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Animal Management Areas

WildCare Park interns will work at both of the Zoo’s new campuses in north St. Louis County and Franklin County assisting with a wide variety of tasks. Interns will assist with our American red wolves which are a part of the USFWS recovery program. They will learn and experience how recovery species are managed using protocols that best prepare them to be reintroduced into the wild. Along with animal care, interns will help conduct native biodiversity studies on both campuses through camera trapping and other wildlife field-sampling methods, assist with record keeping and inventory, and conduct general facility maintenance of our large areas of natural Missouri habitat.

The Animal Health intern position is open to all college students with no prior experience needed. This internship is designed to expose participants to the various careers that are open in the veterinary field. Under the general supervision of the Animal Health team, the successful candidates will observe the duties of the Animal Health team including (but not limited to): radiographs, lab work, patient care, in-house and field procedures, administrative tasks, hospital maintenance, and assisting with surgery and anesthesia. Hours must be completed between Monday – Friday, although hours can be flexible within these days. Twenty hours of internship a week is recommended but not required. Preference will be given to applicants from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds. The successful candidates should be prepared to give a presentation on the veterinary topic of their choice during the last week of their internship.

Interns/externs will develop an understanding of the goals of zoo ungulate conservation programs and basic principles of ungulate management in zoos. Duties may include food preparation, cleaning habitats and barns, habitat decoration and maintenance, social animal management (animal observations), record-keeping, and making environmental enrichment items and projects (horticulture work, grounds clean-up, research projects, facility/equipment maintenance, developing new graphics or educational materials, data analysis). Interns/externs will be restricted to tasks that do not require manipulation or handling of the animals.

Interns/externs in the Bird Department will work with a diverse collection of birds and look at captive management/conservation programs. Opportunities will include maintenance of bird exhibits, feeding and watering birds, assisting in record keeping, animal observations, diet evaluation, and environmental enrichment. Interns/Externs will be monitored by a full-time keeper and will have opportunities to work directly with the birds. Must have the physical ability to perform required duties as assigned, including standing for long periods of time, lifting, bending and working in all types of weather conditions. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds.

Interns/externs in the Herpetology unit will work with Herpetarium staff to develop an understanding of captive management and conservation programs for reptiles, amphibians and aquatics. Routines may include food preparation, cleaning on-exhibit and off-exhibit habitats, record keeping, and projects (redecorating, yard work in outdoor exhibits, data collection, etc.). Interns/externs will not work with venomous reptiles, large snakes or crocodilians.

Interns/externs with the Hellbender team will work in the Herpetarium to develop an understanding of captive management and conservation of Ozark and Eastern hellbenders. Routines may include food preparation, water quality testing, water changes, record keeping, and projects. Interns/externs will not work with venomous, reptiles, large snakes, or crocodilians.

Interns/externs will work closely with invertebrate staff. They will learn husbandry techniques for certain non-venomous arthropods. They may collect live specimens throughout the summer and curate a dead insect collection. Interns/externs will also work in the Butterfly Wing, the display hall and the outside garden area. The Monsanto Insectarium offers many new experiences to interns/externs who are selected.

The Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine (ICM) takes a holistic approach to research on wildlife, public health and sustainable ecosystems to ensure healthy animals and healthy people. Research in the (ICM) focuses on those diseases known to affect threatened wildlife, with an emphasis on health challenges at the wildlife, domestic animal and human interface. The internship with (ICM) will provide students exposure to scientific research through database management, laboratory diagnostics and field veterinary medicine.

Interns/externs in Jungle of the Apes will work closely with great ape zookeepers to learn the basic principles of chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan husbandry and daily care. Daily shadowing will allow you to follow each species’ routine and will include habitat cleaning, decorating, preparing environmental enrichment items, diet preparations and other varied rotational projects. Interns/externs are integral members of the ape keeper team. Interns/externs will be able to use their creativity to implement new ideas for various projects assigned to each intern group. Some of the past projects have been habitat furniture redecoration, enrichment device building and behavioral observations. There will also be opportunities to observe operant conditioning training sessions and observations of enrichment use. Interns/externs must have a negative TB test.

Jungle of the Apes interns/externs are required to work 2 full days (or 16 hours) a minimum per week.

The Life Support Systems intern or extern will help with water quality testing, operating systems, ozone safety, USDA regulations and automated controls. Hand tool usage and some power tool use will be expected. This program is aimed to provide a foundation to becoming a life support systems technician. Coursework in marine biology, applied chemistry, aquaculture or aquarium sciences is preferred.

