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General Volunteers

Rewarding experiences start here! You can make a difference in a visitor’s or animal’s life as well as wildlife conservation by joining the General Volunteer team.

General Volunteers help with visitor engagement and activities throughout the Zoo.

Starting Opportunities Include

  • On-Grounds: As the Zoo is over 100 acres of public access, and strewn with hills and beautifully landscaped twisting paths; it can be a beautiful place to get lost in, whether on purpose or not. As an on grounds volunteer you are the friendly face helping visitors navigate the Zoo and spot the animal. 
  • Events: Special events bring guests to the Zoo to have a good time  while learning about wildlife and conservation. Volunteers help facilitate these fun and meaningful experiences through station activities and event preparation. 
  • Enrichment Garden: The L.A. Zoo Enrichment team maintains an edible garden specifically for the animals. Zoo volunteers help maintain “Bonnie’s Edible Garden” to provide keepers access to novel enrichment items to add to the animals’ diets or playtimes.  All plants are non-toxic from root to leaf and are maintained with non-chemical plant protection, for the safety of the animals.  
  • Conservation: The Zoo’s Conservation Division hosts many opportunities throughout the year for staff and volunteers to support. Opportunities such as propagating, planting, and maintaining many on ground and community gardens to support local wildlife. Additionally, there are community scientist opportunities to collect data on wildlife both in and surrounding the Zoo.

Advanced opportunities include

  • Habitat Ambassador
  • Contact Yard / Petting Zoo (Muriel’s Ranch)
  • World of Birds Show
  • Animal Diet Preparation 
  • Enrichment workshops

Program Information

The application deadline for the Spring 2024 onboarding opportunity has passed and the next opportunity will be in the Fall 2024. After applications are reviewed, invitations will be sent out for the General Volunteer Information Meeting.

Qualifications: Anyone 15 years and over is welcome to apply. Applicants must enjoy working with children and adults of all ages.

Commitment: 96 hours per year (8 hours per month), minimum one year commitment. 

Training: Blended learning with on-line courses and one full day in-person in the classroom and on-grounds.

Special Requirements

  • All General Volunteers must maintain a GLAZA membership at any level with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.  
  • For the safety of the animals, an annual negative tuberculosis test is required. 
  • Proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination is required.
  • All Volunteers must successfully complete a fingerprint background check.

NOTE: All volunteers must apply through our website, which will be reviewed by Volunteer Department staff. Depending on the needs of the Zoo at the time, and/or your field of interest and experience, you may be contacted for an interview. Please note, there is limited space in this program. Once accepted into the program, applicants will receive an orientation and appropriate training for specific assignments.

For more information, please call (323) 522-9355 or send an email to volunteers@lazoo.org.