San Diego Zoo/San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Job Code
Animal Care
Average Hours per Week
Employment Status
Without Benefits

COLLEGE RELATIONS Summer Program 2018 / Animal Care - San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Job Description:


It all began with a ROAR 100 years ago!

San Diego Zoo Global is a conservation organization dedicated to the science of saving endangered species worldwide. San Diego Zoo Global operates three world-class facilities: the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Our organization’s vision - we will lead the fight against extinction.

Help us to make a difference for wildlife and begin a summer adventure with San Diego Zoo Global.  Join the dedicated crew who are passionate about what they do and strive to create unforgettable experiences for our guests. Share your knowledge, skills and commitment to provide GRRREAT Customer Service and be a part of the ROAR with San Diego Zoo Global!

Mission: San Diego Zoo Global is committed to saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature.

Vision: We will lead the fight against extinction.

The San Diego Zoo College Relations Program was established in 2007.  This program offers college students, or recent graduates, an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on work experience within a variety of fields in our non-profit organization.  Participants work shoulder to shoulder with full time regular and seasonal employees in one of a variety of departments.  Participants are also provided classes and activities throughout the summer that gives them an inside look at our animal and plant collections and the global conservation work conducted by San Diego Zoo Global.  

Are you ready to start your adventure and put your Passion for Wildlife to Work?


Destination – San Diego Zoo / San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Duration of your adventure – Summer 2018

There will be two sessions:

Session 1 -

May 21th through August 12th

Session 2 -

June 18th through September 10th

Seats (positions) available - 40

Attire while on adventure- The Society has a very conservative grooming policy. Tattoos may not be visible or must be appropriately covered while on duty. Jewelry may be worn if it does not detract from a well-groomed look or create a safety hazard. No facial or tongue piercing.  Hair must be neat and professional. 

Amenities -  A variety of these positions are available at both the San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park – near downtown San Diego as well at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, located 30 miles North of the San Diego Zoo in Escondido, CA. This adventure offers ZOO Perks which include discounts on food/premium products, free entrance to both parks during the duration of the internship, and an allotment of guest passes to share with friends and family.  

Pay Rate – In some years a few of these animal care opportunities are paid. The majority of these opportunities are unpaid. 

Requirements for this adventure include:

Opportunities in animal care for summer 2018 will be available at both the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park (located 30 miles north of the San Diego Zoo).  These internship opportunities may include exposure to the daily operations of animal care, exhibit maintenance, animal behavior and record keeping. When possible, interns are placed in areas that match their goals and interests.

**Please note that these internships are not research based positions.

Summer 2018 opportunities will cover a variety of animal care areas at both the Zoo and Safari Park to include but not limited to:
·         CHS – Mammals / Safari Park
·         CHS – Elephants / Safari Park
·         Safari Experiences / Safari Park
·         Animal Connection (Wegeforth Bowl and Animals in Action) / San Diego Zoo
·         Animal Care Children’s Zoo / San Diego Zoo
·         Animal Care Bird Show / San Diego Zoo

·         Animal Care Avian Propagation Center / San Diego Zoo
·         Other opportunities may be available by Summer 2018

Essential functions and responsibilities of the positions include:
·         Animal husbandry
·         Nutrition
·         Enrichment and training
·         Visitor education
·         Exhibit repair and or modification
·         Animal observation
·         Record keeping
·         Ability to communicate and work effectively with others
·         Understand and follow directions effectively
·         Adhere to the organization's policies, procedures, regulations
·         Work in a team environment and motivates others

·         Must be able to comfortably lift 50 lbs


 The ideal candidate will meet the following requirements:

Current college junior or senior working toward an animal related field, Biology, Zoology etc. or recent graduate with a related degree (graduated no more than 6 months prior to internship). 

Experience working around wild and/or exotic animals in zoo or similar setting is highly desirable. 

Knowledge of animal behavior, care, feeding and handling of wild animals highly desired
Knowledge of safety practices around wild animals

Knowledge of techniques for restraining or capturing wild animals
Must have strong communication skills/public speaking
Must be able to engage within a team environment with staff and other interns
Must enjoy working outdoors in all weather conditions

Must be able to stand for long periods of time, stoop, climb and lift a minimum of 50 pounds
Working Environment

Frequent exposure to close contact with a wide variety of exhibit animals, mammals, reptiles, or birds; work in uneven terrain with exposure to varying weather conditions, dust, and allergens; move about on slippery surfaces; handle toxic and/or hazardous materials; and work in confined or cramped spaces.

Physical Demands

This position has been identified as one requiring lifting in excess of 50 pounds; frequently move moderate to heavy objects; standing, bending, squatting, twisting, reaching, etc; may work from elevated positions. 

·         Application submitted through our on-line system during designated posting of January 15th - March 23, 2018

·         Resume including relevant experience

·         Pre-employment physical (If selected, Zoo and Safari Park will schedule which includes drug testing

·         Proof of negative TB Test on or before the start date of the internship program (Zoo or Safari Park can assist)

·         Duration of internship is for a 12 week opportunity from May – August or June – September. Hours scheduled will be approximately 40 hrs/wk.

·         Schedule will be any of the 5 days of the week including weekends, holidays and possible evening hours.

·         Completion of (4) on-line pre-requisite classes through San Diego Zoo My Academy prior to the start of the internship (Zoonotic Diseases, Working Safely With Dangerous Animals, Government Regulations and Compliance (USDA/OSHA) and the Fundamentals of Animal Learning).  *If selected San Diego Zoo Global will register you for these classes.

·         Attendance at scheduled classes for Summer Interns (TBD)

·         Completion of Summer Intern Checklist (TBD)

·         Participation in other intern events throughout the summer

·         Perform related duties and responsibilities as required

Interns must be available to start on either May 21 or June 18 2018

If selected for the May 21 start date, for a position at either the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, you will be required to be available Monday and/or Tuesday May 21 and May 22 to sign paperwork, complete testing, and get an ID card.

If selected for the June 18 start date, for a position at either the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park,  you will be required to be available Monday and/or Tuesday June 18 and 19 to sign paperwork, complete testing, and get an ID card.

Availability – Interns must be available any of the seven days of the week.  Nights, weekends and holidays will be required. The hours and schedules may vary from week to week. You will be expected to stay through the agreed length of time that was stated in your offer letter.  **Please note that any time off during this 12 week internship in all likelihood may not be approved.

Transportation – If interning at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, it is strongly recommended that all Interns have a personal form of transportation.  Access via public transportation to the Safari Park is not possible for the hours animal care interns are required to work. There is no public transportation on the weekends. Biking is not recommended. If interning at the San Diego Zoo, public transportation is available, however having a personal form of transportation is recommended.

Expectations for Summer Interns include participation in Explore the Roar, attendance at specific classes and events, and completion of a learning checklist, which includes information specific to the business of San Diego Zoo Global. We strive to give a well-rounded experience during this Internship Program.  This summer experience will help you to gain insight and appreciation for the various components of San Diego Zoo Global.

When applying on-line, please include your resume including relevant experience 

Deadline to submit request of application for adventure:

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2018

Applications must be submitted online by 9:30 pm Pacific Time

**San Diego Zoo Global is a smoke-free workplace**




Job Requirements:


Qualifications are listed above 


Working conditions vary with the assigned duties.