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Chicago Zoological Society

The Mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature.

Animal Care Specialist (Zoo Keeper) Intern

Opened in 1934, Brookfield Zoo is managed by the Chicago Zoological Society and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Chicago Zoological Society is committed to developing people’s capacities and competencies, serving as a mentor and trainer, providing experiential learning opportunities to individuals seeking to understand, develop, and establish careers in the fields of zoology and conservation.

In fulfilling this role, the Society has a long-standing internship program that has been recognized as one of the top programs for college students in the country. The program, established in 1975, was one of the first in the nation to allow students pursuing careers in animal care the opportunity to work side by side with professional zookeepers, learning the skills and techniques necessary to manage exotic zoo animals. Since that time, the internship program has evolved to include work study and research opportunities in a variety of areas and fields.

Internships are offered three times a year: Winter (January - April), Summer (May - August) and Fall (September - December) and applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. 

Animal Care Specialist internships are available with a variety of animals: Large animals, domestics, small mammals, aviculture (birds), reptiles, ungulates (hoofstock), amphibians, marine mammals, aquatics, and zoo nutrition. Specific opportunities vary term to term based on department needs. 

Areas currently accepting applications:

- Animal Ambassadors/Hamill Family Play Zoo/Wild Encounters 
- Avian Husbandry & Care
- Habitat Africa! The Kopje
- Marine Aquatics 
- Marine Mammals 
- Tropic World (Primates)


Free zoo admission for friends and family, discounted food and merchandise, reciprocal access to dozens of cultural institutions across Chicagoland.



How to Apply

Visit for detailed internship listings and application. 

Chicago Zoological Society
3300 Golf Rd.
Brookfield, IL 60513
Phone: 7086888361

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