Animal Management Areas


Interns/Externs will develop an understanding of the goals of zoo ungulate conservation programs and basic principles of exotic ungulate management in zoos. Duties may include food preparation, cleaning habitats and barns, habitat decoration and maintenance, social animal management (animal observations), record keeping, making environmental enrichment items and projects (horticulture work, grounds clean-up, research projects, facility/equipment maintenance, developing new graphics or educational materials, data analysis). Interns/Externs will be restricted to tasks that do not require manipulation or handling of the animals.


Interns/Externs in the Bird Department will work with a diverse collection of birds and look at captive management/conservation programs. Opportunities will include maintenance of bird exhibits, feeding and watering birds, assisting in record keeping, animal observations, diet evaluation and environmental enrichment. Interns/Externs will be monitored by a full-time keeper and will have opportunities to work directly with the birds.

Children’s Zoo

Interns/Externs in the Children’s Zoo will be introduced to the goals of conservation education and the basic husbandry principles of small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Duties include the care and cleaning of collection, interacting positively with and educating Zoo visitors, providing enrichment to the animals and supervising the animal contact areas in the Children’s Zoo.


Interns/Externs in the Herpetology unit will work with staff and animal collections to develop an understanding of captive management/conservation programs for herps (reptiles and amphibians). Routines may include food preparation, cleaning exhibits and off-exhibit enclosures, record keeping and projects (redecorating, yard work in outdoor exhibits, writing graphics, data collection, conservation of animal behavior, etc.). Interns/Externs willnotwork with venomous reptiles or large crocodilians.


Interns/Externs will work closely with invertebrate staff. They will learn husbandry techniques for certain non-venomous arthropods; collect live specimens throughout summer and curate dead insect collection. Interns/Externs will also work in the Butterfly Wing as well as the display hall and outside garden area. The Monsanto Insectarium offers many new experiences to interns/externs who are selected.

Institute for Conservation Medicine

The Saint Louis Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Medicine takes a holistic approach to research on wildlife, public health, and sustainable ecosystems to ensure healthy animals, and healthy people. Research in the Institute focuses on those diseases known to affect threatened wildlife, with an emphasis on health challenges at the wildlife, domestic animal, and human interface. The internship with the Institute will provide students exposure to scientific research through database management, laboratory diagnostics, and field veterinary medicine. 

Life Support Systems

The Life Support Systems Intern or Extern will help with water quality testing, operating systems, ozone safety, USDA regulations and controls. Hand tool usage and some power tool use will be expected. This program is aimed to provide a foundation to becoming a life support systems technician. Coursework in marine biology, applied chemistry, aquaculture or aquarium sciences is preferred. 


Interns/Externs in the Primate Department will be introduced to the goals of primate captive conservation programs and the basic principles of primate husbandry. Duties may include diet preparation, exhibit and cage cleaning and decorating, making environmental enrichment items, and behavioral observations. Interns/Externs must have a negative TB test.

Sea Lion Sound

Interns/Externs in the Sea Lion Sound facility will be introduced to the animal training field and the use of operant conditioning as an animal management tool as they work around the Zoo’s collection of pinnipeds. Opportunities may include daily diet prep, cleaning of holding areas, stage and habitat tunnel, assist with record keeping, participating with environmental enrichment and interacting positively with Zoo guests. Interns/Externs will work closely with full-time trainers and will have opportunities to observe training sessions, feedings, shows and behind-the-scenes tours.

Veterinary Preceptorship

Veterinary Preceptor Interns must be in the final, clinical year of a Doctoral program in Veterinary Medicine and receiving credit from an accredited institution of higher learning. Veterinary Preceptors will shadow veterinary staff and receive exposure to all aspects of zoo-based veterinary medicine. Students will learn through a problem-based approach to clinical veterinary medicine, and the experience will be driven by the clinical, active caseload at the time. Students must adhere to the policies and procedures of the Saint Louis Zoo and the expectations of the university/college agreement and professional curricula.

Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician Interns must be enrolled in an institution of higher learning and actively pursuing a degree as a veterinary technician. Students are expected to have obtained some basic experiences in conjunction with a structured training program prior to being accepted as veterinary technician interns. Interns will receive specialized training and exposure to veterinary procedures. Students must adhere to the policies and procedures of the Saint Louis Zoo and the expectations of the university/college agreement and professional curricula.

Non-Animal Related Areas

Architecture and Planning

The intern/extern in the Architecture field will have many responsibilities, including, but not limited to: programming, site analysis, concept design, specifications and materials research, construction document preparation, bidding and contract negotiation, estimating, and construction administration. A wide range of projects are being developed including landscaping, exhibits, educational facilities, food service facilities, gift shops and site amenities.

Animal Registrar

The registrar intern/extern assists the registrar with ongoing animal records management projects. Most, if not all, projects are focused on quality control and data clean up. Some routine work is required and includes prepping animal transaction files for microfilming, completing data entry functions in several databases and cross-checking documents for accuracy. The above-referenced intern/externship provides a bird’s eye view of the animal division’s administrative functions. The registrar intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Windows, Internet and CD-Rom technology.

Audience Research

The Audience Research intern/extern will conduct at least one complete evaluation/research study, which may include interviewing Zoo visitors, data entry, data analysis and report generation.  The intern/extern will also assist the Audience Research Coordinator with other duties and gain skills in all aspects of Audience Research.


The Development intern/extern assists the Development office staff with an ongoing fundraising and data management.  Projects may include data entry, assisting with mailings, and filing.  Occasional assistance with donor related events may be needed.  The above-referenced intern/externship provides a bird’s eye view of the Development office’s administrative functions.  The Development intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Microsoft Office and have filing experience.

