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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 horticulture volunteers to assist the Smithsonian's National Zoo's gardeners and horticulturists.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term
Dragonfly on a Lotus Flower
Friends of the National Zoo is currently accepting volunteer groups to assist with a variety of projects around the Zoo, including raking, weeding, planting, mulching, cleaning signs and glass, preparing for events, and grounds clean up.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: one-day
Volunteers are needed to help clean enclosures and procedure rooms, set up and breakdown enclosures, prepare animal diets, assist with laundry, restock supplies, and do paper work.
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term
Flamingo
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
Animal care staff at several areas within the Zoo are seeking keeper aides. 
Age Range: 18+
Commitment: long-term