Volunteer Opportunities

*Current Volunteers: Click here to sign up for current opportunities!

There are many ways you can help out at the Zoo. Chances are we have the perfect volunteer opportunity to meet your unique set of skills and talent. As a volunteer, you can choose to work with Animal Corps, Education, Guest Services and Special Events.    Be sure to complete the volunteer application to get started on your zoo volunteer journey. Our Education Department will provide workshops for volunteers on various topics to help train volunteers to reach new opportunities.  These may include: horticulture workshops, animal handling workshops, education instruction workshops, tour workshops and much more.  

Education

The Chattanooga Zoo Education Corps is critical to fulfilling the Chattanooga Zoo’s mission of engaging and inspiring the local community to better understand and preserve wildlife. Volunteering with this department requires a medium time commitment on the volunteer’s part as well as a passion for education and awareness-building.

What does an Education Volunteer Do?

Education Volunteers are specially trained volunteers who wear many hats within the zoo. They do such things as exhibit chats, assist in the petting zoo, help teach education programs, work behind the scenes to prepare educational materials, volunteer during special events, and so much more. 

Requirements:

  • Have excellent social skills and the willingness to interact with zoo guests of all ages
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be able to volunteer a minimum of 72 hours a year
  • Provide proof of a current negative TB test (done annually)
  • Attend and successfully pass the Education Volunteer Training sessions 
Special Events

Throughout the year, the Zoo hosts a variety of events for the public. Some events are quite large and geared towards fundraising while other events are smaller and designed to provide services for the community. If you like working with people and multi-tasking then this is the department for you. There is never a dull moment!

We are now recruiting for Holiday Lights?

  • Dates: Thursday-Saturday evenings the first 3 weekends of December
  • Who can Sign Up: Anyone ages 16 years and older
  • How do I sign Up: Email Becky Olthof at volunteer@chattzoo.org 


Animal Corps

The Chattanooga Zoo Animal Corps serves a vital role in the overall functioning and health of the Zoo. Volunteering with this particular department requires a  high time commitment on the volunteer’s part as well as a passion for animals and their care.

Keeper Assistant

Under the direct supervision of the Curator and/or Keeper. Assistants encourage interest in the animals by answering questions and interacting with the public. Work will involve, but is not limited to, feeding and watering animals, cleaning exhibits, washing windows, sweeping pathways and making diets and enrichments.

* Please note: Due to strict animal husbandry guidelines, there is no contact or inside-exhibit work with the majority of animals at the Zoo. Remember, this is for the animal’s safety and well being as well as yours.

Requirements:

  • Be 18 years or older 
  • Ability to lift, bend, and stand for long periods of time
  • Be able to commit at least 4 hours a day on a weekly basis
  • Provide proof of a current negative TB test (done annually)
  • Provide proof of a current Tetanus vaccination (done every 10 years)
Teenagers:
The Chattanooga Zoo is growing the opportunities available for teenagers. Current opportunities include Zoo Club and special event volunteers. Please visit the Youth Volunteer Opportunities webpage for more information about Zoo Club. 

Administrative/Guest Services

Get real life business experience and build your resume while supporting a good cause at the same time! The Chattanooga Zoo is always looking for friendly, resourceful individuals who are interested in representing the organization and interacting with the public. Volunteering in this area requires a low to medium time commitment on the volunteer’s part.

Different positions within this department are as follows:

Member Assistant

Be a part of our Admissions and Membership teams. Help promote and sell annual Zoo memberships. Assist Guest Services staff in answering guest questions, preparing membership promotion materials and mailings, etc.

Guest Relations

Help our guests maximize their time and experience at the Zoo by handing out maps/brochures, giving directions, answering guests’ questions, etc.

Office Assistant

Under the supervision of the Administrative staff, office assistants help with filing paperwork, answering phones, answering questions about the agency, retrieving and distributing mail, correlating promotional materials and other office work as needed.

Other Volunteer Opportunities
Horticulture/Landscaping

Will operate under the supervision of the Zoo Maintenance Supervisor. Main duties will include daily watering and weeding in the Zoo Art Gardens, as well as assigned special projects (which may include taking cuttings, starting seeds, planting and maintaining ornamental beds, etc.) Volunteer can expect exposure to a wide variety of plants within the Zoo, including tropicals, annuals, perennials, water plants. This opportunity will give hands-on experience and firsthand knowledge of the maintenance and beautification of the Chattanooga Zoo. Dates and times are flexible, but must commit to working at least 8 hours per month. Shifts usually run from 9 am-1 pm or 1 pm-5pm.  

Enrichment

Enrichment volunteers research, design, and assist keepers in implementation of enrichment for the Zoo animal collection. This includes but is not limited to: researching specific animal enrichment activities via Internet or Zoo literature, preparing lists of low cost materials needed for enrichment, assisting in the creation and implementation of animal enrichment activities. Enrichment volunteers will also be involved with creating a wish-list for donations as well as being involved in the Zoo Enrichment Committee.


Nutrition
Under the direct supervision of the General Curator or Assistant Director, Nutrition volunteers assist with diet preparation for animals throughout the zoo. Their work also involves researching animals changing diets and observing specific animals on diets. Work will include, but is not limited to, chopping fruits and vegetables, washing dishes, packing foods for delivery, weighing and measuring produce, weighing out meat and fish products, unloading food deliveries, and cleaning the prep kitchen.






Volunteer

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