Junior Zookeepers at Wildlife Safari
The Junior Zookeeper program at Wildlife Safari allows children ages 10 to 17 the unique opportunity to learn about a variety of animals and to share their knowledge with the public. The newly developed Junior Zookeeper program was created with the goal of providing more opportunities for children to broaden their experiences, explore what it is like to work in a zoo and to develop an appreciation for the natural world. The Junior Zookeeper program has proven to be a great way for kids to learn responsibility, build leadership skills, gain self-confidence and get actual quality time with animals.
Junior Zookeeper Program Activities
Activities within the Junior Zookeeper program vary for each participant depending on their past involvement in the program, the amount of time they have spent at the park and their individual interests and abilities. Here are just some of activities a Junior Zookeeper will have the chance to be involved with!
Animal husbandry includes all of the activities that go into caring for, cleaning up after, feeding and generally working with animals. Students in the Jr program will have the opportunity to learn about the unique care concerns of animals in the education department, learn to properly handle & present them and discover all of the ways that Wildlife Safari animal keepers tend to animals.
Responsibility for the Children’s Petting Zoo
Managing the Children’s Zoo involves assuring the public has an enjoyable experience in the contact area and that animal interaction is comfortable & fun for the animals, too. Juniors assist the zookeepers in keeping the area clean for the animals & the public, grooming the animals and monitoring the well being of all who enjoy the Children’s Zoo.
Junior Zookeepers play an integral role in presenting Wildlife Safari summer camps. They help out by playing games, leading activities, providing examples to students and creating crafts for camp participants.
Village Booths & Animal Presentations
Juniors are trained to assist in the sharing of animal facts and “interpreting” zoo exhibits, connecting live animals and the public.
Jr Zookeepers also have the opportunity to assist with various special events taking place during the summer, allowing them to gain both animal-related and operational-focused looks at just what it takes to run a zoo!
The activities will vary for each participant depending on their years of experience, personal interests, and individual abilities.
Joey (1st year)
- Education husbandry
- Petting Zoo
- Edu-carts and Animal Meet & Greets
- Beginning Animal Handling
Badger (2nd & 3rd years)
- Year 1 responsibilities
- Ducks and Flamingos
- Camp presentations
- Intermediate Animal Handling
Grizzly (4th year +)
- Previous Responsibilities
- Mentor to younger Junior Zookeepers
- Work in Village
- Shadow keepers
- Dome Shows
- Advanced Animal Handling
Day of a Junior Zookeeper
Working at a zoo, there is no typical day but generally a day in the life of a Junior Zookeeper looks like the following.
8:30-11:00 Husbandry, Petting Zoo, Dishes & Diets
11:00-12:00 Enrichment, Camp, Formal Lesson or Edu-cart
12:00-1:00 Lunch/ Camp Lunch
1:00-1:45 Camp, Formal Lesson, Meet & Greet
2:00-2:45 Dome Show
3:00- 3:30 Horses
3:30-4:00 Closing Tasks
**Please note that juniors signed up for the morning shift do a lot of animal husbandry and camp while juniors signed up for afternoon shifts do more presentations and public speaking.
Junior Zookeepers 2021
Children must be 10 to 17 years old by June 1st, 2021. Available shifts are 8:30-12:00 pm and 1:00-4:00 pm, 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and a calendar of availability must be filled out. We will use these calendars of availability to help us make the schedule each month.
Due to the popularity of this program, Juniors average 2-3 days a week. The schedule will be sent out to parents at least one week before the start of the next month. Shifts are subject to change and are at the discretion of Wildlife Safari staff. 2021 sessions are June, July and August. Children may register for one or more sessions.
Program fee is $175 per month for members, $200 for non members.*
*Fees remain the same regardless of how many days per month your child is registered for.
Please print the reference form and ask one adult who knows you well and who is not related to you to complete the letter of recommendation.
If you will be attending the June session, applications will be due no later than May 18th, 2021. Please get your application in for subsequent months at least 2 weeks prior to your start date.
To enroll your child in the Junior Zookeeper Program, please complete:
- Application Form & Medical Waiver and Media Release Form
- Proof of a negative TB test
- Letter of Recommendation
- 2 copies of Calendar of Availability (you keep one copy and hand one in)
- Payment (Credit card, check, cash)
Drop off your completed application at Guest Services
Mail it to:
Wildlife Safari Junior Zookeeper Program Registration
PO Box 1600, Winston, OR 97496
We are accepting applications throughout the summer
For more information call 541-679-6761 ext 221 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The education department can be contacted at 541.679.6761 ex 221 or by emailing email@example.com.