Volunteer at the Zoo
Make a commitment to wildlife, to your community, and to conservation– join the Sacramento Zoo volunteer team! The Sacramento Zoo sees over 500,000 visitors each year, and volunteers are critical in making each person’s visit a magical one. Whether it’s greeting guests, scooping ice cream, or scooping poop, your contribution makes a huge impact in the success of this wonderful community Zoo!
Jill Moznett Robillard
Want to Be a volunteer?
All volunteers must start as a Level 1 Zoo Ambassador.
The Sacramento Zoo is currently accepting applications for Zoo Ambassadors, the Level 1 volunteer position. All new volunteers must begin as a Zoo Ambassador before moving on to additional programs.
Zoo Ambassadors can participate in a variety of different roles:
- Front gate greeting and assistance
- Grounds clean up
- Special events
- Zoo guides
- Other special projects
All applicants must meet the minimum requirements:
- Must be 15 years or older
- Complete an online application
- Have a valid email address
- Pay application fee of $20 – an email following your submitted application will contain payment information
- Attend and complete Zoo Ambassador orientation
Next scheduled orientation: Sunday, May 27th, 9 am to 12 pm.
- Commit to volunteer 15 hours annually
- Adhere to the guidelines of the Volunteer Programs as specified in the Volunteer Handbook (received during orientation)
Once a Zoo Ambassador has completed a minimum of 15 volunteer hours, they have the opportunity to train in additional programs.
already a Zoo Ambassador?
If you are already a Zoo Ambassador and want to move to a Level 2 position such as Keeper-Aide, Docent or Garden Volunteer, find out more below.
Qualified volunteers work under the direct supervision of keeper staff and help clean, feed and maintain exhibits. Volunteers will be working in close proximity to animals but no physical contact will be allowed. Application approval and safety orientation required. This program is competitive, and not all applicants will be accepted.
- Cleaning and disinfecting of exhibits, holding areas, moats and work areas
- Assist animal care staff in daily animal care and maintenance
- Learn about zoos and captive animal husbandry and behavior
- Follow direct orders regarding safety and health requirements
- Perform physically demanding tasks, such as raking, hosing, pushing wheel barrows, carrying heavy items, etc.
Docents are volunteer educators who provide information talks for zoo visitors. You’ll learn about the exciting animals that live at the Zoo and current conservation issues worldwide.
What is a Docent?
Docents are volunteer educators, 18 years or over, who have had Sacramento Zoo training to provide tours, station talks and wildlife wagons for Zoo visitors. Docents have a love to share with people all that they have learned about the animals that live at the Zoo and current conservation issues worldwide.
As a Garden’s Alive volunteer, you will be asked to maintain the plants throughout the entire Zoo. Tasks within this program can vary, but volunteers should be in reasonably good physical condition. At times, you may be asked to kneel for long periods of time while working in a particular garden, walk throughout the Zoo to various locations, use a rake and shovel together, or pull stubborn weeds. Volunteers should disclose any physical limitations to the horticulturist before beginning the volunteer program.
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must have experience or an interest in gardening.
- Must be comfortable using various gardening tools, such as shears, pruners, loppers, rakes, trowels, etc.
- Must be able to volunteer on weekdays, Monday- Friday.
- Experience with pruning and the ability to work independently in a garden.
- Knowledge of toxic plants, or the ability to learn and identify toxic plants on grounds.
Want to be a Zoo Teen or Camp Counselor?
Teen Volunteers & Camp Counselors: Ages 13 to 19
Teens can explore animal-related careers while gaining work experience. As part of our summer camp and year-round Zoo Teen programs, teen volunteers help teach children and families about the animals, the environment and conservation. Visit the Teen Volunteer page, to sign up. For more information email the Teen Coordinator today or call 916-808-7709.
Bella Hopkins, Teen Volunteer since 2016
Frog Watch USA
Help native wildlife and be a Citizen Scientist
Sign up to be a volunteer for our local chapter of Frogwatch USA! Free training at the Sacramento Zoo on Sunday, April 2, 1 to 4 pm. You will learn the calls of our native frogs and how to record their numbers in local areas. The time required is only 10-15 minutes, once per week! Email to register for the training.
Sacramento Valley Frogwatch is one of more than 50 chapters throughout the United States, and the information gathered and submitted by volunteers has given scientists invaluable information about frog population numbers and species location.
For all other volunteer inquiries, email the Volunteer Coordinator.