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, 7 2015
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 Spring 2015 Exhibit Guide Program, those areas include our new Aquarium, Keet Retreat and Penguin Beach.

Exhibit Guides will be needed from March – July 31 and will perform a variety of functions, including, but not limited to:

• Touch Tank Support.  Educate visitors about sharks, rays, fish and a variety of aquatic invertebrate species.  Answer questions and maintain a safe and positive environment for both animals and visitors.

• Keet Retreat Support.  Educate visitors about parakeets and general avian science.  Answer questions and maintain a safe and positive environment for both animals and visitors.

• Penguin Beach Support.  Monitor the viewing line by pulsing visitors through the exhibit as space allows and engage visitors in conversations about penguins and the Aquarium as they wait to enter.

• Utilize animal artifacts in related areas to enhance visitor experiences.

• Provide support to other education programs or events, as needed.

• Provide support to our visitors throughout the Zoo including answering questions, providing directions to exhibits and facilities, and contacting Zoo Staff when needed.

Exhibit Guides will receive an orientation covering the Zoo Volunteer Handbook. 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. 

Time Commitment
• Complete the required training program.
• Give at least thirty (40) hours of service, including the training process, between orientation and July 30.
• Schedule volunteer time in advance in the Program Scheduling Notebook.
• Inform the Volunteer Department if you can not make a scheduled shift.

Exhibit Guide Applications will be posted later in 2016

Thank you for your interest in the Zoo’s Exhibit Guide Program!
We look forward to seeing you around the Zoo!

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

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.