Volunteering at the Honolulu Zoo is a great way to learn about animals, support a beloved community institution, meet new friends, work outdoors in a lush tropical environment, gain valuable experience, interact with Zoo visitors from around the world, and have a wonderful time with fellow animal lovers! Opportunities abound for individuals and groups to get involved and support our mission! Read on for more information regarding how YOU can join our Zooper Volunteer Ohana!
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR VOLUNTEERING AT THE ZOO?
Docent Program "Zoo Talkers": 18 years
Keiki Zoo: 16 years
HZS Education Programs: 16 years
Junior Leaders: 12-16 years & graduates of Camp Imi Loa
Animal Sections: BIRD, MAMMAL & REPTILE: 18 years (As of 4/13/15 the Mammal section is closed to all new Animal Keeper Assistant volunteers.)
Special Events: Varies by event
All Other Sections (including Animal Health Clinic, Horticulture, Office Assistance & Research): 18 years
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM TIME COMMITMENT FOR VOLUNTEERING?
The minimum time commitment for volunteering at the Honolulu Zoo is 6 months with the exception of high school students applying for the Keiki Zoo who must commit to 3 months or more. Shifts as Docents or "Zoo Talkers" are normally 2 1/2 hours from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 12:00-2:30 p.m. Shifts in the animal sections are normally once a week for 4 hours in the morning (8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) Some sections offer afternoon shifts from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Shifts with HZS Education Programs and Special Events are "on call."
Who is a Zoo Talker?
"Zoo Talkers" are energetic, friendly, and well-spoken volunteers who enjoy "talking story" about the animals who call our zoo home and inspiring others to appreciate our living world. Share your knowledge and passion for animals with visitors from all over the world by staffing one of a network of mobile stations featuring hands-on animal and cultural bio-facts. Training is provided.
HOW DO I BECOME A VOLUNTEER?
Follow this 3 step process...
STEP 1 - Attend an in-person interview with the Director of Volunteers who is available by appointment on selected Saturdays.
STEP 2 - Attend a 2nd interview with the supervisor of the section that makes the best fit for you.
STEP 3 - Volunteer training varies by section and will be determined at the time of your acceptance into the program.
WHAT IS "WALK-IN-WEDNESDAY"?
Walk In Wednesday has been suspended as of Jan 15, 2016. Please contact Barbara Thacker (email@example.com) directly for more information.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER GENERAL REQUIREMENTS?
All Zoo Volunteers must sign a Waiver of Liability, submit a copy of a current TB clearance, and pay $20.00 for a volunteer T-shirt and name tag. All volunteers over 18 years of age must also submit a Background Check available at www.ecrim.ehawaii.gov. For one time use with a credit card, the cost for a non-certified version is $5.00.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR VOLUNTEERING WITH MY COMMUNITY GROUP?
Contact the Director of Volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a date for your service project. Groups including families are welcome with a minimum of 6 participants and appropriate adult supervision. Projects range from grounds beautification (weeding, raking, planting), equipment cleaning and litter patrol, support for special events and/or prepping animal enrichment items. Let us know if your group has a specialized set of skills and whether or not financial support is available for project supplies.
DOES THE HONOLULU ZOO OFFER INTERNSHIPS AND HOW CAN I QUALIFY?
At this time the Honolulu Zoo does not offer a structured internship program. (No stipends, housing assistance or formal academic oversight) However, with the approval of faculty advisors, college students who are Pre-Vet, Animal Science majors or already in Veterinary school may apply their volunteer experience at the Zoo to meet this requirement. Placement is subject to availability and handled on a case-by-case basis.
WHAT KINDS OF VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE?
Volunteers are needed to support virtually all areas of Zoo operations plus the education programs and special events of the Honolulu Zoo Society. The most popular positions are Zoo Talkers, Animal Keeper Assistants, and Special Event Support which includes our annual Earth Day and Easter celebrations in April, Military Appreciation Day in May, Wildest Show summer concerts, and the Zoo Society’s annual "Zoofari" gala fundraiser and "Boo in the Zoo" in the fall.