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Volunteering FAQ

Get Involved> Volunteer> Volunteering FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


I love animals. I want to be a vet/zookeeper/biologist. Can I volunteer to work with animals?

Unfortunately, we do not take volunteers in our animal departments due to liability concerns. You can, however, become a Docent (after completing 30 hours in our Guest Guide volunteer program) and help educate our public on our animal collection, their care, and conservation.

What is the fee for?

The fee pays for your volunteer shirt, name badge, parking pass, training materials, update materials, and a background check. The fee does not cover all our expenses, it just helps to offset them and provide you with more resources to use while volunteering.

Do you have something on a shorter time frame than the year-round programs?

Most of our volunteer programs are designed to use sustained groups of volunteers and we invest substantial training in our volunteers. The only exception is our Special Events volunteers; these volunteers sign up for events when they become available. No long term commitment or experience is necessary! Each event has its own wish list of specialized assistance. Most of our special events are during the peak season between May and September. If you have time to volunteer during the summer only, our Guest Guide program allows you to volunteer on your own schedule, as long as the required hours are met for that program.

I want an internship at the Kansas City Zoo. Who do I contact?

Our internships are handled through the employment link on our website, and those positions are posted on that link. The Kansas City Zoo takes a limited number of interns each year, and each position is very selective. If you are interested, please visit the employment link for more information. Some of our internships are paid positions and others are not.

My company wants to volunteer at the Zoo. Do you have anything for us?

If your company can provide the materials to be used for the volunteer project, please contact the volunteer coordinator to discuss your specific needs.

What age do I have to be to volunteer? What can I do without my parents?

Youth ages 14-15 years old can volunteer for Team Habitat/ZooScaper or Special Events with their parents that are volunteers in the same program. The only exception to this age requirement is the Volun-TEEN program. Youth 10 and over can volunteer for our October Special Events with a parent. Youth 16 years and older and in high school can volunteer by themselves for Team Habitat/ZooScaper or Special Events.

Can I get volunteer credit for my school by volunteering at the Zoo?

That's up to your school, but we're happy to sign off on the appropriate documentation provided by the volunteer after the community service has been completed. The only exception to this is the Volun-TEEN program.

I need to do court appointed community service. What do you have available?

We are not set up or able to accept court appointed community service for youth or adults at this time.

I sent in my application. What should I expect next?

Volunteer applications are accepted February through September. You should receive an email within two weeks after your application has been processed. The volunteer coordinator will contact you via email to inform you of the next scheduled orientation for your volunteer program.

What if I have other questions that aren't answer here?

Feel free to email the volunteer coordinator at volunteer@fotzkc.org. We'll try to answer any questions you may have.