Junior Zookeepers

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.

All 2023 Junior Zookeeper sessions are FULL. 

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

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.

Summer Camps

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.

Special Events

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
  • Horses
  • Edu-carts and Animal Meet & Greets
  • Beginning Animal Handling

Badger (2nd and 3rd Years)

  • Year 1 responsibilities
  • Ducks and Flamingos
  • Camp presentations
  • Diets
  • 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 2023

Please read and complete this application carefully. Children must be 10-17 years old by June 1st. 2023. 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. 2023 sessions run through June, July and August. Children may register for one or more sessions. Program fee is $255 per month for members, $275 for non-members.*

*Fees remain the same regardless of how many days per month your child is registered for.

All 2023 Junior Zookeeper sessions are FULL. 

If you will be attending the June session, applications will be due no later than Monday, May 22nd, 2023. Please get your application in for subsequent months at least 3 weeks prior to your start date. We must have received a copy of your child’s negative TB test by their 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
  • 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

You can also e-mail it to: education@wildlifesafari.net

Or mail 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 education@wildlifesafari.net