Interns/externs in the Primate Department will be introduced to the basic principles of primate husbandry. Duties may include habitat cleaning and decorating, preparing environmental enrichment items, behavioral observations, diet preparation, and other varied rotational projects. Interns/externs must have a negative TB test.

Interns/externs will develop an understanding of animal care for a variety of species in the River’s Edge, including black rhinos, Nile hippos and red river hogs. Opportunities to work with the Asian elephants are not included as part of this internship/externship. Duties may include diet preparation, animal habitat cleaning and maintenance, animal welfare research and behavioral observations, environmental enrichment, and special projects as needed. Interns/externs must have a negative TB test prior to starting their internship or externship.**

**Must have had a TB test within the last 12 months and be fit-tested to wear an N-95 mask or respirator per the Zoo’s River’s Edge Personal Protective Equipment Protocol.

Interns/externs in the Sea Lion Sound facility will be introduced to the animal training field and the use of operant conditioning as an animal management tool as they work around the Zoo’s collection of pinnipeds. Opportunities may include daily diet prep; cleaning of holding areas, the stage and habitat tunnel; assisting with record keeping; participating with environmental enrichment; and interacting positively with Zoo guests. Interns/externs will work closely with full-time trainers and will have opportunities to observe training sessions, feedings, shows and behind-the-scenes tours. During the summer, interns/externs generally work 40 hours a week for 12 weeks, including weekends and holidays. In fall and spring semesters, interns/externs generally work 30-40 hours a week for 12-16 weeks and must be available to work weekends.

Veterinary preceptor interns must be in the final clinical year of a doctoral program in veterinary medicine and receiving credit from an accredited institution of higher learning. Veterinary preceptors will shadow veterinary staff and receive exposure to all aspects of zoo-based veterinary medicine. Students will learn through a problem-based approach to clinical veterinary medicine, and the experience will be driven by the clinical, active caseload at the time. Students must adhere to the policies and procedures of the Saint Louis Zoo and the expectations of the university/college agreement and professional curricula.

The veterinary technician intern position is open to credentialed veterinary technicians or students of AVMA accredited veterinary technology programs. This internship/externship is intended to help participants gain the skills necessary to work as a technician in the field of exotic animal medicine. Under the general supervision of the Animal Health team, applicants will perform the duties of a veterinary technician including (but not limited to): radiographs, lab work, patient care, in house and field procedures, administrative tasks, hospital maintenance, and assist with surgery and anesthesia. Hours are flexible; however, interns/externs are expected to work 20-30 hours per week, Monday – Friday. Applicants must adhere to the policies and procedures of the Saint Louis Zoo and the expectations of the university/college agreement and professional curricula. This position is unpaid and applicants are responsible for their own accommodations and transportation.

Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences Areas

The Department of Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences offers internships and independent study opportunities in four areas, including reproductive science, endocrinology, behavior, and animal welfare, to upper level college students, recent university graduates, and graduate and veterinary students. Specific projects and tasks vary and it is important to note that most have no direct animal contact. You may apply to intern in more than one research area. To find out more and apply for internships in Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences, click here.

Non-Animal Related Areas

The registrar intern/extern assists the registrar with ongoing animal records management projects. Most, if not all, projects are focused on quality control and data cleanup. Some routine work is required and includes prepping animal transaction files for microfilming, completing data entry functions in several databases and cross-checking documents for accuracy. The above-referenced intern/externship provides a bird’s-eye view of the Animal Division’s administrative functions. The registrar intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Windows, Internet and CD-Rom technology.

The Conservation Audience Research and Evaluation (CARE) Department supports the Saint Louis Zoo in making data-driven decisions involving a wide spectrum of audiences including guests, employees, communities within the St. Louis area, and global conservation partners. Using a variety of methodologies to answer a diverse range of evaluation and research questions about the human dimension of the Saint Louis Zoo’s work, CARE frequently collaborates with nearly every department within the Zoo, especially Education, Marketing, Human Resources, and Exhibit Design teams. The CARE intern/extern will conduct at least one complete evaluation/research study, which may include interviewing Zoo visitors, data entry, data analysis and report generation. As CARE is involved with multiple projects at the same time, interns/externs will also be exposed to a variety of other aspects and duties in the visitor studies field.

The Development intern/extern assists the Development office staff with ongoing fundraising and data management. Projects may include data entry, assisting with mailings and filing. Occasional assistance with donor-related events may be needed. The above-referenced intern/externship provides a bird’s-eye view of the Development office’s administrative functions. The Development intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Microsoft Office and have filing experience.

