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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!
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR VOLUNTEERING AT THE ZOO?Keiki Zoo: 16 years
HZS Education Programs: 16 years
Junior Leaders: 12-16 years & graduates of Vacation Adventures
Animal Sections - BIRD, MAMMAL & REPTILE: 18 years
Special Events: Varies by event
All Other Sections (including Animal Health Clinic, Docent Training Program, Horticulture, Office Assistance & Research): 18 years
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM TIME COMMITMENT FOR VOLUNTEERING?
The minimum time commitment to volunteer at the Honolulu Zoo is 3 months except for the Docent Training Program and Animal Keeper Assistant positions in the Chimp & Elephant sections which require a 6 month commitment. 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 for Volunteers – a 3 1/2 hour workshop about the zoo’s mission, past, present & future. Orientation is held on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
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 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (Admission is free and no appointments are necessary.) 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 Educators, Animal Keeper Assistants, and Special Event Support which includes our annual Earth Day celebration in April, Military Appreciation Day in May, Wildest Show summer concerts, and the Zoo Society’s annual “Zoofari” fundraising gala in the fall.