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Nashville Zoo Animal Care Internships

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Until   Jul 15, 2017


Nashville Zoo is offering opportunities to participate in unpaid internships in the following animal care departments: 

The Avian Department is offering an internship focusing on the day to day care of the avian collection across the zoo. The intern will rotate through multiple areas from large exhibits like flamingo and lorikeet to smaller behind the scenes breeding areas. 

The Behavioral Husbandry Intern assists in the care and maintenance of the Ambassador Animal collection and in the presentation of educational animal shows and programs both on and off zoo grounds. This collection includes a wide variety of arthropods, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. 

The Contact Area intern assists in the care and maintenance of the contact area animal collection. The contact areas include Critter Encounters, Kangaroo Kickabout, and the Shell Station. Each of these exhibits allows for a unique animal interaction, providing guests with one-of-a kind experiences. Much of the day is spent interacting with the public, educating and answering questions. 

The Commissary Intern assists in the dietary preparation and general cleaning of the kitchen, coolers and grain room. The intern will gain an understanding of animal nutrition and what it takes to support the animal operation of the Nashville Zoo 

The Historic Farm intern assists in the care, maintenance, enrichment and observation of animals in the farm collection. 

The hoofstock intern assists in the care, maintenance, enrichment and observation of animals in the hoofstock collection. 

The Primate Intern assists in the care and maintenance of the primate animal collection. 

- Assist the keepers during the opening and closing of animal areas 
- Assist with cleaning of animal areas 
- Assist the keepers in maintaining the landscape in and around the exhibit areas 
- Assist the keepers in creating, implementing and/or researching animal enrichment 
- Assistance with all other projects and duties as assigned 

- Must be an undergraduate enrolled in an accredited college pursuing a degree Zoology, Wildlife Management, Biology or a related major 
- Internship requires a minimum commitment of 30 hours OR 3 full work days per week 
- Must be willing to study and learn facts, provided by the Zoo, to interact with guests during Zoo operating hours 
- Applicants for this position must submit an Application Packet, and are required to submit to a criminal background check as well as show recent proof of a current TB test. 

- Ability to perform duties without direct supervision 
- Ability to function as team with both paid and volunteer staff 
- Ability to follow both oral and written direction 
- Ability to responsibly use and maintain zoo equipment and tools 
- Ability to handle multiple tasks 
- Ability to lift 50 lbs. repeatedly 
- Ability to perform tasks outdoors in adverse weather conditions 
- Public speaking skills 

Note: Nashville Zoo Internships are unpaid. We are unable to provide housing or reimbursement for travel expenses. Academic requirements for institution credit are the responsibility of the student intern to fulfill. Nashville Zoo will make every effort to support the student in their academic goals as they relate to the internship position outlined in the provided position description. 

Due to strict animal husbandry guidelines and safety issues, there is no animal contact or inside exhibit work with the animals in the Zoo. Remember, this is for their safety and well-being as well as yours. 

Submission Details:

*Internship Application and questions

*Cover letter explaining:

  • Applicant’s career goals and how this internship will help achieve those goals
  • Relevant skills, activities, experience and/or classes
  • School requirements for internship credit (if applicable)
  • Start and end dates, and days of availability.

*Two letters of recommendation

*College or University requirements

Information on the Internship program and application can be found here:

 Please indicate in your cover letter if you have an interest in a specific animal care area, or if you have previous experience that is relevant to a particular area.

You can scan/email or mail your application materials. 



Please send submission paperwork by  MARCH 15TH  


Thaisa Bell, Internship Coordinator

Nashville Zoo

3777 Nolensville Pike

Nashville, TN  37211



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