upper Classman and recent graduates preferred)
• Must be able to commit to 4 assigned, 8 hour days (8:30-4:30) throughout the internship term
• Must provide proof of negative TB test and be willing to submit to a background check
• Must be able to work quietly, efficiently and safely around live animals. This includes the ability to follow specific protocols and guidelines that are in place to ensure your safety and that of the animals. Any Intern who demonstrates an inability to follow written protocols and guidelines will be dismissed at the discretion of the Program Animals department and the Internship Supervisor.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Must be able to be on your feet for up to 4 hours at a time and lift up to 30 pounds.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions. Zoo Atlanta is open to the public 363 days out of the year, therefore, all positions at Zoo Atlanta may require employees and interns to work some weekends, holidays, and evenings.

Directions:2017 Terms:

  • Spring: January 13 – May 12. Application due by November 21, 2016. Acceptance letter sent by December 19, 2016.
  • Summer: Full Term: May 12 – September 1, 2017 OR Abbreviated Term: May 12 – August 13, 2017. *Please indicate on your application which dates you are applying for. Application due by March 20, 2017. Acceptance letter sent by April 17, 2017.
  • Fall: August 25 – December 15, 2017. Application due by June 3, 2017. Acceptance letter sent by July 31, 2017.
  • *Mandatory Intern Training will take place on first day of the term from 9:30am-Noon. 

• Include a cover letter, resume and 2 letters of recommendation (Letters of recommendation may be submitted by the applicant or the reference; however the applicant’s name should appear in the subject line)
• Cover letter must include:
1. Term for which you are applying
2. Why you are applying for this internship
3. What makes you a good candidate for this internship
• Include any other Zoo Atlanta departments in which you are also applying for an internship. If applying for multiple departments, include your order of preference. This will not affect consideration of your application in any way.
• E-mail all materials to by the deadline date, no later than 4:00PM EST

• Submit all required documents in PDF or Microsoft Word
• Complete applications must be submitted by 4:00PM on the day of the application deadline

• You will need to contact your college/university advisor to determine if our program qualifies for credit at your institution
• We make every effort to support additional projects your advisor requires in order to receive credit and are happy to discuss concerns and/or modifications of our program with your advisor
• Any paperwork, including project terms, evaluations, minimum hours, or any other requirements must be submitted upon acceptance into the program, no later than 2 weeks prior to the term start date.
• No preferential treatment will be granted to interns earning credit over interns not earning credit.
Contact:Becky Bearman

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