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ZooTampa at Lowry Park

African Hoofstock Internship -- Fall 2021

African Hoofstock Internship --  Fall 2021

Internship Period: August 23, 2021-November 27, 2021

Deadline to Apply: June 3, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST


Please note: If you are seeking an Animal Care internship, do not apply for more than two opportunities within the same term.  Applying to more than two areas may disqualify the candidate from further consideration.


ZooTampa at Lowry Park is currently seeking enthusiastic and motivated individuals interested in learning about the Animal Care field.  The African Hoofstock Internship at ZooTampa is designed for college students or recent college graduates who are interested in a career in large mammal management and operant conditioning based animal training. Our interns work side-by-side with experienced animal care staff every day. Interns will be exposed to all aspects of the daily care and training of African Hoofstock.  ZooTampa's Hoofstock program is managed through positive reinforcement focused operant conditioning. The successful candidate will be responsible for assisting with the daily care and husbandry of Giraffe, Hartman Mountain Zebra, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Meerkat, Red River Hogs, Okapi, and various antelope and bird species. 



Internship functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist in diet preparation, feeding, exhibit maintenance, cleaning, record keeping, and other area responsibilities.
  • Assist animal care staff in implementing enrichment for various species.
  • Participate in trainer lecture series given by the animal care staff.
  • Participate in behavioral observations and data collection/entry (as required).
  • Develop fundamental understanding of operant conditioning.
  • Assist animal care staff in training sessions


  • High school diploma or GED required.
  • Applicants currently pursuing a degree in any of the biological or life sciences are preferred.
  • Potential academic credit may be available subject to program eligibility requirements.
  • Possess a sincere desire to work with both animals and guests.
  • Excellent communication and customer relations skills.
  • Ability to effectively work independently and within a team.
  • Must be able to multi-task.
  • Must have the ability to follow specific instructions and also be comfortable self-directing.
  • Ability to communicate ideas and contribute effectively.
  • Must be 18 years of age.

Required Availability:  

  • Must be able to commit to a 14 week internship. 
  • Must be able to commit to a schedule of 30 hours per week. 
  • Schedule is typically ten hour days (7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) 
  • Some nights and weekend shifts may be required. 

Physical Requirements:               

  • Ability to work in extreme weather conditions typical to west central Florida (i.e., heat, rain, or cold).
  • Must have physical endurance for long, high volume days and be able to stand/walk for long periods of time. 
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds and move heavy objects. 

Additional Requirements:

  • If an internship offer is made, it is contingent on:
  • Candidates seeking academic credit must have arrangements agreed upon between the Zoo and their school before beginning the internship.
  • All offers are contingent on the successful completion of a criminal background screening and execution of a required hold harmless/liability release agreement.
  • Candidate will be responsible for the cost of the background check (typically $25, but certain jurisdictions may have additional fees).
  • Contingent upon receipt of documentation of negative TB test within the last 6 months and Tetanus vaccination within the last 5 years.
  • Interns must have personal health insurance coverage for illness or injury (as volunteers and interns are not covered by the Zoo workers’ compensation program).


  • Internships are unpaid and are designed to meet academic requirements, as applicable, and provide valuable real-world experience for participants. Successful completion of an internship may also yield letters of recommendation, a portfolio of their work when applicable, and important networking contacts.

Who is eligible?

  • High school diploma or GED is required. Applicants currently pursuing  a degree in any of the biological or life sciences are preferred. Applicants must submit an Internship Application, cover letter, and resume in order to be considered for a position. 


Please Note: Interns must make their own accommodation and transportation arrangements.  This is an unpaid internship.


Please visit for more information.



How to Apply

ZooTampa at Lowry Park
1101 W Sligh Ave
Tampa, FL 33604

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