Adult Volunteer Opportunities


Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has a variety of opportunities for individuals who are able to dedicate at least 8 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months.

We welcome anyone over the age of 18 to apply to our Adult Volunteer Program. However, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens does not provide community service in relation to legal and probationary requirements. All adult volunteers will be subject to a background check. Individuals who do not have a clear background check will be ineligible for the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Adult Volunteer Program. 

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

There are a variety of exciting volunteer opportunities at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens!

Below is a general list of volunteer opportunities at JZG:

Administrative assistant: Assisting with a variety of administrative office tasks from data entry, filing, shredding, and other office related duties.

Bird Keeper Assistant- Assisting with general clean-up and preparing bird diets in bird areas.

BOT: Behavioral Observation Team- Assisting with the observation of animal behaviors and keeping accurate detailed descriptions of behaviors and interactions.

Citizen Science - Assisting with the collection of data for scientific research. Click here to learn more about our Citizen Science opportunities.

FrogWatch USA-
Assisting with frog and toad monitoring and data collection both at the Zoo and at home. Requires a separate training. Click here to learn more about how to help frogs and toads in the wild.

Animal Nutrition Center Assistant-
Assisting with diet preparation for a variety of animals (includes rare meat).

Education Classroom Assistant- Assisting with camps, home school programs, adult workshops and other classes; assists with arts and crafts, classroom projects and student supervision.

Education Keeper Assistant- Assisting with the education animal collection, cleanup and diet preparations.

Exhibit Guide Assistant- Be an ambassador for the Zoo! Interacting with Guests, discussing animals, conservation and relevant information.

Facilities Assistant- Mr. or Ms. Fix-it! Assisting the facilities department with a variety of projects and small tasks throughout the Zoo.

Gift Shop Assistant-
Arranging and organizing merchandise, greeting guests, assisting with guest inquires at the various Zoo gift shops.

Horticulture Assistant- Assisting with general gardening duties throughout the Zoo.

Mammal Keeper Assistant- Assisting with care and maintenance in areas that serve giraffes, elephants and other incredible Zoo mammals.

Train Dock Assistant- Taking tickets, greeting guests, securing passengers at the Train Dock.

At Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens our goal is to create the most natural environment possible for our diverse collection of animals. For this reason, all volunteer positions are considered “hands-off” and do not involve direct handling of our animals. We encourage you to volunteer with us only if you are comfortable with this policy. We appreciate your understanding.

All positions are subject to availability; the Volunteer Engagement Department must select the position that fits both the volunteer’s interests and the needs of the Zoo. The Volunteer Engagement Department reserves the right to reject a prospective volunteer for any reason.

How to Become an Adult Volunteer

Complete an online application.

Please allow up to two weeks for your application to be processed and to be contacted for an interview. If you would like to be contacted prior to that time, please email to schedule an interview.

Join us for a fun and informative volunteer orientation session. Orientations are scheduled monthly and are a great way to meet other volunteers and get all of the information you need to have a safe, fun and rewarding experience while volunteering at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens!

After attending orientation, you will be given information on completing an online background check and paying the volunteer fee. There will be a $12 fee for adults (Education Volunteers $30). Make sure that you have signed and turned in all other required paperwork.

Volunteers interested in assisting in an animal area will need to submit documentation of a negative tuberculosis (TB) test before starting their volunteer service. The TB test is conducted at the volunteer’s expense and can be performed at their local doctor, clinic, or Duval County Health Department. The fee at the Duval County Health Department is $6 (Cash only). Price is subject to change. You may also contact the Duval County Health Department at 904-253-1070.

All volunteers are recommended to have a tetanus shot prior to volunteering (tetanus shot is not required but highly recommended)