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Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Elephant Department Internship (Unpaid)

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is home to four adult Asian elephants which include females Jati, Schottzie, and Mai-Thai and bull elephant, Sabu. The elephant department is entrusted with providing daily care of the herd, enriching their lives, and maintaining a high level of animal welfare. Animal care staff play an integral role in the zoo’s mission by conveying knowledge and providing experiences that connect guests to nature. 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION & RESPONSIBILITIES: This voluntary 11-week internship program provides qualified individuals with professional experience in the daily care of the department's animals and the opportunity to support animal care staff. Elephant department interns are supervised by animal care staff within the department. The main role of interns is to work with animal care staff to keep areas clean, thus helping contribute to the welfare of the animals. Cleaning elephant habitats include raking and shoveling, carrying heavy wheelbarrows, lifting bales of hay, and maintaining sand areas. Other duties include preparing daily food diets such as cutting produce and hanging hay in nets and barrels and preparing enrichment. Interns will have the opportunity to observe elephant training sessions and husbandry including foot care, exercise, and bathing.


  • Provide support to Elephant Department staff

  • Enhance productivity and efficiency of the Elephant Department team

  • Allow qualified individuals the opportunity to gain professional experience as a keeper intern at a world-class zoological facility

  • Provide an opportunity to gain a strong understanding of potential careers in animal husbandry, training, and conservation education

Experience Required

QUALIFICATIONS • Must be 18 years of age or older (upper classman and recent college graduates are preferred) • Must be able to work 24-40 hours per week minimum; unpaid, un-benefited • Must be able to work approximately 10 hours per day on assigned days • Must be able to work efficiently and safely around live animals • Must provide proof of negative TB test and full covid-19 vaccination. • Must be willing to submit to a background check, pass a pre-start drug & nicotine screen, and able to provide own health insurance through the duration of internship

Further Comments

Internship is 11 weeks in duration, unpaid and un-benefited. Interns can expect to have a regular set schedule but may be scheduled to participate on some weekends, holidays, etc. Housing may be available for a minimal fee. Fall Term: September 6– November 21



How to Apply

Send resume, cover letter, and references to 

Applications due Thursday, August 18th at midnight. Selection sent by Monday, August 22nd.

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
3400 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45220

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