Internship Opportunities | The Topeka Zoo

Internship Opportunities

Adventure Camp Summer Internship

If you love working with kids and/or animals, the Topeka Zoo’s Education and Conservation Department is offering a truly unique and exciting summer internship with our Adventure Camp Program! Interns will have the opportunity to get their feet wet in environmental and conservation education by using the zoo as an active, living classroom. Not only will interns schedule and oversee daily summer camp activities for children ages 6-12, but they will also get a backstage pass into how the zoo operates. Starting with a two-week training period and then diving into eight weeks of summer camp, interns will learn how to give presentations and lead hands-on activities. Interns will also complete a course on animal handling to use a variety of education animals (invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds) during programming. Our internship is flexible and offers many opportunities to personalize your experience.

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates are preferred to have completed at least one year of a college degree program in education, biology, animal science, zoology, psychology, or other related fields. However, students age 16 and older may apply. If you are still in high school, please include one letter of recommendation in your application along with your resume and cover letter. (College applicants may send in a letter of recommendation if you’d like, although it is not mandatory.)

Candidates must also have excellent communication skills, enjoy working with people of all ages, and possess the ability to work in a team environment. They must be self-motivated, reliable, prompt, able to work in all weather conditions, and have strong attention-to-detail skills. A negative TB test must also be provided.

Internships are unpaid and require 35-40 hours per week with an 11-week commitment beginning May 21st and ending August 3rd (with a break the week of July 2nd-6th). Dates are slightly flexible. Interns must provide their own accommodations and transportation. While the zoo does not pay for accommodations, we do have partnerships with a few local housing agencies that offer affordable living for our interns. Feel free to contact the phone number below with any questions regarding housing or other internship information. Applications are due on April 9th, 2018.

Please note this is not an animal care internship. This is an internship with the Education and Conservation Department working with our summer camp kids. You will work with our education animal collection to give programs, but will not be involved in the daily care/feeding of these animals. Do not apply to this opportunity if you are seeking an animal care internship.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Ms. Rachael Rost at RRost@topeka.org. To contact the Education Department by phone, please call 785-368-9137.

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Animal Care Internships

                  

The Topeka Zoo Animal Care Staff is seeking a motivated and enthusiastic aspiring Zoo Keeper to join our Internship team gaining experience with a variety of species while enriching the community through wildlife conservation and education.

                              Animal Care Internship- Ongoing                             

The zoo is offering an unpaid, protected contact internship in all animal areas of the Zoo. This internship encompasses all areas of the zoo including Great Apes, Elephants, large Carnivores, small Primates, Invertebrates, a variety of Avian species, education animals and more . This position will provide a well-rounded intern experience for those individuals who are actively pursuing a Zoo Keeper career. You can expect to learn the logistics of opening a new expansion of the zoo (Camp Cowabunga), working with multiple species who have breeding recommendations through the Species Survival Plan Program, observe and assist in training sessions, implement enrichment, gain experience in an AZA accredited zoo, learn the ZIMS record keeping system, receive interview and resume preparation advice and assist with the daily feeding, husbandry and observations of the species covered in this internship. You will also be able to participate in several Intern seminars covering a wide range of topics from zoonotic diseases, training, AZA/SSP information, USDA requirements, browse identification and more.

Requirements and Expectations:

  • Must be able to stoop, climb, crawl, lift at least 50lbs, and work in all weather conditions
  • Must pass City of Topeka background check and provide proof of negative TB test within the past year.
  • Must be 18 years or older and drug free
  • Ability to multi task, work in a fast paced environment, engage appropriately with public, and work independently and as part of a team is expected.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must commit to at least a 3 month term with opportunity for longer extensions based on performance. (more “hands on” opportunities are also performance based)
  • Must complete an Intern project by end of Internship
  • To get the most out of this internship, a schedule of 20+ hours a week commitment required

Compensation/Housing: 

  • This is an unpaid internship but staff will assist in locating affordable housing options

How to Apply:

  • Submit resume and cover letter to Shanna Simpson at SSimpson@topeka.org
  • Please specify in email heading which internship you are applying for as we have different internships.

