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Keeper Aide: Amazonia

  • green and black poison frog

The Smithsonian's National Zoo's Amazonia exhibit leads visitors into the realm of the Amazon River Basin where giant arapaima, pacu, catfish, turtles and stingrays swim underwater, and sunbitterns, poison dart frogs and a sloth inhabit the forest world above. More than 350 species of plants, including kapok, avocado and cocoa trees, tropical vines, and epiphytes, live in this enclosed tropical habitat.

Shifts are available Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers must be able to commit to at least one shift per week for a minimum of one year.

Age Range: 
Special qualifications: 
Volunteers should be physically fit and willing to work in all types of weather as some of our collection is exhibited in a greenhouse environment. Keeper Aides should be interested in learning about and caring for a variety of amphibians, reptiles, plants, fish, birds and mammals. Applicants must be comfortable working around/with insects. Some animal care experience is preferred, but not required.

Once provisionally accepted, you must complete mandatory online orientation and training. Additional training will be provided on the job. There is a probationary period for all keeper aides.

Washington DC
Zoo Support
Contact phone: 
Additional information: 

These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. Applicants will be interviewed by unit staff, and those who are provisionally accepted will undergo background checks, including fingerprinting, as a requirement for approval as a keeper aide. Once accepted, volunteers must submit proof of required vaccinations, including tetanus and a negative TB test, to the Zoo's health unit. Please note: It is Smithsonian's National Zoo's policy that individuals who keep venomous animals in personal collections will not be accepted as volunteer keeper aides.