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Volunteer at the Zoo

Volunteer programs at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's main campus in Washington, D.C., fall into five categories: education, Zoo support, special events, teens, and groups.

Looking for volunteer opportunities at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute? See the volunteer opportunities in Front Royal, Virginia

For long-term assignments (interpreters, keeper aides, behavior watchers) we recommend that you only apply to the area where you are most interested in working, as you will not be eligible to volunteer with another unit for at least six months. These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, however, submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement.

Currently accepting applications for:

Friends of the National Zoo is seeking volunteers to assist the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Trails animal keepers.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term
Volunteers are needed to assist the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Bird House keepers clean exhibits, floors and dishes, and prepare food and enrichment items.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term
Keeper Aides are needed at the Reptile Discovery Center to prepare diets, clean enclosures and assist the animal care staff with other tasks.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is recruiting for volunteers to serve as interpreters in the Small Mammal House. Interpreters are front-line educators that play a central role in enhancing the experience of Zoo guests by sharing animal and conservation stories, answering questions and engaging guests.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is recruiting volunteers to serve as exhibit interpreters on American Trail. Interpreters are front-line educators who play a central role in enhancing the experience of Zoo guests by sharing animal and conservation stories, answering questions and engaging guests.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term
Friends of the National Zoo is currently accepting a volunteer group to assist the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Bird House with a project to move and replace sand in the flamingo enclosure.  Volunteers will be required to perform physical labor in an outdoor setting.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: one-day

Upcoming opportunities:

We currently have no upcoming opportunities at this location.