Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Preprofessional Opportunities

Zoo New England - Animal Care Internships


Category: Volunteer
Type: Veterinary
Location: Boston Massachusetts
Deadline: Early January


Zoo New England will consider applicants who have completed 2 or more years of college courses in biology, zoology, or related fields with an overall 2.5 (C+) grade point average. The majority of interns are current college students, although others may qualify for the program (see application requirements). Upon acceptance into the program students are required to submit written documentation from a physician or clinic of a negative TB test taken within the last 12 months. Interns should identify any special requirements for receiving academic credit at the start of the internship.


Zoo New England offers a number of exciting and educational internship opportunities throughout the year at both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo.

Participation in the Animal Care Internship program with Zoo New England is a unique and exciting way to gain invaluable, hands-on experience in the field of zookeeping. Qualified applicants will have the opportunity to work alongside zoo staff while learning and completing daily animal care tasks. Interns will assist zookeepers in routine animal care including animal observations, diet preparation, enclosure cleaning and servicing, behavioral enrichment, and record keeping. Interns may also assist with exhibit design and construction, graphics and education programs.

The Animal Care internship is a commitment of volunteering (unpaid) 40 hours per week for a period of 10 to 12 weeks, or 400 hours. Interns are assigned either a Tuesday through Saturday schedule (with Sunday/Monday as a weekend), or a Sunday through Thursday schedule (with Friday/Saturday as a weekend). Internships are rolling and may begin at any time during the fall, winter and spring. Summer internships are available in one of two sessions: May through July or August through October. There are no application deadlines, but summer is the busiest intern season and positions typically fill up by February.

There are five potential areas of assignment: Stone Zoo is all one area, the other four areas are within the Franklin Park Zoo, and they consist of: A Birds’ World, the Children’s Zoo, Hooves & Horns and the Tropical Forest. Learn about the different areas. The Internship Coordinator will make area assignment, but will take the applicant’s experience and preferences into account. However, availability and suitability will take priority.

During this internship, interns must agree to abide by all Zoo New England regulations concerning safety and conduct. Interns will attend weekly classes on different aspects of zookeeping, and must complete a project of their own design. At the end of the internship, interns will be evaluated by their supervisors and receive certificates for completing the program.

Interns are responsible for finding and arranging their own housing.