Animal Care intern(22)

Organization: Blank Park Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Des Moines , Iowa, Country
Job or Internship: Internship

Blank Park Zoo

Animal Care Fall Internship Program

The Blank Park Zoo is now accepting applications for 2013 fall internships. Internships are open to college students with an interest in exotic animal care, and looking to fulfill an internship requirement for college credit. Internships are nonpaid; housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern.

Internships are available in the Aquatics, Avian & Reptiles, Small mammal & Kids Kingdom (domestic), and Large mammal/hoof-stock areas.

Interns will be introduced to general animal husbandry practices, including:

- Animal observation and record keeping

- Proper diet preparation

- Animal restraint and handling

- Introduction to behavioral enrichment and training

- Veterinary procedure participation

- Daily cleaning and disinfection protocols

- Public & volunteer interactions

- Exhibit maintenance

- Problem solving

In addition, all interns will have the opportunity to select and execute a project with the help of animal care staff, which will be presented at the completion of the internship.


- College student in good standing, studying zoology, ecology, conservation biology, or related field

- Reference letter from college professor that this can be used towards college credit

- Negative TB test

- Capable of lifting 50 lbs.

- Willing and able to work in all weather conditions

- Dependable and able to problem solve

- Available to work a minimum 16 hours per week for the fall semester, including weekends and holidays

- Previous animal care experience preferred, but not required

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter indicating department of interest to Christine Eckles, Volunteer Manager,

Deadline for fall 2013 applicants is September 20, 2013.

Additional Information About Areas:


Candidate must have interest in all types of aquatic animals. Species in this area include California sea lions, harbor seals, penguins, otters, amphibians, and marine and freshwater fishes. Coursework in aquatic ecology, animal behavior, or previous experience working with the listed species highly desirable.

Birds & Reptiles

Coursework in ornithology and/or herpetology is preferred. Species in this area include Aldabra tortoise, scarlet macaw, Mauritius pink pigeon, rainbow lorikeet, and many more. Potential intern projects include but are not limited to: scale training, crate training, foraging enrichment, novel experience enrichment, and tactile enrichment.

Small Mammals & Kids Kingdom

Our area includes small mammals such as red pandas, Egyptian fruit bats, sloth, tamarins, wallabies and domestic livestock. We have training programs for tamarins, red pandas, and domestic hogs. We could also use ideas for enriching these animals as they can sometimes be somewhat difficult to enrich.

Large Mammals/hoof-stock

An opportunity exists for a safety conscious individual interested in gaining zoo keeping experience working alongside keepers in a protected contact environment. Animals in this section include giraffes/rhino/hoof-stock. Must have a strong work ethic and be a team player. Duties may include performing behavioral observations (ethograms), assisting keepers with training projects, developing/providing environmental enrichment, and public interaction/presentations in addition to daily husbandry tasks.