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! Join the Honolulu Zoo’s Volunteer program in a variety of fields from education and conservation to zoo keeper support and contribute to the Zoo’s mission of inspiring the stewardship of our natural world.
Docent Program: Educational “Zoo Talkers”: 18 years
Junior Leaders: 12-16 years with preferred graduates of Camp Koa
Special Events: Varies by event
Zookeeper Assistants: 18 years
The minimum time commitment for volunteering at the Honolulu Zoo is 6 months, one shift per week.
Docent Program: 2.5 hour shifts
Junior Leaders: vary by project, event or camp
Special Events: vary by event
Zookeeper Assistants: 4 hour shifts
“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
A Junior Leader supports the Zoo Society’s Zoo Camp programs by helping the instructors with classroom activities and excursions on Zoo grounds. They provide extra attention to campers and assistance with projects such as wildlife journals, arts & crafts, and science-based lesson plans. Junior Leaders are normally graduates of Camp Koa who have demonstrated leadership among their peers and an affinity for conservation education.
Zookeeper Assistants are volunteers who work alongside our animal keeper staff to support them in daily chores, cleaning and maintaining of animal exhibit space and animal enrichment building. They are passionate about the animals who call the Honolulu Zoo home and are dedicated to working in outdoor conditions to preserve and learn more about these amazing species.
STEP 1 – Fill out an online volunteer application and general requirements documentation
STEP 2 – Schedule an in person interview with a volunteer coordinator.
STEP 3 – Complete the onboarding training program.
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 $10.00.
Contact the Zoo Society’s Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Honolulu Zoo’s Education Specialist at Kathryn.email@example.com to request a date for your service project. Projects range from grounds beautification (weeding, raking, planting), equipment cleaning, litter patrol 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. Please also complete a Community Group Waiver of Liability for your group prior to volunteering.
At this time the Honolulu Zoo does not offer a structured internship program. If you are interested in volunteering in keeper or veterinary support we ask that you commit to at least 6 months. If you are interested in the conservation education “Zoo Talker” program we ask that you commit to at least 3 months. Please refer to the different volunteer program tabs for more detailed information.