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Adult Volunteers

Get Involved> Volunteer> Adult Volunteers

Adult Volunteers

Requirements for Adult Volunteer Programs

  • Have an appreciation of wildlife and commitment to conserving our natural world
  • Enjoy meeting new people and providing excellent customer service to Zoo guests
  • Complete and submit Adult Volunteer Application
  • Attend one volunteer open house – offered monthly  (Dates are emailed after completion and receipt of your Volunteer Application)
  • Meet age requirements as defined for each opportunity
  • Pass a background check
  • Pay the fee for training materials, shirt and background check
  • Complete any on-site training as needed
  • Be evaluated annually
  • All volunteers must agree to work 4 special event shifts and one of those shifts must occur in October

Due to the physical and safety aspects of all Volunteer programs,the Zoo reserves the right to suggest other volunteer opportunities that are a better fit.

Adult Animal Volunteer Program

Animal volunteers are a new and exciting addition to our volunteer programs at the Kansas City Zoo. They will work under the direct supervision of the Animal Care staff. They will perform routine work assignments involving the care of Zoo animals, maintenance of Zoo exhibits and enclosures. They may also participate in research and/or behavior studies.  Animal volunteers must be age 18 or older and are required to go through an extensive interview process to ensure a match to the program needs. 

Guest Guide Volunteer Program

Guest guide volunteers greet and assist Zoo visitors by answering their questions, directing them to various attractions and make suggestions for more satisfying visits. Guest Guides, ages 18 and older, will also volunteer to assist in Guest Services as needed. This program requires:

  • Standing for duration of the shift in both inside and outside conditions
  • Excellent customer service and problem solving skills
  • A minimum of 30 hours of service completed in shifts any time the Zoo is open to the public
  • A materials fee of $30 for the first year $15 fee for every new shirt after the first year of volunteer service

Team Habitat Volunteer Program

Team Habitat volunteers assist with projects for all the departments at the Zoo. Projects range from light physical duty such as planting bulbs and painting doors, to more physically challenging projects such as moving deadfall, cleaning/reorganizing Zoo areas after big special events, pruning and clearing brush. This program requires:

  • Volunteering on the 4th Saturday of the month, March-November from 9a.m. to Noon,
  • At least 15 hours (5 work days) a year minimum to be considered for the next year's program One training session
  • A materials fee of $30 for the first year $15 fee for every new shirt after the first year of volunteer service

ZooScaper Volunteer Program

ZooScaper volunteers assists with projects for the Horticultural Department. Projects range from light physical duty such as planting, weeding, mulching, and watering, to more physically challenging projects such as moving deadfall and clearing brush. This program requires:

  • 30 hours of volunteer work between March and October in order to participate in the next year's program
  • A materials fee of $30 for the first year $15 fee for every new shirt after the first year of volunteer service

Youth volunteers ages 14-15 may participate in this program, but must be accompanied by a Zooscaper volunteer adult/parent at all times. Youth ages 16 and older may volunteer without a parent. 

Zoo Docent Program

As a Zoo Docent,your primary role will be interpreting at exhibits and facilitating tours. Docent volunteers deliver conservation messages that impact visitors and guide them to conservation action. These messages reflect a concern and respect for our natural world. Those volunteers that are 21 years old are eligible to apply.  Becoming a Zoo Docent requires:

  • Intense training that can last up to one year
  • 60 hours of direct contact with our guests each year 
  • High school diploma; a college degree is preferred
  • A fee of $100

Special Event Volunteer Program

Special Event volunteers, ages 18 or older, will help directing Zoo guests to the activities associated with special events.  They would also assist in monitoring these activities.  For example during Superhero weekend, you would aid in the line control and keeping guests happy in the lines. At Kiss and Tail our Valentine’s event, you could monitor the silent auction, help with setup and tear down and check in guests. Other actions for our Special Event volunteers include: distributing promotional items, escorting mascot characters, crowd control, taking materials to various areas of the Zoo and placing signs.  The special event program requires:

  • 30 hours of volunteer work each year in order to participate in the next year's program
  • Standing and walking for duration of the shift in both inside and outside conditions
  • A materials fee of $30 for the first year $15 fee for every new shirt after the first year of volunteer service
  • One shift during October events

How to Volunteer

Application: All potential volunteers must submit an application to be considered for the Kansas City Zoo volunteer programs. Each volunteer program has a different training and orientation. 

Apply to be a volunteer!

Orientation and trainings: If offered a volunteer position, the applicant must attend a new volunteer orientation. Information on zoo policies, safety and security procedures and overview of job assignment will be reviewed at the orientation. All programs require a background check. Additional training is required for certain programs. Volunteer performance will be evaluated semi-annually.


 Contact volunteer@fotzkc.org for more information.