The Saint Louis Zoo welcomes enthusiastic volunteers who have a love for animals and a passion for serving the people of our community. Zoo volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and bring a variety of experience, knowledge and skill to the Zoo's operations. Of course, no prior experience is necessary -- we'll teach you what you need to know. Whether you have just a few hours each month to spare, or are looking for a new avenue in life, there is a home for you at the Zoo.

Volunteer Requirements

  • You must be at least 15 years of age.
  • Commit to volunteering for at least one year.
  • Give a minimum of 30 hours of service per year.
  • Submit a formal application and pass a background screen check.
  • Schedule an interview with Volunteer Services by calling (314) 781-0900, ext. 4670.
  • Attend required training (provided free of charge by the Zoo).

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Ambassadors serve the public throughout the grounds providing basic information, directions and Zoo history. This group also helps with exhibit openings, special events and line control.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • Ambassador Training, plus 2-3 hours of individual training provided by experienced volunteers
    • Monday-Sunday flexible hours
  • Docents, managed by the Zoo's Education Department, are volunteer teachers. They help visitors and school children learn about animals and the natural world by teaching classes at the Zoo and in the community, Interpreting animals and conservation to visitors on Zoo grounds and conducting educational tours.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • Interview by the Docent Recruitment Committee
    • Completion of eight weeks of Docent training
    • Weekly three-hour shifts
    • Docents must volunteer a minimum of 62 hours per year

  • Event volunteers are needed year-round for Zoo, Zoo Friends and Zoo Young Professionals fundraisers and other events.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • On the job training
    • Contact Volunteer Services for upcoming event dates and times.
  • Volunteers assist Zoo staff with greeting customers, stocking merchandise and helping guests with their selection.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • On the job training
    • Hours scheduled with the staff person in charge
  • The Saint Louis Zoo provides college students, recent graduates and individuals with prior college coursework an opportunity to learn about the Zoo's zoological operations while obtaining valuable, hands-on work experience and an understanding of the Zoo's role in research and conservation.

    Internships and externships are available in:

    • Animal Management Areas
    • Non-Animal Related Areas
    • Research

    Over 30 departments to choose from!

    Visit our Internships and Externships page to learn more and apply to become a Saint Louis Zoo intern or extern today!

  • Volunteers assist staff with computer, organization, and clerical work; or conduct research into the scientific literature and provide general staff support work.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • On the job training
    • Hours scheduled with the staff person in charge
  • Volunteers educate visitors about the vertebrates and invertebrates and assist visitors in the Mary Ann Lee Butterfly Wing.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • On the job training
    • Two-hour shifts
  • Volunteers meet and greet visitors and provide non-medical assistance on a limited basis.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • On the job training
    • Three-hour shifts
  • Volunteers give guided walking tours to groups of 15 or more.

    • Volunteer Orientation
    • Tour Guide Training
    • Daytime tours as scheduled with groups from in town, out of town, schools, and businesses
    • Only available to seasoned volunteers with one or more years of volunteer experience
  • Volunteers meet and greet Zoo visitors, provide directions within the Zoo and around St. Louis, dispense maps and offer advice.

    • Volunteer orientation
    • On the job training
    • Four-hour shifts
  • Zoo ALIVE volunteers are high school students who help with Camp KangaZoo during the summer, and many other education programs and activities throughout the year. They help lead crafts, games, and activities for children and Zoo visitors, while learning about animals and wildlife conservation through opportunities at the Zoo and beyond. Minimum age is 15 by your chosen Volunteer Orientation or Camp Training date, whichever comes first.

    • One day of Volunteer Orientation (April 13 or June 3) and one day of Camp Training (June 1 or June 7).
    • A completed ZooALIVE Application packet. Applications are due by February 28, 2019 and applicants are interviewed on March 10, 2019. Selections are made in early April. Click the Zoo ALIVE link above for detailed information and application materials.
    • Minimum one full year commitment. Required attendance at monthly meetings. Zoo ALIVE teens must volunteer at least twice per month, including two consecutive weeks at Camp KangaZoo in summer.
  • ZooTeens is a volunteer opportunity at the Saint Louis Zoo available during the busy summer season. The ZooTeens group will consist of high school teens, ages 15-18, seeking volunteer experience. At a minimum, teens will volunteer for a weekly 4-hour shift during the summer.


    Program Dates

    May through August 2019*
    Orientation: Saturday, May 4, 2019

    ZooTeens may begin or end volunteer service on different dates based on school schedule, but attendance at May 4 orientation is mandatory. 

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • Children’s Zoo
    • Monsanto Insectarium/Mary Ann Lee Butterfly Wing
    • Safari Gift Shop 


    • Minimum age of 15 by May 4, 2019
    • Must be accepted into the ZooTeens program by Volunteer Services (successful interview, completion of application and background check)
    • Must have reliable transportation
    • Must wear volunteer dress code during all volunteer shifts
    • Regular attendance is mandatory (at least one 4-hour shift per week)

    Application Deadline: April 1, 2019

    Request an application by calling Volunteer Services at (314) 781-0900, ext. 4670.