The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park works to be a leader and resource in Northern New York for conservation and education about our natural world. We aim to provide exciting and interactive programs with a goal of inspiring our community to become more involved in the preservation of our planet. Our mission at the New York State Zoo continues to move forward – always with a goal of inspiring conservation, education, and family oriented programs.

  • Stay tuned for schedules!
Native Wildlife Internship
  • Description:
  • Interns at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park provide daily care for native New York species including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates that are, or once were, endemic to the region.
  • Interns will gain experience in animal diet preparation, daily husbandry, enrichment applications, animal behavior observations, veterinary rounds observations, recordkeeping, and effective workplace communication.
  • This internship is an unpaid experience that will provide invaluable field knowledge and resume building opportunities.


The Native Wildlife Internship requires 96 hours of participation. These hours are assigned over a 6 week period for 2 days per week. There are 3 rotations within this time, each rotation is 2 weeks long. Interns are required to complete 2 full days per week from 8AM – 5PM with breaks and a 1 hour lunch each day. If you are not able to accommodate this schedule then adjustments may be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • Summer / Fall
Tuesday or Thursday       +       Saturday or Sunday

Essential Duties: Applicants must be prepared to work with a wide range of animals, including potentially dangerous species such as large mammals, carnivores, and venomous reptiles. Interns will be required to complete assignments, to work alongside Zoo staff to perform daily husbandry routines, and to work in all kinds of weather.

 Experience Required:

  • High School Diploma
  • Minimum 1 year of higher learning in zoological science
  • Preferred A.S.+ completed in zoological science
  • Additional Considerations:
  • Tetanus vaccination required
  • TB test and/or rabies vaccination encouraged
  • Interns are required to create a video presentation upon completion of their internship. The staff at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park will work cooperatively with each intern to utilize the materials and/or animals on grounds to help create a unique and professional presentation.

  • Applicants should submit the completed application form along with a resume and cover letter
  • via mail or e-mail to the Curator of Conservation Education:
  • Attn: Hayley Sylvan
  • 1 Thompson Park
  • Watertown, NY 13601
  • (315) 755-0896