Docents are volunteer educators who share animal and habitat information to zoo visitors. They play an integral role in communicating the conservation and education goals of the zoo. Docent activities include, but are not limited to, giving informal programs to visitors of all ages, interpreting exhibits and biofacts, working with school groups, camps and classes, assisting with special events and the animal behavior program. All docent volunteer positions require an annual tuberculosis test.
- One to two shifts per month, amounting to at least 50 hours per year. Required basic training program takes place over a three-week period.
- All Zoo Docent positions require an annual tuberculosis test.
Animal Handling Docent:
After completing a minimum of one year of volunteering, adult docents are invited to apply to be an animal handler. Animal handlers are taught to handle and interpret a variety of invertebrates, reptiles (including snakes), amphibians, mammals and birds. This docent position is a significant time commitment.
Animal handling training requires an additional three weeks of training and additional mentoring time beyond Docent training.
- Animal Handlers must commit to interpreting with the animals at least 6 hours per month during the busy season (March through October) and 4 hours per month in the off season (November through February).
Raptor Handling Docent:
To become a raptor handling docent, volunteers must have been an animal handling docent and completed all required time commitments for at least one year before applying to become a raptor handler. This position requires additional training and mentoring.
- We offer fall and spring training for the Docent program.
- Applications are due September 1 for fall training and March 1 for spring training.
To fill out an application, please click here.