Animal Husbandry Internships
An internship in animal husbandry is meant to expose the intern to the many aspects of working as an animal keeper. The internship will serve as both a means to gain experience and as a way of making a career decision.
Animal keeper interns may be required to work in inclement weather, lift heavy loads, and must be dependable. The duties of the intern reflect the duties of the area animal keeper. Those duties include the following: Observation of animals for disease, injuries, unusual behavior, pregnancy, etc. and reporting observations to the appropriate parties and/or noting on Daily Report Sheet; prepare and distribute food and water; grooming of domestic animals; may be involved in training programs; assist in veterinary procedures; collect biological specimens; assist in animal restraint procedures; maintain proper environmental conditions for the animals; clean and disinfect animal enclosures; exercise or handle the Education Department's animals and domestic animals; secure locks; answer visitor questions, narrate animal demonstrations, and other duties as assigned.
Program participants will experience hands-on and/or project work in one or more of the following animal departments: Aquarium, Ungulate/Giraffe, Tropical Forest (primates), Worlds of Discovery (reptiles & amphibians), Asian Forest (leopards, tiger, waterfowl), African Savanna (lions, rhinos), Kids' Kingdom (deer, sea lion, domestic animals).
Application Procedure and Requirements
Students who wish to apply should send a cover letter, resume, and a letter of recommendation. Include all three elements in a single email. The cover letter should include the following:
- Why you are interested in an internship at the Pittsburgh Zoo
- What you would like to gain from an internship
- What intern opportunities interest you
To qualify for this internship, you must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher, demonstrated interest in your chosen field of Internship, the ability to work as part of a team, and strong communication skills. You must be able to do physical work.
Required Extern/Internship program duration varies within each discipline and ranges from 6 weeks to 12 weeks or 480 total hours. The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is a 7 day a week operation. Your internship may require you to work weekends, weekdays, evenings, and/ or holidays. Currently the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium has no available housing or stipend funding for program participants.
All requirements of the application should be sent as a packet. Incomplete applications will not be considered. You will receive acknowledgement of receipt of those materials. Only those applicants whose experience and background closely matches the Zoo's needs will be contacted.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible since there are a limited number of positions available.
Criminal background checks will be processed on all applicants considered for an internship/externship prior to start date. The cost of the background check is $10.
Zoo internships are non-paying.