Internship at a zoo

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Dec 10, 2007
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I'm trying to get an internship at a local zoo. It's a 10 week program and about 40 hours per week. The work consists of "exhibit care and maintenance, diet preparation, enrichment, and behavior observation and documentation." The zoo's policy is to have minimal interaction with the animals to avoid domestication.

Does this count as animal experience??? If so, what kind???

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I've done two zoo internships. No matter how much interaction you get with the animals it is still animal experience. There's a lot more to animals than physical interactions. There's a lot of behavior to see and there's always some vet care going on in the zoo. I would just suggest keeping some sort of journal to jot down all the different things you learn. If you are at all interested in exotic animal care this internship is a great start to getting some amazing experiences.

As far as what exact kind of experience it would be, it all depends on how much you get to do during the internship. You may get some vet experience or you may not. All in all it is general animal experience at the very least
If you are supervised by a PhD, it is counted as veterinary experience. I did a nutrition research internship at a zoo with no physical animal contact. Since my immediate supervisor had a PhD it was counted as vet exp.

On VMCAS vet exp includes more than you would think.
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I was lucky enough to intern in our zoo's animal health and quarantine department so the zoo vet oversaw my work (even though my daily functions were to work with the quarantine keepers). It was an absolutely amazing experience and I was always allowed to observe any procedure or exam that was brought into the hospital.

If possible try requesting an internship in quarantine if your zoo has one it may bring you more hands on vet experience then general keepers would get.
I did an internship this past summer at a zoo and I loved it. It was a lot of hard work but I learned a ton and at the end I got to shadow a zoo vet to see what kind of medical procedures were typical. It was awesome. I think if you are interested in wildlife/exotics, you will learn a lot about animal behavior and how to work with very dangerous animals.