Make a Difference! Join the Fun!

Do you love animals and people? Are you passionate about wildlife and wild habitats? Would you like to be a part of the Saint Louis Zoo's efforts to help our visitors and the greater community understand and appreciate nature? Do you have a little time on your hands? Then you might want to consider becoming a Saint Louis Zoo docent.

What does a docent do?

  • Teaches Zoo visitors about animals and conservation
  • Leads educational tours
  • Conducts classes on and off Zoo grounds
  • Helps design programs and classes
  • Interprets wildlife, ecosystems and conservation to visitors on Zoo grounds
  • Participates in continuing education courses taught by Education Department staff, Zoo curators and zookeepers.

What benefits do I receive as a docent?

  • Satisfaction -- you help others understand the natural world
  • Friendship -- you meet and work with others who share your interests
  • Knowledge -- you learn new skills and receive extensive training in zoology and conservation
  • Fun and excitement -- you are a part of a world-class Zoo!

What must I do to become a docent?

  • Fill out the Volunteer Inquiry Form. For other volunteer opportunities visit our volunteer section.
  • Attend the Zoo's 2-day information volunteer training session
  • Interview with the Docent Recruitment Committee
  • Complete docent basic training

How do I know I would enjoy being a docent?

You may shadow a docent by accompanying him/her while they work.

What are the requirements for being a docent?

Docents must be 18 years of age or older and able to volunteer a minimum of 62 hours per year.


On Becoming a Zookeeper

Some people become Zoo docents because they love working with animals. If you're seriously interested in knowing what it takes to be a zookeeper, you might want to click on So You Want to be a Zookeeper?. Here you can find out how to prepare for a career in zoos, aquaria, and other wildlife organizations.