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VISITORS: Due to Bao Bao's departure, the Zoo will be closed to the public Feb. 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Find out how you can say #ByeByeBaoBao and tune in to the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Facebook page to watch live as Bao Bao departs on Feb. 21.

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Zoo Guides

  • zoo guide volunteer

Zoo Guides offer insight into the animal world with engaging stories, interesting facts and animal observations. Zoo Guides learn to give tours to visitors, new employees and volunteers. The Highlights Tour gives visitors a broad overview of the entire Smithsonian's National Zoo and the work being done to save species. The Children’s Tour introduces young children and their parents to animal adaptations in a classroom setting followed by an interactive tour designed especially for them. A shorter, more focused, tour of the upper zoo takes groups around the Cheetah Conservation Station and Asia Trail and includes a stop at the new Elephant Community Center. 

Because of the breadth of their knowledge, Zoo Guides may also be asked to lead special request tours. When no tours are scheduled, Zoo Guides act as education interpreters for a variety of outdoor areas around the Zoo, including Great Cats Circle, American bison and Andean bears.

Zoo guides must be able to commit to three, three-hour shifts a month during the mornings and/or afternoons and monthly meetings for one year.

 

Age Requirement: 
18+
Commitment: 
long-term
Special qualifications: 
A broad interest in the Zoo and its mission, an interest and ability to manage groups, and a willingness to walk the Zoo for two hours at a time year-round.
Training: 

Attending eight weekend days in Feb. and March is required.

Location: 
Washington DC
Status: 
Closed
Volunteer Opportunity Category: 
Education
Contact phone: 
202-633-3056
Additional information: 

Zoo Guide positions are competitive and there are 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 our staff and volunteers, as well as for our guests. Applicants will be interviewed by staff and those who are provisionally accepted must pass a Smithsonian background check which includes fingerprinting.