Denver Zoo Map

Volunteer at Denver Zoo

Put Your Passion to Work

Denver Zoo volunteers are a dedicated group of individuals, from all walks of life, united by their advocacy for the zoo and their passion for animals and conservation.

Volunteers play a vital role in supporting Denver Zoo’s mission by successfully engaging guests, inspiring their connections with animals and motivating them to take conservation actions. In return, volunteers receive a sense of satisfaction and pride in the defining moments they help create for others.

New Volunteer applications for Spring recruitement will be open from January 9th 2016 - March 12th 2016

Our mandatory 2 day New Volunteer Training for this spring recruitment period will be April 30th & May 1st 2016.



Current Volunteer Login


Are you a TEEN interested in volunteering at Denver Zoo? Learn More >


Denver Zoo's Mission:

Secure a better world for animals through human understanding.

Denver Zoo's Vision:

Continuously innovate to inspire life-changing human and animal connections.

Our Commitment:

We will work with anyone who is truly interested and committed to volunteering at Denver Zoo for a minimum of one year, to find a place or position that meets both the needs of the zoo and the needs of volunteers as we endeavor to provide a quality experience for our zoo guests.


Is the Denver Zoo Adult Volunteer Program the Right Choice for YOU?

We will work with anyone who is truly interested and committed to volunteering at Denver Zoo for a minimum of one year, to find a place or position that meets both the needs of the zoo and the needs of volunteers as we endeavor to provide a quality experience for our zoo guests.

Denver Zoological Foundation volunteers perform activities for the zoo as requested by Denver Zoo staff and approved by the Liaison Team.  Denver Zoo offers both Teen and Adult volunteer programs.  All volunteers provide critical/essential support for Denver Zoo and its mission.

Adult Volunteer Program: Purpose Statement

Denver Zoo Volunteers enhance the guests' experience and connect them with animals and their environment through their passion, commitment, dedication and knowledge.  

Are you...?

  • Passionate about educating people of all ages and backgrounds about animals, nature and conservation.
  • Friendly, outgoing and dependable.
  • Committed to providing our guests the highest standard of guest service.
  • A current Denver Zoo member or able to purchase a zoo membership plan.*
  • Able to attend two days of Zoo U training April 20th & May 1st 2016. 
  • Available to attend three general meetings annually.
  • Able to pay a $45 application fee which includes one Denver Zoo logo polo volunteer shirt.*
  • Willing to give a minimum of 50 hours of service a year.
  • At least 18 years of age.

*Scholarship support is available on request.

Benefits of Volunteering at Denver Zoo 

In addition to the personal fulfillment and enjoyment that comes with making a
difference in the lives of animals and giving back to the community,
Denver Zoo Volunteers receive numerous other benefits.

  • Enthusiastic team of volunteers and staff
  • Flexible schedule
  • Variety of volunteer activities
  • A weekly e-newsletter with updates and timely volunteer details
  • A monthly Volunteer Newsletter (access to newsletter is password protected)
  • Regular recognition for your services
  • Opportunities to participate in continuing education programs and social events at the Zoo
  • Opportunities to gain valuable customer service and public relations skills
  • Discounts on food and gift shop purchases

Denver Zoo Volunteers are a diverse group in terms of background, experience and age.
Their shared passion for nature and belief in the zoo’s mission provide numerous
opportunities to form new and lasting friendships.

What opportunities are available for Volunteers?

A variety of interesting and fulfilling volunteer opportunities await you as a year-round volunteer. Whatever the job, everyone is valued and performs a service that assists Denver Zoo in achieving its mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. 

While a love of animals draws many volunteers to Denver Zoo, not all volunteers are not directly involved with the handling and care of the Zoo's animals. Volunteers are one of the most visible members of Denver Zoo community and their main goal is to provide the Zoo guests with a quality, educational and enriching experience while they are here.

Denver Zoo offers three categories of volunteering: Ambassador, Guide and Docent. Each level offers unique opportunities and requires different levels of training. 


Ambassador Volunteer Category 

Ambassador volunteers are trained to provide excellent guest service.  Ambassador activities are extremely varied and are focused on providing zoo guests with the best visitor experience possible.

Main Gate Ambassador

Welcome guests and members at Denver Zoo’s main entrance.

Administrative Help

Assist with administrative projects in a variety of departments.

Special Events

Help staff with activities at special events including Zoo Lights, Boo At The Zoo, Do At The Zoo and private parties.

Family Programs

Assist during our summer day camp, Summer Safari, and our overnight experience, Bunk with the Beasts.


Learn gardening skills from our horitculturists by assisting with the the improvements and maintenance of our landscapes and exhibits.*

*Season is April-October.


Work alongside animal staff in Denver Zoo’s open-air aviary Lorikeet Adventure.

Zoo Patrol

Work alongside guest services staff during the month of may as hundreds of busses bring thousands of students to Denver Zoo.


Guide Volunteer Category 

Guide volunteers are trained in the basic techniques and theories of interpretation. Guide volunteers provide educational opportunities to individuals through a variety of activities within and outside of the zoo.  

Onsite Guest Engagement

Provide Zoo guests with animal and conservation knowledge using prepared interpretive kits on Denver Zoo grounds.


Deliver Denver Zoo-related presentations to off-site audiences.

Bunk with the Beasts

Provide Bunk participants with animal and conservation knowledge using prepared interpretive kits on Denver Zoo grounds. 


Docent Volunteer Category

Docents are trained in advanced interpretation with a focus on animals, conservation and the environment. 


Provide animal information at specific exhibits, answer visitor questions, show animal biofacts and enhance guests' zoo experience.


Lead tours for school groups, zoo members and special programs such as Bunk with the Beasts. Most tours have a specific focus such as African Animals, Endangered Species or Rainforest Discovery.

Summer Safari

Assist staff teaching classes for the zoo's summer camp programs. Classes include tours, games, crafts, live animal demonstrations and special enrichment activities.


Travel to schools, community centers and senior facilities presenting zoo programs including slide shows and live animals.

Young Scientists

Supervise students who are learning about the scientific method and exhibit design. Give tours and oversee animal observation and data collection.

Bunk with the Beasts

Assist staff in our overnight experience for kids with tours, games, live animal demonstrations and special activities.


How do you get started volunteering at Denver Zoo?

Step 1 - Application

Applications are open from January 9th 2016 - March 26th 2016. Please click the button to apply!


Step 2 - Screening Survey

Complete a follow-up survey to assist us with selection of candidates whom we feel best meet Denver Zoo’s needs through their volunteering. The link to this survey will be included in your receipt of application confirmation. 

Step 3 - Background Check

Complete a Background Check form. 

All Denver Zoo volunteers are required to submit and pass a criminal background check. 

Step 4 - Training

Once accepted, all adult volunteers must attend a two-day training and orientation session called Zoo U. At this training you receive an introduction to Denver Zoo, its mission, education staff and volunteers and the activities you will be able to participate in as a Denver Zoo Ambassador and/or horticulture volunteer. Additional training is required for some opportunities. Details about the training system will be reviewed at Zoo U. Ambassador volunteers commit to a minimum of 50 hours of service and attend three general meetings annually.

Saturday, April 30th 2016: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm AND Sunday, May 1st 2016: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. New volunteers must attend both days of the training.  A $25 non-refundable training fee and $20 Denver Zoo Volunteer Polo fee will be due prior to training.  Scholarship support is available upon request.  If you are unable to attend these dates, applications are held for one year, allowing you to attend Zoo U during our Summer recruitment.





For more information, call: 720-337-1619 or email Emily Speck at

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