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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.

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


Current Volunteer Login


Denver Zoo's Mission:

Secure a better world for animals through human understanding.

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.



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?

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 standards of customer service.
  • A current Denver Zoo member or able to purchase a zoo membership plan.*
  • Able to attend two days of training.
  • Available to attend three general meetings annually.
  • Able to pay a  fee of $25 for training and materials and purchase one Denver Zoo logo volunteer shirt*
  • Willing to give a minimum of 50 hours of service a year
  • At least 18 years of age

*Scholarship support is available - fill out the forms below:
Volunteer Training Fee Application (pdf)
• Volunteer Clothing Fee Application (pdf)

Download the Key Volunteer Requirements (96k PDF) for more specific details about financial commitment, uniform descriptions, and training details.


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, 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.


Ambassador Volunteers  

Are trained to be excellent in customer 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.

Activities include: greeting visitors, answering questions and providing information and directions for zoo guests.

  • Administrative Help

Assist with administrative projects in a variety of departments.

Activities include: daily office work, answering telephones, preparing invitations and large mailings.

  • Special Events

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

Activities include: greeting guests, answering questions and helping with event activities.

  • Family Programs

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

Activities include: Setting up crafts, snacks and special activities for campers.

  • Horticulture

Assist the horticulture team with projects throughout the zoo.

Activities include: Pruning, weeding, mulching and exhibit maintenance.

  • Lorikeets

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

Activities include: Assisting visitors as they interact and feed lorikeets.

  • Maintenance

Assist the Maintenance staff with projects throughout the zoo.

Activities Include:

  • Zoo Patrol

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

Activities include: Meet and greet students and teachers as they arrive and assisting the students in safely walking from the bus to the zoo entrance.


Guide Volunteers

Guides are trained in techniques and theories to become entry level interpreters. Guide volunteers provide educational opportunities to individuals through a variety of activities within and outside of the zoo.  

  • Guide Stations

Provide zoo guests with basic animal knowledge using prepared interpretive kits on Denver Zoo grounds.

  • Outreach

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



Docent Volunteers

Docents are trained in advanced interpretation with a focus on animals and environments.  (All Guides are eligible to become Docents in the Fall of 2014.)

  • Ask-Me

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

  • Tours

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.

  • Outreach

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.



Step 1

Submit an application online.

Step 2

Register for a New Adult Volunteer Information Session

Attend the New Adult Volunteer Information Session to learn about the volunteer program at Denver Zoo. During the information session you will get to meet current zoo volunteers, find out what roles volunteers serve at the zoo and learn about the training required to become a top-notch representative for Denver Zoo. There are a number of volunteer opportunities available year-round. During the session you will be able to fill out an application and schedule a required follow-up interview for potential volunteers. The information session will be held at Norgren Hall in Denver Zoo’s Gates Education Center. Join us to find out how you can get involved!

The day will start with an Information Session from 9:00 am – 10:00 am, where we will share an overview of our adult volunteer program, the opportunities offered to Denver Zoo volunteers and how you can get involved. Following the information session, from 10:00 am – 10:30 am, we will have a Meet and Greet where you can get to know some of the amazing people, both volunteers and staff, who support Denver Zoo. If you are interested in making the commitment to being a Denver Zoo volunteer you can schedule a follow up interview at the Meet and Greet. Interviews occur the two weeks following each Information Session. Applications will be available if you have not already submitted one on-line.

Please contact Angie Panos at 720-337-1486 to RSVP to attend the information session. An RSVP is appreciated, but not required.

Dates for 2014:

New Ambassador Information Session:

July 12, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

  • Information Session:  9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 
  • Meet and Greet:  10:00  a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 

Step 3

Complete an Interview

Following the information session, and after you have submitted your application, Denver Zoo education and volunteer services staff will schedule an interview. Interviews may also be scheduled during the New Adult Volunteer Information Sessions.

Step 4

Complete a Background Check Form

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

Step 5

Submit Tuition for Training and Become a Denver Zoo Member

Once accepted, volunteers are asked to pay a $25 tuition fee* that covers training and materials as well as be an active Denver Zoo member.

*Scholarship support is available upon request

Step 6


Volunteers must attend a two-day training and orientation session called Zoo U before volunteering at Denver Zoo. Additional training is required for some opportunities. Details about the training system will be reviewed at Zoo U.

Adult Volunteer Training Requirements

Zoo U 

All adult volunteers participate in 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 eolunteers and activities you will be able to participate in as a Denver Zoo Volunteer.  

Dates for 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. AND Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New volunteers must be able to attend both days of training

Guide Training

With additional training Ambassador Volunteers may also become Denver Zoo Guide Volunteers.  A three-day training prepares you to perform basic interpretation with zoo guests using prepared interpretive kits and materials, working at guide stations. Guide volunteers commit a minimum of 50 hours of service and attend three general meetings.

Dates for 2014

Day 1: Saturday, March 22 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Day 2: Saturday, March 29 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Day 3: Saturday, April 12 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Docent Training 

With additional training Guide Volunteers may become Docent Volunteers. Docents are volunteer teachers who provide a variety of interpretive and educational opportunities for our zoo guests.  Docent training is held every other year.   Our next Docent Training begins fall of 2014.

Step 7

Start Volunteering!

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

  • Enthusiastic team of volunteers and staff
  • Flexible schedule
  • Variety of volunteer activities
  • 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.



Contact Us?

For more information, call: 720-337-1486 or email Angie at

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