Interested in gaining hands-on experience with the dedicated staff of the Chattanooga Zoo? Apply for an unpaid internship today!


The Chattanooga Zoo's 15 week-long internships are offered every Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. The program requires a minimum of 180 service hours, an enrichment or educational project, and a literature review. Inters will receive on-the-job training, have access to training via the San Diego Zoo Global Academy, and be invited to multiple professional development workshops! Applications must have earned enough college credits to be considered a sophomore.


Available Internships:

Animal Care Interns

Animal care Interns will work side by side with a zookeeper learning about daily husbandry, training, medical and maintenance of animals and their habitats. Interns are responsible for learning routines, animal observances, assisting with training and enrichment, and possible research projects.

Click here to review the different areas an Animal Care Intern can serve.

Note: Certain areas will retain interns for the full 15 weeks; whereas, others are split into 8 and 7-week rotations.


Nutrition/Rehab Interns will spend the majority of their time creating diets for our zoo residents, ensuring that they receive a well-balanced diet. Research on diets may be necessary. The other portion of an intern’s time will be spent assisting in our Rehabilitation Center. Exposure to rehabilitation is more likely during the months of March-October. At the Chattanooga Zoo, we take in native wildlife and provide immediate care. Many of the animals received through our rehabilitation center will be transferred to rehabilitators that can provide long-term care. Interns will assist with the intake and care of animals received through the Chattanooga Zoo’s Rehabilitation Center. 


Wildlife Rehabilitation Interns

Wildlife Rehabilitation Interns will assist our rehabilitation team with the intake, care, and placement of native wildlife brought into our center where we provide immediate care. Many of the animals received through our rehabilitation center will be transferred to rehabilitators that can provide long-term care. 

Note: This position is only available in the summer semester.


Education Interns

Education Interns will learn the basics of informal interpretation. They will be responsible for assisting in the delivery of both on-site and off-site programs. Interns will also have the opportunity to create educational programs. Proper animal handling techniques will be taught to and then required of interns.

Veterinary Tech Assistant Interns

Veterinary Tech Assistant Interns will be exposed to husbandry practices and will shadow our Veterinary team on animal check-up rounds. Interns will be able to observe physicals and monitor vitals. Preference is given to applicants currently enrolled in or recently graduated from an accredited Vet Tech program. Applicants must be available Thursday mornings in order to observe physicals.

Note: The Vet Tech Assistant Internship is not offered each semester. Availability is subject to the department's needs. 

Advancement (Marketing/Membership) 

Advancement interns will gain hands-on experience working directly with the team in implementing zoo fundraisers, events, and facility rentals, writing magazine articles and press releases, driving membership sales, and coordinating donor cultivation events. This position will assist with all aspects of event planning and membership/donor relations. 




Application Deadlines




November 15th

Application/Documentation Deadlines


March 15th




July 15th