Early Childhood

The Early Childhood Education Intern or Extern will assist in the research and design of activities and materials for our early childhood unit. They will also assist in the preparation of our early childhood classes, and be trained as a facilitator in our Discovery room. Interns and Externs will interact with children and caregivers in the classroom and assist in the Zoo’s early childhood camp program. Some college coursework in Education and Science is required. Early childhood experience preferred. Good communication and customer service skills are a must. Creativity and flexibility are key.

Education (Biofacts)

The Saint Louis Zoo possesses an extensive collection of biological artifacts (biofacts); preservable animal remains such as bones, skulls, skins, feathers, and other such objects that are used for zoo education activities. The biofact intern/extern assists the Biofact Curator and biofact committee in completing ongoing projects to better organize and maintain the collection and not limited to the following: biofact identification/inventory, database management, general biofact repair and processing, and a study of skull measurements. The biofact intern/extern is also given the opportunity to shadow educational programs in other areas of the Education Department so that he or she can acquire a full understanding of Zoo Education. Interns and externs are also given their own projects to complete based on their interests. Interns/externs must have some biology/ taxonomy experience and an interest in skeletal anatomy.

Education (Interpreter)

The Education Interpreter Intern/Extern will assist in the design and delivery of informal educational opportunities for visitors that convey the Saint Louis Zoo’s animal and conservation messages. Uses available props, animal artifacts/biofacts, and costumes in combination with interpretive training, to share Zoo messages with visitors in an engaging and accurate manner. May participate in visitor/animal interactions at the Stingrays at Caribbean Cove exhibit, including proper demonstration of touching and feeding. Will help develop educational programming in relation to the Stingrays and other Zoo exhibits for participants of all ages. Perfect for educators and performers alike. Two years of college in science, education, or theater/performing arts preferred. Good communication and customer service skills are a must. This job requires specific training, flexibility and the ability to work outdoors and in contact with salt water and shellfish.


The finance intern/extern assists the Manager of Revenue Operation in maintaining  multiple Excel spreadsheets, such as late night reporting that calculates revenue and expenses earned during the season; maintain a daily worksheet that tracks voids, deletes and no sales for all business operation locations.  The intern/extern also assists with some cash room functions such as making banks and checking cash room reports regularly. The finance intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Windows and Microsoft Outlook.

Human Resources

The Human Resources intern/extern assists with all aspects of the Human Resources Department. The intern/extern participates in the recruitment, interviewing and staffing of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions for all areas of the Zoo. The intern/extern learns how the Zoo administers its policies and procedures, including how it conducts disciplinary investigations and meetings. The intern/extern becomes more familiar with how to research, comprehend and apply employment and labor laws. The intern/extern helps with administrative tasks, such as filing and data entry as assigned.

Partnership Marketing

The primary function of the Partnership Marketing intern/extern is to assist the Partnership Marketing Manager with the preparation, implementation, and execution of our Corporate Partnerships and fundraising events. Duties include some clerical support, assisting with sponsor recaps, data entry, event promotions and on-site activations, phone coverage, and other clerical duties as assigned. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, customer service experience, ability to handle and prioritize numerous tasks, and capacity to work independently are desired. Computer literacy, general knowledge and use of Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint are a requirement. This intern/externship will have a flexible schedule which may require working evenings and weekends.

Safety & Risk Management

The Saint Louis Zoo is like a small city with all of the challenges of a city with a population of 3 million.  This experience will give the student an exposure to a very diverse industry yet being very specialized.  This will provide students a new angle on safety and Risk management that includes attending meetings and events, performing safety inspections, and providing safety consultation.  Data entry into an excel spreadsheet. Provide and assist in selecting proper PPE for various trades.  Contacting vendors for pricing and availability of safety related items.  Participating in various drills (fire, tornado, escaped animal, etc.) and actual emergency situations. 

Special Events

The primary function of the Special Events intern/extern is to assist the Zoo’s Special Events Office staff.  Duties include clerical support, assisting with pre-event planning, event production and execution, mailings, data entry, volunteer coordination, event promotions, phone coverage, inventory and other clerical duties as assigned.  Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, customer service experience, ability to handle and prioritize numerous tasks, and the capacity to work independently are important, and computer literacy, general knowledge and use of Microsoft Excel and Word a must.  This intern/externship will have a flexible schedule which may require working evenings and weekends.


The Sustainability intern/extern will focus on energy efficiency and waste reduction through several projects planned for 2015. Other tasks as assigned may include assistance with Green Dining Alliance certification, Green Team meetings and special events. Applicants must be enrolled in college-level courses in a sustainability-related field. The intern/extern should have a good, basic understanding of the principles of sustainability including energy efficiency and waste reduction, recycling and composting. Great organizational and communication skills (written and verbal) are required.

WildCare Institute

The WildCare Institute seeks a qualified intern/extern to assist the WildCare Conservation Directors in administrative functions. The successful candidate will be expected to assist the WildCare Directors in a variety of functions including but not limited to: communication with donors and conservation partners as directed, implementation of WildCare fund raising and educational events, production of e-newsletters, management of social media updates and web-site design. Background in wildlife ecology, biology, communication, non-profit management or other related discipline is preferred. Excellent communication skills required. Needs to be organized, with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments. The Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute, with the support of its Conservation Fellows, takes a holistic approach to troubled ecosystems by addressing three key ingredients in conservation success: wildlife management and recovery, conservation science, and support of the human populations that coexist with wildlife.