Jacksonville Zoo and GardensJacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

More to see. More to zoo.

Volunteer Program

We are thrilled that you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens! JZG volunteers have the opportunity to work alongside Zookeepers, assist with our exciting special events and support our botanical gardens horticulture staff; as a volunteer, you may spend time teaching others about our animals and the importance of conservation or assisting with the maintenance of the gardens and facilities that make JZG such an incredible place.

We could not provide such an exemplary experience for our guests or level of care for our exotic animals without the dedication of our wonderful volunteers!  Volunteering is also a great way to meet others who share your interest in service, conservation and dedication to wildlife. We look forward to seeing you at one of our many volunteer appreciation events!

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has a variety of opportunities for individuals who are able to dedicate at least 4 hours a week for a minimum of 6 months.  For those who are not able to make such a commitment, we encourage you to volunteer for one of our awesome special events, such as Spooktacular. Spooktacular is our fun and family-friendly Halloween party here at the Zoo and our volunteers have been a huge part of this event’s success! The Zoo’s Volunteer Programs Department is the place to schedule all volunteer opportunities for JZG.

We welcome anyone over the age of 18 to apply to our Adult Volunteer Program. However, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens does not provide community service in relation to legal and probationary requirements. All adult volunteers will be subject to a background check.

If you are between the ages of 14 and 18 and have completed the 8th grade, you are eligible to join our team of Special Event Teen Volunteers. This is a great way to earn community service hours for school while spending time here at the Zoo. This is also an exciting way to get familiar with the Zoo, our staff and ZooTeens!. Check back in the early spring 2015 to learn more about our amazing ZooTeens! program, and to download the application to be considered for this program.

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

There are a variety of exciting volunteer opportunities at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens!

Below is a general list of volunteer opportunities at JZG:

Mammal Keeper Assistant- Assisting with care and maintenance in areas that serve giraffes, elephants and other incredible Zoo mammals.

Bird Keeper Assistant- Assisting with general cleanup and preparing bird diets in bird areas.

Education Keeper Assistant- Assisting with the education animal collection, cleanup and diet preparations.

Exhibit Guide Assistant- Be an ambassador for the Zoo! Interacting with Guests, discussing animals, conservation and relevant information.

BOT: Behavioral Observation Team- Assisting with the observation of animal behaviors and keeping accurate detailed descriptions of behaviors and interactions.

Diet Kitchen Assistant- Assisting with diet preparation for a variety of animals (includes rare meat).

Education Classroom Assistant- Assisting with camps, homeschool programs, adult workshops and other classes; assists with arts and crafts, classroom projects and student supervision.

Train Dock Assistant- Taking tickets, greeting guests, securing passengers at the Train Dock.

Gift Shop Assistant- Arranging and organizing merchandise, greeting guests, assisting with guest inquires at the various Zoo gift shops.

Horticulture Assistant- Assisting with general gardening duties throughout the Zoo.

Facilities Assistant- Mr. or Ms. Fix-it! Assisting the facilities department with a variety of projects and small tasks throughout the Zoo.

At Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens our goal is to create the most natural environment possible for our fantastic collection of animals.  For this reason, all volunteer positions are considered, “hands-off” and do not involve direct handling of our animals.  We encourage you to volunteer with us only if you are comfortable with this policy and we appreciate your understanding.

All positions are subject to availability; the Volunteer Programs Department must select the position that fits the volunteer’s interests, but also the needs of the Zoo.  The Volunteer Programs Department reserves the right to reject a prospective volunteer for any reason.

How to Become an Adult Volunteer

Special Event Teen Volunteers also apply here

Complete an online application

(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) the Volunteer Programs Department with days and times that you would be available for a volunteer interview. Please list multiple days; we will do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs.

Once your interview appointment is confirmed, you will receive an email with instructions, including where and when to report for your interview.

When you arrive for your volunteer interview, you will be required to complete a brief background check authorization form. Please bring relevant information such as ID/driver’s license and social security number. Individuals who do not have a clear background check will be ineligible for the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Adult Volunteer Program.

Volunteers interested in assisting in an animal area will need to submit documentation of a negative tuberculosis (TB) test before starting their volunteer service. The TB test is conducted at the volunteer’s expense and can be performed at their local doctor, clinic, or Duval County Health Department.  The fee at the Duval County Health Department is $6. Price is subject to change.

Join us for a fun and informative volunteer orientation session.  Orientations are scheduled monthly and are a great way to meet other volunteers and get all of the information you need to have a safe, fun and rewarding experience volunteering at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens! There will be a $20 orientation fee for adults (Special Event Teen Volunteers - $15 & Education Volunteers $30) due by the volunteer orientation session. The orientation fee will cover one volunteer t-shirt, name badge, and processing.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

Would your company, organization or club like to volunteer their time at the Zoo? We may be able to set up a volunteer day just for you and your team!

Click here for more information on group volunteer opportunities.

Unpaid Internships

For a list of available unpaid internship opportunities with Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens please click here. If there is an unpaid internship you are interested in applying for please download and complete this form. Please return this form, your resume, cover letter, references and any letters of recommendations to (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

For further information please contact the Volunteer Programs Department.

Email: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 904-757-4463 Ext. 176
Fax: 904-757-2444

Note: The zoo reserves the right to reject a volunteer for any reason which the zoo, in its sole judgment, determines will or may affect the best interests of the zoo. Furthermore, the zoo reserves the right to withhold the reason(s) for such refusal. The zoo cannot guarantee volunteer placement. The zoo will, however, make every effort to match volunteer applicants to volunteer opportunities based on the needs of the zoo and the interests and abilities of the volunteer.