The Early Childhood Education intern or extern will assist in the research and design of activities and materials for our early childhood unit. They will also assist in the preparation of our early childhood classes and be trained as a facilitator in our Discovery Room. Interns and externs will interact with children and caregivers in the classroom and assist in the Zoo’s early childhood camp program. Some college coursework in education and science is required. Early childhood experience preferred. Good communication and customer service skills are a must. Creativity and flexibility are key.

The Saint Louis Zoo possesses an extensive collection of biological artifacts (biofacts), which are preserved animal remains such as bones, skulls, skins, feathers and other such objects. Biofacts are used for Zoo education activities. The biofact intern/extern assists the biofact curator and biofact committee in completing ongoing projects to better organize and maintain the collection. Duties include, but are not limited to, the following: biofact identification/inventory, database management, general biofact repair and processing and a study of skull measurements. The biofact intern/extern is also given the opportunity to shadow educational programs in other areas of the Education Department so that he or she can acquire a full understanding of the department. Interns and externs are also given their own projects to complete based on their interests. Interns/externs must have some biology/ taxonomy experience and an interest in skeletal anatomy.

Camp KangaZoo interns/externs will be immersed in the excitement of summer camp while helping the Zoo meet the needs of the campers and provide them an enriching educational experience. Interns/externs will give extra attention to children who need it; assist with setting up, taking down and leading activities with campers; model conservation behaviors; and help with other projects as assigned. Minimum of one year of college and a strong interest in animals preferred. Experience working with children and good communication and customer service skills required. Must possess energy, enthusiasm, a positive and caring attitude, and a team approach.

Camp KangaZoo Inclusion interns/externs will help to provide extra assistance to campers with special needs. Interns/externs may assist in many ways, depending on the child’s needs. Examples include: playing a quiet game with a camper who needs a break away from the group, helping a camper to understand instructions or helping with a craft, walking with campers on tours around the Zoo, helping with transitions, and helping campers to interact and make friends with others. Minimum of one year of college and experience working with children required. Experience with children with special needs preferred. Must possess a positive and caring attitude, willingness to learn, patience, and a desire to see every children succeed.

Interns/externs help with diet and food preparation and aid and engage Zoo visitors at Stingrays at Caribbean Cove. They will also support the Interpretive Program and team through other tasks as assigned by the Education Department, including time working with interpreters on grounds and helping with the Day with the Rays program and other programs throughout the Zoo. As an opportunity for growth and learning we will help in developing goals and outcomes for each intern/extern as part of their experience. The interpretation internship/externship requires much of the day spent outdoors in all weather, lifting, walking, spending long periods of time in and out of salt water environments, and engaging our guests in positive and entertaining ways.

The Specialty Camp intern or extern will assist the educators in preparing for and delivering 4-day long camp programs for our summer campers.

Interns/externs will interact with children generally ranging in age from 6 to 16 years old. The campers will come from a variety of backgrounds and have a variety of needs (physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral); interns/externs will need to be comfortable with all ages and abilities.

Interns/externs will help provide large group assistance in a classroom setting, on Zoo grounds, and in the field, plus potential one-on-one guidance as needed in a supervised setting. At no time will an intern/extern be alone with a camper.

Interns/externs will need to be comfortable working and walking in various weather conditions (heat, rain, etc.) as well as be comfortable with scientific exploration such as dissections, live animal interactions and outdoor activities such as hiking. Camps take place June through early August.

The WildCare Park Education intern/extern will assist Education staff in the development, preparation and implementation of community, family, school and youth programs delivered at WildCare Park, and in the surrounding community. The successful candidate will have the ability to interact with diverse audiences of multiple ages, have a basic knowledge of native flora and fauna, and will be comfortable guiding participants in safe outdoor exploration activities.

The finance intern/extern assists the Manager of Revenue Operation in maintaining and tracking Zoo seasonal activities and events in Excel. Projects include late-night reporting and calculating revenue and expenses that occur during the season. Assist with tagging and inventory fixed assets. The intern/extern also assists with some cash room functions such as making banks and checking cash room reports regularly. The finance intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Windows and Microsoft Outlook.

FrogWatch USA™ is a nationally recognized, long-term citizen science monitoring program for frogs and toads. As a volunteer-based monitoring program, it gives citizens across the country an opportunity to be directly involved in gathering information that can ultimately lead to practical ways to stop amphibian decline. The FrogWatch intern/extern will:

  • Assist the Chapter Coordinator with volunteer training both on-site and off-site
  • Maintain our social media presence (the FrogWatch Facebook page and through our Twitter feed)
  • Monitor and review questionable volunteer data on FieldScope (the online mapping database for the FrogWatch USA program)
  • And assist with maintaining our external communications with our volunteers and the general public.

