Denver Zoo
  • Interns-Behavioral Husbandry
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • Unpaid Intern

Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, education, and guest experience. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. We provide extraordinary experiences every day for our animals and guests and our core values of Protect, Honor, Innovate, Serve, Engage, and Empower are evident in everything we do.  We value the different strengths our staff bring to Denver Zoo. We expect our staff to embrace and to commit to our core behaviors for engagement: Passion, Respect, Innovation, Diversity, and Excellence.

Animal Care Internships are offered in the Spring, Summer and Fall. All Animal Care Internships are nonpaid. Full time Animal Care Internships last up to 16 weeks and require the candidate to complete 32-40 hours per week. Part time Animal Care Internships last up to 6 months and require the candidate to complete at least 200 hours. Candidates may earn school credit. All candidates must include a resume AND cover letter with their application.

Animal Care Interns will assist the animal care staff and the Department of Behavioral Husbandry in daily operant condition training and enrichment practices of animal species at the Zoo. All interns will complete a learning plan that will include hands-on training and mentoring. All interns will be introduced to Denver Zoo culture and procedures, learn safety procedures and guidelines, and be provided an overview of all aspects and work in behavioral husbandry.


A Full time or Part time Animal Care Internship is available in Behavioral Husbandry.

The Behavioral Husbandry internship involves close proximity to a variety of taxa within the Zoo, both alongside manager and keeper, therefore maturity, self-motivation and the ability to follow direction are required.  Interns will be involved in the following:

  • Enrichment: coordinating purchases and deliveries of items, assist with volunteer enrichment projects
  • Training: attend, video record and transfer to tape for various training and enrichment sessions
  • Research: training, enrichment and behavior issues and needs
  • Research Project: design and conduct an independent behavior observation project. Collect and analyze behavioral data.
  • Documentation: help develop and organize documentation needed to support enrichment and training including training plans, enrichment requests, training session documents, observation forms, etc.   Help develop and implement training and enrichment components including calendars, observations and evaluation.


To be considered a candidate for this position, the following criteria are required:

  • Working towards a bachelor's degree (or graduated within last two years) in an animal-related field
  • Available to work weekends and holidays
  • Have effective communication skills (written, oral and listening)
  • Previous animal experience is preferred
  • Must pass background check, provide proof of a negative TB test and pass drug/alcohol screening

Animal Care Interns are expected to:

  • Receive feedback and implement it
  • Work in a fast paced, team environment
  • Work alone without supervision
  • Remain calm and perform under pressure

Work Environment:

Much of the work involves walking, standing, lifting, crouching, pushing, pulling and carrying items. Must be able to lift between 25-50 pounds and work dexterously with hands and arms. This position requires a substantial amount of contact with staff, volunteers, other departments and zoo guests. The intern will be exposed to all weather conditions, chemicals and zoonosis. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. Appropriate clothing, including footwear, is required.


Completed applications must be submitted by July 6, 2017

Denver Zoo reserves the right to close the position prior to the above date.

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer




Denver Zoo
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