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Keeper Aide: Small Animal Facility - Black-footed Ferrets

  • black-footed ferret

Friends of the National Zoo's department of education and volunteer services is currently recruiting volunteer keeper aides for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's small animal facility.

Volunteers are needed to assist with daily food preparation, feeding, cleaning enclosures and providing enrichment for black-footed ferrets.

Shifts are available every day of the week from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 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 the collection is exhibited in an outdoor environment. Keeper aides should be interested in learning about and caring for a variety of birds and mammals. Due to the nature of the small animal facility, volunteers should be physically fit and willing to work in heat and humidity. Some experience is preferred but not required.


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


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Zoo Support

Contact phone: 


Additional information: 

These positions are highly competitive with limited spaces available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. The Smithsonian Institution and FONZ are committed to providing the safest environment for staff and volunteers. Applicants will be interviewed by SCBI staff, and those that are provisionally accepted must pass a Smithsonian background check (which includes fingerprinting) prior to their first volunteer shift. Once accepted, volunteers must submit proof of required vaccinations, including tetanus and a negative TB test, to the Smithsonian's National 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.