Interns and externs are also given their own projects to complete based on their interests. Interns/externs must have some biology experience and be willing to attend a FrogWatch volunteer training.

The Palm Oil Task Force addresses the issue of palm oil, which can be found in everyday products. The Zoo is working to reduce its dependency on non-sustainable palm oil and educate both staff and visitors on how they can impact wildlife habitats around the world with their daily choices.

The Palm Oil Task Force intern/extern will assist with conducting an inventory of all products used on Zoo grounds, especially chemicals and non-food products, to determine if they contain palm oil and whether that palm oil is sustainable. The intern/extern will also research equivalent products that have no palm oil or sustainable palm oil in them. The intern will also be involved in public palm oil education through public outreach/tables/chats and assisting in events on Zoo grounds that feature palm oil education (Boo and the Zoo, Wild Lights, Jungle Boogie, etc.).

During the intern/externship, the individual will learn where palm oil comes from, common names for it, the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable palm oil, and how to determine if it is in a product. Throughout the internship/externship, the individual will learn how the Saint Louis Zoo Palm Oil Task Force is impacting conservation and how he/she can act locally and have a global impact on conservation.

This position is seasonal and only available during our fall and summer intern cycles; this timeframe is when most of our palm oil-related events and tabling opportunities are present.

Interns will develop an understanding of the Zoo's purchasing role, supply chain management in a decentralized environment, RFP/RFQ/quote processes, supplier diversity M/WBE goals and strategy. Duties may include attending pre-bid and bid opening meetings, outreach events, tier 1 & 2 record keeping including tracking vendor spend, confirming payments and reporting to enhance key performance indicators. This internship will provide students exposure to supplier diversity metrics through database management and collaboration with external departments and vendors.

The Saint Louis Zoo is like a small city with all of the challenges of a city of 3 million. Taking an internship/externship with the Safety & Risk Management Department will allow the student the opportunity for exposure to the field in a unique setting across multiple industries—construction, food service, retail, hospitality and, of course, the zoological setting. While it’s difficult to explain a “typical day,” each day brings new experiences, challenges, and opportunities to learn and connect with people, animals, and the environment. The successful candidate is expected to attend and participate in meetings and training classes, work Zoo events, perform inspections, and work with policies. Creating, leading and evaluating emergency drills is expected. Experience with Microsoft Office is important; some data entry is required. While not required, some education or workplace experience in safety and/or risk management is preferred.

The Sales & Catering department works to sell, plan, execute, and cater private events (such as company picnics, family reunions, weddings, etc.) at the Saint Louis Zoo. Intern duties will include administrative support, assisting event production and execution, business development, research, data entry, inventory, and other clerical duties as assigned. High school diploma or equivalent required. One to two years of marketing, hospitality management or communications studies preferred. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, customer service, ability to handle and prioritize tasks, and the capacity to work independently are desired. Computer literacy, general knowledge and use of Microsoft Excel and Word preferred. Candidates must be able to lift and carry up to 25 lbs for 50 yards, stand and walk for extended periods of time, and work outdoors in all weather conditions. Flexible schedule may require working some evenings, holidays and weekends.

The primary function of the Special Events intern/extern is to assist the Zoo’s Special Events office staff. Duties include assisting with pre-event planning, event production and execution, mailings, data entry, volunteer coordination, event promotions, phone coverage, inventory and other clerical duties as assigned. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, customer service experience, ability to handle and prioritize numerous tasks, and the capacity to work independently are important. Computer literacy, general knowledge, and use of Microsoft Excel and Word a must. This intern/externship will have a flexible schedule that may require working evenings and weekends.

The Sustainability intern/extern will focus on energy efficiency and waste reduction through several projects. Other tasks as assigned may include assistance with Green Dining Alliance certification, internal Green Team meetings and special events. Applicants must be enrolled in college-level courses in a sustainability-related field. The intern/extern should have a good, basic understanding of the principles of sustainability, including energy efficiency and waste reduction, recycling, and composting. Experience in energy modeling and greenhouse gas inventories is preferred. Great organizational and communication skills (written and verbal) are required.

Unique opportunity for a student to learn and practice skills connected with visual merchandising, graphic placement, fixture design, floor sets, plan-o-grams, product development and many other retail functions. Student must have an understanding of basic visual merchandising or soft skills in design. It is preferred that they understand basic functions of retail operations.