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Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

Penguin Keeper Assistant Unpaid Internship

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is seeking an outgoing, motivated professional for this new internship opportunity.  The Penguin Keeper Assistant Internship offers a great chance to work specifically with our Magellanic penguins and learn valuable husbandry techniques necessary to becoming a successful penguin zookeeper.

The Penguin Keeper Assistant Intern is responsible for assisting the Zookeeper in the daily care and feeding of zoo penguins including the cleaning and maintenance of buildings, grounds, and exhibits.

Responsibilities can include:

The successful candidate for this position will be able to:

  • directly assist zookeepers in all aspects of animal husbandry, including behavioral enrichment, operant conditioning, exhibit maintenance, diet preparation, animal observations, and vet care
  • follow oral and written instructions and have strong communication skills with staff and the public
  • work individually and in a group setting
  • become sufficient in identifying the various penguin species
  • become knowledgeable about breeding seasons and care as it relates to breeding
  • get to know penguins on an individual basis to learn their diet specifications, care needs, personalities and husbandry details
  • unloading fish
  • assist with training sessions

The successful candidate may be asked to complete a season-long project as assigned by the Penguin Keeper/Supervisor.

The Penguin Keeper Assistant Unpaid Internship is a commitment of 24 to 40 hours a week for a 3-month time period.  Will consider one candidate with a 40-hour per week availability or two candidates with 24-hour per week availability per semester.

Experience Required

Qualifications: • High school diploma or GED certificate • Candidates pursuing a degree in a zoological related field, or recently graduated within the last year are preferred • Must be able to work weekends and holidays as assigned • Must commit to a schedule • Must maintain a valid driver’s license • Ability to work in all weather conditions • Willingness to get wet & dirty • Ability to lift 50 lbs. • Ability to work as a team or individually • Good public speaking skills • Excellent record keeping skills • *If receiving school credit, it’s the responsibility of the students to arrange for the credit Health and Safety Must be able to climb ladders/stairs/fences, lift and carry crates/animals/feed weighing 50 lbs., operate power tools, load and operate wheel barrows loaded up to 100 lbs., be agile and flexible to maneuver in and around animals within exhibits, corrals, and holding areas. Proof of a recent negative TB test is also required. Please note that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of responsibilities and that the requirements of the internship are subject to change as required.

Further Comments

If selected for an internship candidates must adhere to reference checks, level 2 background fingerprints, proof of a negative TB test within the past year (at intern’s expense), drug screen and pay the $50 intern fee (this fee covers your fingerprints and drug screen). A current tetanus vaccine is recommended.


N/A - Unpaid Internship

How to Apply

Visit our website: Deadline to apply is April 8, 2017.

Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
370 Zoo Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32218
Phone: 904-757-4463

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