Internship: the position of a student or trainee who works in an organization in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.

The Jackson Zoo depends heavily on our unpaid zookeeper internships to maintain a the highest quality of animal care possible, and to continue the instruction of new animal care specialists and professionals.

Not only do our interns assist in daily care protocols, but they also bring into the organization some outside perspective, the most current educational topics and discussions, enthusiasm, and energy to our hard-working veteran keepers. On occasion, the interns become such an integral part of our fabric that they are asked to accept a full-time, paid position.

We want to assist our interns in any way we can to make their time with us as educational and enjoyable as we can, and hope they realize just how valuable they are to our entire organization.

INTERN PORTAL – password required

Application Process

College students or graduates who wish to apply should send a cover letter and resume to the respective party, based on the internship description.

The cover letter should include the following:

  • Which internship period you are applying for (Fall, Spring, Summer)
  • Why you are interested in an internship at the Jackson Zoo
  • Where you heard about the intern program
  • What intern opportunities interest you –  include your first and second choices for animal area: Primates, Hoofstock, Carnivores, Discovery Zoo, Bird Run
  • What you would like to gain from an internship

Important Dates

Fall Semester internship

  • All – runs first full week of September through the month of November
  • application due July 31

Spring Semester internship

  • Animal Care Internship- runs first full week of February through the month of April
  • Education Programs Internship – runs first full week of February through the month of May (16 week internship)
  • Conservation Internship – runs first full week of February through the month of May (16 week internship)
  • Application due December 31st

Summer internship

  • Animal Care Internship- runs first full week of June through the month of July
  • Education Programs Internship – runs mid-May through mid-August
  • Summer Camp Internship – runs May 23 through July 26
  • Conservation Internship – runs first full week of June through mid-August
  • Application due March 31st

Animal Care Department – Animal Care Internship

Description: The Jackson Zoo’s Animal Care Internship is an unpaid, un-benefited professional animal keeping intern position in various animal areas of the Jackson Zoo. Interns will provide animal care and perform husbandry training tasks to a large collection of exotic and domestic animals.

Animal Care Internship Description

EDUCATION Department – Education Programs Internship

Description: The Jackson Zoo’s Education Programs Internship is an unpaid, non-benefited professional education intern position in the Jackson Zoo’s Education Department. Interns will provide program development support, teach educational programs, interact with public on grounds, assist with ambassador animal care and training, and assist with events, volunteers, and conservation.

Education Programs Internship Description

Conservation Internship

Description: The Jackson Zoo’s Conservation Internship is an unpaid, non-benefited professional intern position in the Jackson Zoo’s Education and Animal Care Departments. Interns will provide development help for the Jackson Zoo’s sustainability plan, interact with public on grounds, and assist with conservation events, and volunteers.

Conservation Internship Description

Administration Department – Development Internship

Description: The Jackson Zoo’s Development Internship is an unpaid professional, non-benefited intern position in the Jackson Zoo’s Development Department. Interns will provide assistance to the Media and Events Specialist to build new networking opportunities, contact new donors and sponsors, and plan and implement various zoo events.

Please contact ejrivers@jacksonzoo.org for more details, or call 601-352-2582.