POSITION TITLE                            Zookeeper/Education Intern

DEPARTMENT                               Animal Care

REPORTS TO                                 Lead Keeper and Assistant Lead Keeper

PAY RATE                                      Starting at $12.00

EXEMPT/NON-EXEMPT               Non-exempt

FULL-TIME/PART-TIME               Full-time Internship


The Metro Richmond Zoo’s mission is to promote animal conservation and inspire guests by providing up-close, educational encounters with the wild. The zoo is situated on 150 acres of land and is home to over 2,000 animals representing 190 species from around the world. The zoo is accredited by the Zoological Association of America and is well-known for its conservation programs for cheetahs, African penguins, and Diana monkeys


This is a combination zookeeper and education internship. Interns will gain hands-on general husbandry skills while working alongside zookeepers. Interns will also participate in the zoo’s education programs learning how to present formal and informal public presentations to engage guests and provide a positive guest experience.

This is a full-time, paid position that requires 5 days a week/8 hours a day. The internship will last a minimum of 12 weeks and can be extended based on performance and availability. The zoo can assist interns with housing if needed. 


  • Assist zookeepers
  • Clean animal exhibits
  • Spray, scrub, sweep, rake, shovel animal feces
  • Prepare and distribute animal feed
  • Prepare and distribute animal enrichment items
  • Lead education programs (zoo to you, behind-the-scenes tours, school presentations, animal encounters)
  • Lead summer safari day camp
  • Drive the train and give a narrated, education tour
  • Assist the zoo in any other duties


Interns must have the ability to:

  • Walk and stand and bend over for long periods of time
  • Navigate zoo grounds with or without a vehicle
  • Traverse animal exhibits by climbing, bending, kneeling, twisting, reaching, and crawling
  • Regularly move 30 lb objects and occasionally move 50 lb objects
  • Perform duties for 8 hours a day
  • Have a full range of motion in the back and all extremities


Interns must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Be self-motivated in work ethic
  • Be able to work outdoors in all weather from 0°F to over 100°F
  • Be able to communicate clearly in written and verbal forms
  • Be able to handle stressful situations calmly and effectively
  • Be able to handle multiple tasks
  • Be able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Have great attention to detail
  • Have a love for animals and their wellbeing
  • Have intermediate computer skills (proficient in Microsoft Office and Google Drive)


  • Full-time hours during internship
  • 40 hours a week (Zoo does not offer overtime hours)
  • 5 days a week
  • Must have ability to work flexible hours, including weekdays, weekends, holidays, and some early evenings 


  • Free zoo and zipline tickets
  • Food and merchandise discounts
  • Work with a variety of exotic animals
  • Day-time hours (no nights)
  • No Sundays required
  • Variable work tasks
  • Fast-paced: no dull moments
  • Work outdoors and indoors
  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Potential to turn into a permanent position


Team members and interns may not arrive on duty under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since this position is a safety-sensitive position, team members may be subject to random alcohol and drug testing. 


This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties performed by the team member or intern. All team members and interns are required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by their supervisors. 


 Complete employment application

2   Prepare resume and optional cover letter

3   Drop off in person or email both documents to [email protected] and include the position you are applying for in the subject bar