Blank Park Zoo
Summer 2021 Animal Care Internships
The Blank Park Zoo is now accepting applications for the 2021 summer animal care internships. Internships are open to hard working, motivated candidates considering a career in zoo keeping. Internships are nonpaid; housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern.
Internships are available with the following teams: Ambassador, Aquatics, Avian/Reptiles, Carnivore/Pinniped, Large mammal/hoof-stock, and Small Mammals.
Please see area descriptions for more information.
Summer intern dates are as follows: May 31 – Aug. 7
Animal Care Interns will be introduced to general animal husbandry practices, including:
- Daily cleaning and disinfection protocols
- Animal observation and record keeping
- Proper diet preparation
- Exhibit maintenance
- Public & volunteer interactions
- Introduction to behavioral enrichment and training
- Introduction to Animal restraint and handling
- Veterinary procedure participation
- Problem solving
- 18 years or older, currently enrolled in college
- Provide proof from university that the internship will be for college credit
- Preference is given to those who are in the zoology, ecology, conservation biology, or related field
- Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships
- Test Negative for TB, test will need to be done and paperwork turned in by the first day.
- Successfully complete a background check
- Capable of lifting 50 lbs.
- Willing and able to work in all weather conditions
- Available a minimum 32 hours per week from, including weekends and holidays.
- Previous animal care experience preferred, but not required.
- Select and execute a project with the help of animal care staff, presented at the completion of the internship.
Additional Information about Areas
We are looking for students with an interest in zoology or naturalist fields who want to gain experience working with a variety of animals and people. Interns will gain hands on experience while working alongside Education Specialists. Interns will learn husbandry skills for education animals including; mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates. Interns will also gain experience in properly handling animals, while facilitating zoo education programs onsite and offsite.
Candidates must have interest in marine and freshwater aquarium animals. Species in the area include a variety of Indo-pacific and Atlantic tropical reef fishes and invertebrates, Amazonian fish, reptiles and amphibians, African cichlids, Pacific cold-water fish and invertebrates, and North American pond turtles. Interns will be expected to learn proper diet preparation practices, water quality standards, general maintenance of aquarium exhibits, and life support systems. Interns, who have SCUBA certification who has passed a doctor physical assessment may be asked to aide in diving to clean exhibits. Coursework in aquatic ecology, ichthyology, fish, amphibian, or aquatic reptile disease and medicine, and general animal behavior or previous experience working with the listed species is highly desirable.
Avian & Reptiles
We are looking for motivated, enthusiastic candidates to work around a wide variety of species and exhibits. Interns will gain experience in daily husbandry, exhibit upkeep, observations, enrichment and training for a diverse group of birds and reptiles. This includes 40+ species of birds, from Finches to Ostrich, and 6 species of reptiles.
Candidates must be willing and able to work around all species within the carnivore/primate department. At this time, interns WILL NOT WORK IN THE CAT COMPLEX, but will have opportunities to observe training and tour the cat complex with assigned staff. Interns will not actively train animals in the department. Interns will be trained and be expected to participate in public demonstrations and keeper chats, including narrating to large audiences over microphone. Interns will be expected to research, learn and communicate accurate information about the animals to guests.
Successful candidates will gain experience with all aspects of exotic ungulate husbandry, including diet, enrichment, and training, while working alongside keeper staff in updated facilities. Interns may also work around neonates and observe animal procedures, handling, and transports. Species in this section: reticulated giraffe, black rhino, common eland, addax, nyala, slender-horned gazelle, and Bactrian camels.
Small Mammals & Kids Kingdom
Successful candidates will have responsibilities that may include basic husbandry, enrichment, and project planning. Interns work alongside mentor keepers to observe animal procedures, handling, and transports. Species in this section: Bennett’s Wallaby, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Llamas, and Miniature Donkey. Outstanding individuals may gain the opportunity to assist with the daily care of Red Panda, Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine, and Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin as well as working Prairie Dog routine. Interns must be able to work independently, as well as a part of a team and enjoy working with a variety of animals.
To apply, please send an Animal Care Intern Application, resume, and cover letter indicating department of interest to: Christine Eckles, Chief Engagement Officer, 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315 or email: email@example.com.
Handshake will redirect applicants to our online application system for the Animal Care Intern position.
Application Deadline: March 1st, 2021