Animal Department Internship

Who May Apply

Adults 18 and older

Job Overview


Interns will have the opportunity to work alongside keepers in the day-to-day care of these species as well as interacting with guests. Interns will learn about animal husbandry, behavior, dietary requirements, operant conditioning training, enrichment, animal restraint, and species management.


Interns are supervised by animal care staff within the department, however, with some specific projects interns are expected to have the ability to work autonomously following direction. In addition to assisting with cleaning, interns will have the opportunity to be involved with public presentations, diet preparation, animal feeding and special projects, including the creation of enrichment items and participation in research programs. Interns will be exposed to a wide variety of animals ranging from invertebrates to mammals. Assignments and opportunities that are available to animal department interns are based on individual progress during the internship.

Available Animal Departments:

Bird Department: Bald eagles, hawks, owls, parrots, vultures, hornbills, toucans, kookaburras, black-throated magpie jays, and more.

Carnivore Department: Cheetahs, leopard, cougar, otters, clouded leopards, kinkajous, and fossa.

Hoofstock Department: Giraffes, Asian rhinos, warthogs, peccaries, and petting zoo, including llama, alpaca, goats, and a rooster.

Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation: Conservation center for eastern indigo snakes.

Small Mammal Department: Black-handed spider monkeys, red-ruffed and brown lemurs, lesser spot-nosed guenons, cotton-top tamarins, South African crested porcupines, and sloths.

Program Animals: Invertebrates, lizards, snakes, turtles/tortoises, alligators, parrots, owls, hornbill, kestrel, bald eagle, kinkajous, prairie dogs, hedgehog, opossums, sugar gliders, and more.

Reptile & Amphibian Department: American alligators, black caiman, American crocodile, a variety of lizards, both venomous and non-venomous snakes, amphibians, turtles, and tortoises, including the Aldabra tortoise.


  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Upperclassmen and recent college graduates are preferred.
  • Must be able to work 16-24 hours/week.
  • Must be able to work approximately 8 hours per day on assigned days.
  • Must provide proof of negative TB test and submit to drug testing prior to the start of the internship.
  • Must be able to work efficiently and safely around live animals.

Physical and Environmental:

This position involves a lot of walking and lifting. Time outdoors is expected, in all different weather conditions including heat, humidity, rain, or dust. It may also involve considerable physical exertion such as climbing, reaching, assuming awkward positions, repetitive motions, and lifting and/or moving of heavy objects (up to 50 pounds) on a regular basis. Due to nature of this environment, interns will have some public contact requiring considerable communication skills.

To Apply:

  • Complete Internship Volunteer Application
  • Submit a cover letter. The cover letter must include: Term for which you are applying. Why you are applying for this internship. What makes you a good candidate for this internship?
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation (Letters of recommendation may be submitted by the applicant or the reference; however, the applicant’s name should appear in the subject line).
  • E-mail all materials to by the deadline date.
  • Submit all required documents in PDF or Microsoft Word. Eligible applicants will be contacted for a phone interview by the Animal Department shortly after the application deadline.

Internship Dates and Deadline to Apply:

  • January-April: deadline to apply is November 15th
  • May-August: deadline to apply is March 15th
  • September-December: deadline to apply is July 15th
Apply Online
  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums