College Internship Program
College Internship Program
The Dallas Zoo’s College Internship Program provides an interesting and rewarding learning opportunity for currently enrolled undergraduate or post-graduate students at an accredited college/university in the United States. Interns become actively involved in the Zoo’s animal care departments, conservation/research efforts and administrative positions.
Interns work20-40 hours per week for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks during one of the sessions listed below. The purpose of the placements is to help the intern gain experience related to their education, and most are unpaid positions. The Dallas Zoo will work with students to document necessary time or projects needed to gain university credit for the internship. Unfortunately, we cannot provide transportation, housing, or a stipend.
Please contact the Volunteer Department for additional information or an application:
650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway
Dallas, TX 75203-3013
Internship Application Deadlines:
Summer Session (May-August): March 10
Fall Session (September-December): July 10
Winter/Spring Session (January-April): Nov. 10
Candidates are encouraged to apply early. Due to the high volume of applications received, you will be contacted only if you are considered for an interview. Late applications will not be considered. Successful completion of a background check is required.
Available Internship Opportunities
(click to view descriptions)
Dallas Zoo Group Sales & Catering Intern
Intern will work in all business aspects of the Group Sales & Catering Department from prospecting through the billing process.
Intern will work with other departments within the Zoo to ensure event requirements are met in a safe and efficient manner.
Intern will interact with different operational aspects of sales, catering, food service and park services by managing an event from set up through tear down.
Behavioral Enrichment Internship
We are looking for an intern to work in conjunction with the Enrichment Committee. There will be 3 main areas in which you will be working: behavioral observations, enrichment construction and implementation, and data entry and research. Interns will learn why AZA requires accredited institutions to have enrichment programs and what is involved in running such programs.
Wilds of Africa Bird Department
Keeper intern within the Bird Department African bird section. Will work all routes of section assisting keepers in all aspects of keeper job description in all weather conditions including preparing diets, cleaning and maintenance enclosures and exhibits, husbandry, medical procedures and enrichment. Educational benefit – obtaining experience working with approximately 75 species of African birds from many taxa and in all aspects of their husbandry and care.
Carnivore, Australian, International Department
The interns will work on a rotation schedule throughout the CAID section which includes the Australian animals, the South America route, Cat Row, and Savanna Carnivore. The interns will learn the natural history of the animals in the area, all aspects of the daily animal husbandry – including training and enrichment opportunities, behavioral observations, animal introductions, and animal breeding. They will also assist with the daily keeper talks and demonstrations performed in the area and learn to interact with the public in a educational and professional manner.
The intern will be given an over view of records and permits required for Zoological operations. Additionally, a project will be assigned for data collection, most likely from historic records, and organization into a spreadsheet format. Depending upon scope of the data retrieved, there is a potential for direct data entry into the animal record database. The project may be one designated of high immediate need for husbandry reasons at the time of the internship, or be of general husbandry importance to mine historic data for trends and information. Interests and background of the individual intern will be taken into consideration.
- Zoological Record keeping overview (beneficial for multiple career choices)
- Federal and State permit overview
- Introduction to basic animal husbandry data.
- Potential species specific components: Rearing/neonatal development progression
- Several historic events to be researched and entered to add to the collective knowledge base.
- Animal introductions
Development/Event Planning Internship
Be a part of the Dallas Zoo’s Annual Fundraising Event, Kid to Do. Learn the ins-and-outs of executing a successful fundraising event by assisting with event details and donor fulfillment activities.
Two (2) applicants will be selected to work in animal husbandry at the aquarium, located off zoo grounds at Fair Park. They will work under the supervision of the Aquarists, Senior Aquarists and Aquarium Supervisor.
The aquarium husbandry interns must be responsible, hard-working, and ideally having a strong interest in aquatic/marine life. Under the supervision of staff the selected candidates will be involved in all facets of husbandry including the following areas:
Water chemistry analysis
Feeding and care of animals
Life support system maintenance and operation
Culture of live foods
Observation of animal behaviors
Administration of medical treatments
Housekeeping and proper sanitation of equipment
There may also be opportunities to participate in the aquarium’s conservation programs; including aiding in the propagation of imperiled species at the aquarium and possibly surveys of animals in the field.
About the Aquarium
The Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park (formerly the Dallas Aquarium) is the 3rd oldest aquarium in North America and has been displaying aquatic and marine life for nearly 80 years. The aquarium holds 235,000 gallons of fresh and salt water and is home to over 5000 animals representing nearly 400 species. The animals kept include invertebrates, numerous bony fishes, sharks, rays, amphibians, reptiles, and sea turtles.
Children's Zoo Internship
Interns in the Children’s Zoo will learn assignments as both educators and animal care specialists. Interns will be responsible for working along with permanent staff in animal care, monitoring animal health, maintaining cleanliness of animal areas, providing enrichment, participating in operant conditioning programs using positive reinforcement, and preparing and presenting engaging public education presentations for children and families. Interns who would like to achieve college credit for their work are encouraged to undertake a special project in one of these areas. Interns will work in two of the areas of the Children Zoo: the Farmyard, Underzone, Discovery House, and Nature Exchange.
A non-technical position. Involves detailed inventorying of IT equipment throughout zoo and recording of information in inventory database. The internship also involves gathering network infrastructure locality information and entry of information into database.
Giraffe Intern will work primarily in the Giraffe Barn and will assist the keepers with daily animal care, enrichment and observations. The intern will observe training sessions and assist the keepers with protected contact training as requested. Giraffe Intern will assist with public feeding and keeper talks on the Giraffe Feed Platform between the hours of 10-2 daily. The Giraffe Intern will assist the keeper in either the Hoofed Stock Barn or the Donga once a week.
Hoofed Stock/Donga Intern will work primarily in the Savanna Hoofed Stock and Donga Barns, assisting keepers with daily animal care, enrichment and observations. The intern will observe training sessions and assist the keepers with protected contact training as requested. The intern will assist with public feeding on the Giraffe Feed Platform between the hours of 10-2 daily, and will assist with Keeper Talks at the Donga on weekends. The intern will also work in the Giraffe Barn once a week.
Both interns will complete the Keeper Training course, Enrichment 101, and Animal Training 101. They may also have the opportunity to spend one day in the Animal Nutrition Center, with the Research Department on a data collection day in the Savanna, and a half day with the Registrar.
Middle Wilds of Africa Intern
MWOA Intern will be trained to work on all 5 routes in the section, assisting the keepers with daily animal care, enrichment and animal observations. The intern will observe training sessions and assist the keepers with protected contact training as requested.
The intern will complete the Keeper Training course, Enrichment 101, and Animal Training 101. They may also have the opportunity to spend one day in the Animal Nutrition Center, with the Research Department on a data collection day in the Savanna, and a half day with the Registrar.
The goal of the Conservation/Research internship at the Dallas Zoo is to provide practical opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in science to learn about animal behavior and appropriate research methods in a zoo setting. Interns have the opportunity to learn skills related to zoological research including study design, and behavioral data collection/analysis methods. Applicants must have completed at least one year of college biology to qualify.
Elephant Program Internship
Interns in the elephant area will participate in exhibit maintenance, operant conditioning training, educational keeper talks, and learn about husbandry. Interns also will assist with daily animal care and learn about our browse and enrichment program. The intern will have the opportunity to observe medical procedures performed by the elephant keepers. Before the completion of the internship, the intern will be expected to complete a project relevant to the elephant program.