Animal Management Areas


Animal Science students 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 will not work 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.


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 at 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, assisting with record keeping, participating with environmental enrichment and interacting positively with Zoo guests. Intern/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 capital campaign 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.


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.

Hospitality Management

The primary function of the Hospitality Management intern/extern is to assist 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.

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.

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. Responsibilities will include data entry into an excel spreadsheet, providing and assisting in selecting proper PPE for various trades, contacting vendors for pricing and availability of safety related items, and participating in various drills (fire, tornado, escaped animal, etc.) and actual emergency situations.


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 have at least two years of college-level courses completed 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.