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Volunteer

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! Opportunities abound for individuals and groups to get involved and support our mission! Read on for more information regarding how YOU can join our Zooper Volunteer Ohana!

Download the Volunteer Application Forms

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR VOLUNTEERING AT THE ZOO?

NEW! Docent Program "Zoo Talkers": 18 years
Keiki Zoo: 16 years
HZS Education Programs: 16 years
Junior Leaders: 12-16 years & graduates of Camp Imi Loa
Animal Sections - BIRD, MAMMAL & REPTILE: 18 years
Special Events: Varies by event
All Other Sections (including Animal Health Clinic, Horticulture, Office Assistance & Research): 18 years

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM TIME COMMITMENT FOR VOLUNTEERING?

The minimum time commitment for volunteering at the Honolulu Zoo is 6 months with the exception of high school students applying for the Keiki Zoo who must commit to 3 months or more. 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 in the animal sections are normally once a week for 4 hours in the morning (8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) Some sections offer afternoon shifts from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Shifts with HZS Education Programs and Special Events are "on call."

HOW DO I BECOME A VOLUNTEER?

Follow this 3 step process...

STEP 1 - Attend an In-Person Interview with the Director of Volunteers on any "Walk-In-Wednesday" or by appointment on selected Saturdays. Save time by filling out the Volunteer Application & Questionnaire in advance.

STEP 2 - Attend a Second Interview with the Zoo or HZS supervisor of the section that you and the Director of Volunteers agree makes the best match.

STEP 3 - Attend a General Orientation & Volunteer Training offered bi-monthly on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Dates for 2014 are February 8 & 9, April 12 & 13, June 14 & 15, August 9 & 10, and October 11 & 12.

WHAT IS "WALK-IN-WEDNESDAY"?

Walk-In-Wednesday is a weekly open house for any one interested in becoming a Zoo Volunteer. Drop by the Honolulu Zoo Society office any Wednesday between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (No appointments are necessary.) Come to the zoo’s GATE #2 (off Kapahulu Ave. and mauka of the parking lot), and ring the buzzer. Meet with the Director of Volunteers to discuss your interests and availability, and initiate the 3 step process described above.

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 $5.00. Mammal section volunteers must also attend an Animal Emergency Training workshop.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR VOLUNTEERING WITH MY COMMUNITY GROUP?

Contact the Director of Volunteers at bthacker@honzoosoc.org to arrange a date for your service project. Groups including families are welcome with a minimum of 6 participants and appropriate adult supervision. Projects range from grounds beautification (weeding, raking, planting), equipment cleaning and litter patrol, support for special events 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. (No stipends, housing assistance or formal academic oversight) However, with the approval of faculty advisors, college students who are Pre-Vet, Animal Science majors or already in Veterinary school may apply their volunteer experience at the Zoo to meet this requirement. Placement is subject to availability and handled on a case-by-case basis.

WHAT KINDS OF VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE?

Volunteers are needed to support virtually all areas of Zoo operations plus the education programs and special events of the Honolulu Zoo Society. The most popular positions are Zoo Talkers, Animal Keeper Assistants, and Special Event Support which includes our annual Earth Day and Easter celebrations in April, Military Appreciation Day in May, Wildest Show summer concerts, and the Zoo Society’s annual "Zoofari" gala fundraiser and "Boo in the Zoo" in the fall.