Zoo Ed Volunteers

The Zoo Educator program is a year-round, long-term volunteer opportunity for adults, ages 18 and above, who have great people skills and a deep love of animals, nature, and conservation.

Zoo Eds provide informal, spontaneous interactions,  including

• Talking with Zoo visitors in front of exhibits
• Assisting with activity and biofact tables (biofacts are hides, skulls, or related items)
• Demonstrating live animals in open areas or near exhibits
• Off-grounds activities at community events, etc.

Zoo Eds also provide a variety of educational programs, both on and off zoo grounds.

• Programs may be planned, following structured curricula, such as:
   º On-grounds programs for school and assorted youth groups, centered around specific topics
   º Scripted interpretive programs at key exhibits
   º Structured animal demonstrations for Saturday Zoo School or Camp sessions, or the evening Zoo Snoozin’ program
   º Off-grounds programs for youth and community groups

All our education opportunities reinforce a love and respect for animals and nature, and our role as responsible stewards for our fragile world.


Zoo Eds must complete a half-day orientation and series of 11 training sessions that cover every area of the Zoo.  Training is provided by department staff and includes information about our exhibits, our animals and our unique heritage,  as well as teaching and communication techniques.  Zoo Eds may also receive specialized animal handling training and trainings for specific programs and opportunities.

Time Commitment

Zoo Eds are required to:

• Give at least eighteen (18) hours of education service every 3 months
• Attend at least six (6) Zoo Ed Meetings per year. The Zoo Ed Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
• Complete 10 hours of continuing education per year.

The program is designed to have structure and yet remain somewhat flexible. If you have questions or conflicts with any of these expectations please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 419-385-5721, ext. 2045, or emailus at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Applications for Zoo Eds will be accepted until September, 1 2014
Download a Volunteer Application

Clerical Volunteers

Clerical Volunteers provide invaluable support to many of the Zoo’s offices, including Marketing, Membership/Development, and Education. Clerical Volunteers will perform a variety of functions, including, but not limited to:

• Stuffing envelopes and preparing mailings
• Filing and alphabetizing various documents
• Photocopying various documents
• Organizing supplies and materials
• Performing other functions as necessary

Clerical Volunteers can enjoy the opportunity to volunteer in relaxed, small-office environments with deeply appreciative staff members. 

Clerical Volunteers will be given an orientation regarding general Zoo policies, as well as the benefits of volunteering at the Toledo Zoo.  More detailed, hands-on training will be provided by specified office staff in the area of your placement.

Time Commitment:
Clerical Volunteers are required to:
• Give approximately two to four (2 - 4) hours of service per week
• Schedule volunteer time in advance with appropriate staff
• Inform staff if you are unable to make a scheduled shift or will be absent for an extended period of time

Applications for Clerical Volunteer are accepted year round

Download a Volunteer Application

Exhibit Guide Program

The Exhibit Guide Program supports the Zoo’s educational and interpretive needs in specific areas within the Zoo.  For the Fall Exhibit Guide Program, those areas include our new “Flight” features, such as our free-flight parakeet exhibit, our new penguin exhibit and flamingos.  In addition, Exhibit Guides will be trained to support our Lights before Christmas programming, including key exhibits in the Reptile House, as well as Elephants and the Arctic Encounter.
• Educating the public about the animals in specific exhibits, including adaptations, enrichment, and conservation issues related to these animals, particularly what people can do at home to help animals and the environment.  This can be through conversations with visitors and hosting activity and biofact stations.
• Answering visitor questions and addressing any other visitor needs.
• Monitoring the behavior of the viewing public to ensure the safety of the animals and the visitors as well as promote a positive viewing experience for everyone.

Exhibit Guides will receive an orientation covering general Zoo policies. In addition, Exhibit Guides will attend a comprehensive training program identifying the major topics of importance related to the targeted exhibits, as well as a walk-through of those areas.  Finally, Exhibit Guides will receive basic training on interpretive programming and informal public interaction.  These training sessions will be offered throughout August, with both weekday and weekend offerings.

Time Commitment
Exhibit Guides are required to:

• Submit a volunteer application by Friday, August 15, 2014 and attend an interview.
• Complete the required training program.
• Give at least forty (40) hours of service, including the training process, between August 15, 2014 and December 31, 2014.
• Schedule volunteer time in advance in the Program Scheduling Notebook.
• Inform the Volunteer Department if you can not make a scheduled shift.

Please note: We do not allow job shadowing opportunties in any of our animal departments due to the dangerous nature of the positions and the large volume of requests.