Animal Care Summer Internship (Multiple)

Mission: “Utica Zoo creates unique experiences and promotes public appreciation of wildlife through education, conservation, and recreation.” 

This internship is catered towards college students and graduates, 18 years or older, who are interested in playing a direct role in caring for various hoofstock, carnivores, primates, birds, reptiles and invertebrates. The Utica Zoo is currently looking for candidates that are self-motivated, flexible, and have excellent time-management skills. 

Position Description

The selected candidate will be working full-time assisting keeper staff in all aspects of caring for the zoo’s collection. Our internship offers the opportunity to work alongside keeper staff in the following animal areas: 

  • Children’s Zoo
  • Hoofstock
  • Carnivore
  • Otters, Reptiles, and Birds
  • Ambassador Animals
  • Primates and Large Reptiles
  • Vet Services

*areas subject to change!

Daily Duties Include, but Are Not Limited To:

  • Daily cleaning and disinfection of animal areas
  • Preparing diets for various species
  • Developing and safely implementing daily animal enrichment
  • Record keeping and animal observations
  • Communicating with staff about animal issues
  • Exhibit maintenance

Will Have the Opportunity To:

  • Observe animal training sessions
  • Shadow veterinary rounds and procedures
  • Learn restraint and handling techniques
  • Present formal and informal interpretive educational programs for guests and outreach audiences

Applicants Must:

  • Be enrolled in college/university or have already graduated with a degree in zoology, biology, or a related field.
  • Have experience working around exotic and/or domestic animals. 
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills and have the ability to work both independently or with a team. 
  • Additionally, we require a negative TB test within the last year.
  • Applicants should have the ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions and can stand for long periods of time, stoop, climb, and lift at least 50 pounds.
  • Interns must be able to tolerate the presence of animal fur, feathers, and bedding.

Work Schedule

Internship will be from May 28, 2024 – August 3, 2024. Work schedule is 32 hours/week for a total of 320 hours. Interns must be flexible with their schedule, and have the ability to work weekdays, weekends, and holidays.


This is an unpaid internship opportunity. Dorm housing is available at the local community college for a fee. Interns must provide their own transportation.

How to Apply

Please email your cover letter and resume to Elizabeth Slabaugh, at The cover letter should include your areas of interest, goals and what you can offer the zoo. Statement of area interest does not guarantee placement in that area. Interns will be placed in accordance with the needs of the zoo’s animal collection.

Deadline to apply: March 31, 2024.

The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 8/3 for BREWFEST and will reopen with normal hours on 8/4!