Volunteering at the Honolulu Zoo is a great way to learn about animals, support a beloved community institution, meet new friends, work outdoors in a lush tropical environment, gain valuable experience, interact with Zoo visitors from around the world, and have a wonderful time with fellow animal lovers! Join the Honolulu Zoo Society's "Zoo Talker" program and support the Zoo’s mission to inspire the stewardship of our natural world.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR VOLUNTEERING AT THE ZOO?
Docent Program "Zoo Talkers": 18 years
Junior Leaders: 12-16 years & graduates of Camp Imi Loa
Special Events: Varies by event
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM TIME COMMITMENT FOR VOLUNTEERING?
The minimum time commitment for volunteering at the Honolulu Zoo is 6 months. Shifts as Docents or "Zoo Talkers" are normally 2 1/2 hours from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 12:00-2:30 p.m. Shifts as Junior Leaders are either 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. or 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday while camps are in session.
Who is a Zoo Talker?
"Zoo Talkers" are energetic, friendly, and well-spoken volunteers who enjoy "talking story" about the animals who call our zoo home and inspiring others to appreciate our living world. Share your knowledge and passion for animals with visitors from all over the world by staffing one of a network of mobile stations featuring hands-on animal and cultural bio-facts. Training is provided.
Who is a Junior Leader?
A Junior Leader supports the Zoo Society's Safari Camp programs by helping the instructors with classroom activities and excursions on Zoo grounds. They provide extra attention to campers and assistance with projects such as wildlife journals, arts & crafts, and science-based lesson plans. Junior Leaders are normally camp graduates who have demonstrated leadership among their peers and an affinity for conservation education.
HOW DO I BECOME A VOLUNTEER?
STEP 1 - Attend an in-person interview with the Docent Coordinator who is available by appointment on selected Sundays. Please contact Shelby Carlos at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
STEP 2 - Onboarding training for "Zoo Talkers" is scheduled quarterly or with a minimum of 6 qualified applicants. Station mentoring is available as needed.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER GENERAL REQUIREMENTS?
All Zoo Volunteers must sign a Waiver of Liability, submit a copy of a current TB clearance, and pay $20.00 for a volunteer T-shirt and name tag. All volunteers over 18 years of age must also submit a Background Check available at www.ecrim.ehawaii.gov. For one time use with a credit card, the cost for a non-certified version is $10.00.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR VOLUNTEERING WITH MY COMMUNITY GROUP?
Contact the Assistant Zoo Director at 971-7174 to request a date for your service project. Projects range from grounds beautification (weeding, raking, planting), equipment cleaning, litter patrol and/or prepping animal enrichment items. Let us know if your group has a specialized set of skills and whether or not financial support is available for project supplies.
DOES THE HONOLULU ZOO OFFER INTERNSHIPS AND HOW CAN I QUALIFY?
At this time the Honolulu Zoo does not offer a structured internship program. However, with a zoo staff recommendation, externships are possible on a case by case basis for Pre-Vet and Animal Science students. Please contact Zoo Administration at 971-7174 for referral to the Animal Health Clinic or the Bird, Keiki Zoo & Reptile, or Mammal Curators for more information