The zoo is open! All visitors will require free entry passes and be required to follow safety measures. Free timed-entry Asia Trail/Panda Passes are required for the giant panda viewing.

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Zoo Support: Department of Conservation Medicine

  • Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Campus

The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is home to a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital where a team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians carry out a program of preventive medicine and treat ill and injured animals within the Department of Conservation Medicine.

The SCBI veterinary department is currently seeking volunteers to assist with general hospital cleaning and organization, restock supplies, set up fecal parasite tests, help fill prescriptions, sterilize equipment and complete data entry of medical records. There is minimal animal contact due to the fact that most animals are receiving medical treatment.

Volunteers must be able to commit to at least one shift per week for a minimum of one year. Shift times are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (weekends are not available).

Age Range: 




Special qualifications: 

Applicants studying biological sciences, animal science or veterinary medicine with previous experience in a clinical setting, veterinary assistant or similar medical experience with data entry would be ideal, but not required. No formal degree or training is required.


Once accepted, the volunteer must complete online orientation training. Additional training will be provided on the job.


Front Royal




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 veterinary staff, and those who are provisionally accepted will undergo background checks, including fingerprinting, as a requirement for approval as a volunteer. 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.