Brandywine Zoo - Program Animal Specialist

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Brandywine Zoo

Position Description: The Brandywine Zoo is seeking outgoing applicants who are pursuing degrees in biology with an interest in animal husbandry, zoo keeping, or education. This position will include the daily husbandry of program animals. Program Animal Specialist Interns will work with staff to perform routine husbandry in one area of the Zoo’s collection of over 30 program animals, which includes small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Program animal interns may also provide live animal encounters or other programs for the public, as necessary. They may present various programs utilizing artifacts and program animals from our teaching collection to engage visitors on zoo grounds, assist zoo guests with way-finding, lead tours for scheduled groups, assist with the zoo’s special events, present live animal shows for the public, including Wildlife Shows, and assist with off-site Traveling Zoo programming as needed. As with all our programs, they should positively and professionally represent and promote the Brandywine Zoo and its mission.

This position is flexible, with a minimum of three days per week required, maximum of five days per week. One weekend day may be required, as well as some scheduling on holidays or evenings. Hours for this position are 8 am - 4 pm Saturday & Sundays, while weekdays can be full days (8 am - 4 pm).

We’re looking for an individual with great people skills, is a self-starter, able to work as part of a team and independently, energetic, positive, creative, a positive sense of humor and has a passion for the environment!

Intern Responsibilities:

  • Performing daily husbandry for a variety of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and invertebrates.
  • Able to follow protocols to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases and maintain high levels of animal safety.
  • Ability to work weekend days and flexible hours as schedules dictate.
  • Assist with Zoo Programming, as needed.


  • Must be comfortable handling a variety of live animals, including reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and mammals, and knowledgeable about their natural history.
  • Must have good time management skills, with the ability to complete designated tasks in a punctual manner.
  • Attention to detail is necessary for making observations, recording data and completing day-to-day husbandry tasks.
  • Applicants must be working toward or already have a degree in Biology, Psychology, Animal Science, Pre-Vet, Wildlife Conservation, or other Biological Sciences.
  • Must have an interest in working with the general public; especially children ages 4-13.
  • Must exhibit consistent professional characteristics such as a positive attitude, ability to show initiative, emotional maturity and self-responsibility.
  • Comfortable with public speaking.

This Opportunity is GOOD for People Who:

  • Interested in animal husbandry
  • Able to follow guidelines for safety and sanitation
  • Comfortable with public speaking
  • Able to professionally display program animals to the public

Intern Requirements:

  • At least 18 years old with valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Provide proof of negative TB Test within the last 12 months before the start date
  • Good physical condition: able to stand/walk for extended periods of time, kneel, crouch, and able to work in all weather conditions.
  • Be able to lift up to 25 pounds
  • Must be fluent in the English language (verbal and written communication)
  • Overall GPA must be 2.5 or higher
  • Good organizational and time management skills.
  • Able and willing to read and follow verbal and written work instructions and work independently
  • Willing to assist with administrative, customer relations, and housekeeping tasks and possibly animal care
  • Able to commit to upholding all Zoo safety and personnel policies, and support the overall mission
  • Able to professionally represent the Brandywine Zoo in all interactions with visitors, staff, and other members of the community.

Training: Training will include program animal handling, husbandry, and various online modules in the San Diego Zoo Global Academy.

Required Time Commitment: Minimum 6 months

Shift Times:

September-April: 8am - 4pm (can be flexible with college class schedules) Weekends; 8am-12pm or 8am-4pm

May-August: 8am - 4pm daily. This position has some flexibility with college class schedules on weekdays.

Scheduling: minimum 3 days/week, 22.5 hrs minimum, with one weekend day required.

Stipend - This is an unpaid internship.

Housing - Housing *may* be available for this position during the off-season (September-May), depending upon availability.


  • Full access to the San Diego Zoo Global Academy course-list for the duration of the internship; certificate upon completion.
  • Networking opportunity and access to 180+ years of professional experience and knowledge via current zoo staff.
  • Potential training in numerous animal husbandry and zoo facility skills such as exhibit design and maintenance, animal nutrition, landscaping, small tool use, veterinary care, operant conditioning, and public speaking.
  • Free access to all Delaware State Parks during the internship or volunteer duration including Delaware Seashore and Fort Delaware.
  • Job shadow opportunities at nearby AZA zoos when scheduling permits.

To Apply: All volunteers must complete the DE State Parks Intern Application. Interns must also complete and pass a background check administered by DE State Parks. For more information, please visit

Questions: Email


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About Brandywine Zoo


1001 North Park Drive, Wilmington, DE 19802, US

Mission Statement

The Brandywine Zoo's Education Programs enhance and enrich peoples' understanding and respect of the complex relationships among all living things AND inspire wildlife conservation.


The Brandywine Zoo is located in beautiful Brandywine Park in Wilmington, DE. Delaware's only zoo was built in 1905. The Brandywine Zoo is home to a variety of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians from North and South America and temperate Asia. Some of the most popular exhibits are the red pandas, playful river otters, Andean condors, bobcats, sandhill crane, and MORE! Learn about wild and exotic animals right in your community, then take what you learn and teach others about wildlife and wildlife conservation!

The purpose of the Brandywine Zoo is to stimulate knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of the biological and physical world and to promote an understanding of our relationship to the environment. This is accomplished by providing a variety of living interpretive exhibits and programs that encourage a commitment to the protection and conservation of our natural world and its delicately balanced components.


Sun Sep 01, 2019 - Sun Mar 01, 2020


1001 North Park DriveWilmington, DE 19802



  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Environmental Education
  • Animal Care / Handling




  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 17
  • Orientation or Training

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