New York State Zoo at Thompson Park

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Volunteering at the New York State Zoo

We need your help! As a volunteer, you will contribute to the success of the New York State Zoo and its mission to promote conservation and education.

Volunteer training is ongoing. Submit a volunteer application to find out more. 

There are currently volunteer opportunities within the following departments:

Animal Management: If you would like to help the Keepers with the care of the animals in the Zoo's collection, this is the department for you. Be prepared to work in any weather. To ensure your safety, you will always work with a Keeper and have minimal contact with the animals.

Maintenance: If you like horticulture, construction, or just helping keep the Zoo a well-oiled machine, then this is the department for you. Whether it's raking leaves, building enclosures, or fixing a problem, you will be a part of the backbone of the Zoo that makes it all happen.

Education: If you love talking to people about the zoo, its animals, or conservation, then you should help out in the education department! Dedicated education volunteers can work their way to docent status.

Guest Services: Guest services volunteers may be asked to act as greeters, gift shop attendants, or to do some light cleaning of the gift shop or café area.

Special Events: If you would like to volunteer at special Zoo events, then being an "on-call" volunteer may be for you. This is a good choice for people with busy schedules who can't make a regular commitment.

Do you want more responsibility?
Docents are individuals committed to the educational goals of our facility. Their dedication enables the Education Department to fulfill its mission. Docents must be at least 18 years of age, complete 16 hours of training and serve 60 hours annually (at least 3 hrs. per month). Training includes animal natural history, guided tours, interpretation, animal handling, facility history, public speaking, and more. To learn more about the Docent Program, please contact the Education Department at (315) 755-0896.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at the New York State Zoo, please complete the volunteer application. Please note that very few volunteers are permitted contact with the animals and all volunteers must undergo training.

For more information, please call Cassie Vinette at (315) 755-0896.

Download Volunteer Application



Zoo Teens

High school students can volunteer at the zoo by joining the Zoo Teens! They'll receive special training and become important members of the zoo community. For more information click here.


Visit the New York State Zoo Today (315) 782-6180

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