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Animal Care Internship May 2018- Carnivores       

The zoo is offering an unpaid, protected contact internship focusing primarily on African and North American carnivore species including, but not limited to, North American Black Bears, North American River Otters, African Lions, Mountain Lions, and African Painted Dogs.  Experience with Sumatran tigers and various birds of prey will also be included.  This internship encompasses two different areas of the zoo in order to include most of the zoo’s carnivore species and does include some non-carnivore species. This position will provide a well-rounded intern experience for those individuals who are actively pursuing a keeping career working specifically with carnivores. You can expect to learn the logistics of opening a new expansion of the zoo (Camp Cowabunga), managing a new group of African Painted Dogs, working with multiple species who have breeding recommendations through the Species Survival Plan Program, observe training sessions, implement enrichment, gain experience in an AZA accredited zoo, learn the ZIMS record keeping system, receive interview and resume preparation advice and assist with the daily feeding, husbandry and observations of the species covered in this internship. You will also be able to participate in several intern seminars covering a wide range of topics from zoonotic diseases, animal welfare vs animal rights discussions, training, AZA/SSP information, USDA requirements and more.

Requirements and Expectations:

  • Must be able to stoop, climb, crawl, lift at least 50lbs, and work in all weather conditions
  • Must pass City of Topeka background check and provide proof of negative TB test within the past year.
  • Must be 18 years or older and drug free
  • Ability to multi task, work in a fast paced environment, engage appropriately with public, and work independently and as part of a team is expected.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must commit to at least a 3 month term with opportunity for longer extensions based on performance. (more “hands on” opportunities are also performance based)
  • Previous interning experience with exotic animal/carnivore specific species at an AZA accredited facility preferred
  • Must complete an intern project (keeper choice TBD) by end of internship
  • To get the most out of this internship, a schedule of 25+ hours a week commitment required

Compensation/ Housing:

  • This is an unpaid internship but staff will assist in locating affordable housing options

How to Apply:

  • Submit resume and cover letter to ssimpson@topeka.org
  • Please specify in email heading which internship you are applying for as this carnivore specific internship is separate from our general animal care internships.
  • Within your cover letter, give a brief description of what inspires you to pursue a career in the animal care field and how you believe this carnivore internship will assist in your career path.

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Animal Care Internship Winter/Spring 2018- Large Hoofstock and Elephants   

The zoo is offering an unpaid, protected contact internship focusing primarily in our Animal and Man building focusing on species including, but not limited to, Reticulated Giraffe, River Hippo, Black and White Ruffed Lemur, Cape Porcupine, and the potential to shadow elephant keepers with one female African Elephant and two Asian Elephants. This internship encompasses one area of the zoo in order to include most of the zoo’s large hoofstock species and does include some non-hoofstock species. This position will provide a well-rounded intern experience for those individuals who are actively pursuing a keeping career working specifically with large hoofstock and elephants. You can expect to learn the logistics of opening a new expansion of the zoo (Camp Cowabunga), working with multiple species who have breeding recommendations through the Species Survival Plan Program, observe and assist in training sessions, implement enrichment, gain experience in an AZA accredited zoo, learn the ZIMS record keeping system, receive interview and resume preparation advice and assist with the daily feeding, husbandry and observations of the species covered in this internship. You will also be able to participate in several intern seminars covering a wide range of topics from zoonotic diseases, training, AZA/SSP information, USDA requirements, browse identification and more.

Requirements and Expectations:

  • Must be able to stoop, climb, crawl, lift at least 50lbs, and work in all weather conditions
  • Must pass City of Topeka background check and provide proof of negative TB test within the past year.
  • Must be 18 years or older and drug free
  • Ability to multi task, work in a fast paced environment, engage appropriately with public, and work independently and as part of a team is expected.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must commit to at least a 3 month term with opportunity for longer extensions based on performance. (more “hands on” opportunities are also performance based)
  • Previous interning experience with exotic animal/large hoofstock/ elephant specific species at an AZA accredited facility preferred
  • Must complete an intern project (keeper choice TBD) by end of internship
  • To get the most out of this internship, a schedule of 25+ hours a week commitment required

Compensation/Housing:

  • This is an unpaid internship but staff will assist in locating affordable housing options

How to Apply:

  • Submit resume and cover letter to eneuer@topeka.org
  • Please specify in email heading which internship you are applying for as this the Large Hoofstock/Elephant internship is separate from our general animal care internships.

Within your cover letter, give a brief description of what inspires you to pursue a career in the animal care field and how you believe this large hoofstock/elephant  internship will assist in your career path.

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