Houston Zoo Fall Internship – Natural Encounters

Organization: Houston Zoo, Inc. (AZA Member)
Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Job or Internship: Internship

The Houston Zoo is offering an opportunity for students to participate in an unpaid internship in the Natural Encounters Department! This is a unique and exciting opportunity for students to work alongside keepers, develop important professional relationships and gain valuable experience! The Natural Encounters intern will help to provide excellent care for a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Our structured program optimizes learning opportunities for interns as well as their daily contribution to the department.

During this internship, interns will gain understanding and experience in the day to day husbandry of multi-species exhibits, animal colonies and program animals. In additions, interns will gain basic terminology and theory of operant conditioning training in a zoo setting and experience in creating and providing animal enrichment within the structure of a comprehensive enrichment program.

Successful candidates will participate in many aspects of husbandry including:

• diet preparation and feeding

• cleaning of animal exhibits and holding areas

• exhibit maintenance

• observing and recording animal condition, behaviors, and responses

• positive and educational interaction with zoo guests

• animal enrichment


• Intern will participate in the high quality guest interactions offered by our staff and complete a project that supports the mission of Natural Encounters.

• Interns are required to complete a minimum of 400 hour commitment.

• Attend Continuing Education courses provided by the Houston Zoo.

• Compose an educational presentation at the end of internship.


• Candidates must currently be enrolled in a college institution or a recent graduate (within 6 months of application).

• Coursework in biology or zoology related field is preferred.


• This position requires interns work in all weather conditions including heat, humidity, rain, cold and dust while outdoors and indoors.


• This position involves considerable physical exertion such as repetitive bending, pushing/pulling/carrying heavy loads, and regular lifting of heavy objects (up to 80 pounds).


• We are currently accepting applications until July 25, 2013. Internships will begin in September until mid December.

• To submit an application, please visit our website at www.houstonzoo.org/volunteering/. Applicant must also submit a resume, cover letter and letter of recommendation.

For further information and inquiries, please contact Nhi Tran at 713-533-6558 or via email at ntran@houstonzoo.org.