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Animal Care Internship-Paid

The Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum is offering an opportunity for education and experience for tomorrow’s workforce. The Zoo has internship opportunities available to those interested in pursuing a career in Animal Care and Zoo Management. The intern program is designed to help applicants determine if a career with animals is right for you. It also offers valuable experience to those who are planning to apply to vet school or looking to pursue a job in the animal care field. You will learn, hands on, all the husbandry techniques that it takes to care for the animals at the zoo. You will be given the opportunity to gain valuable skills, on-the-job training and experience that will be a great asset to you in the future as you continue to pursue your career. Some of the areas interns will get instruction include but are not limited to: cleaning, feeding, making diets, basic maintenance of areas, safety, and record keeping as well as the basics of Operant Conditioning Animal Training, and enrichment. Interns will have the opportunity to do an enrichment based project to increase their knowledge of one of the species that they work. Interns will also attend several classes during the program to further increase their knowledge about all aspects of zoo keeping and animal care.

Requirements

  • Must be 18 or older.
  • Requires a high school diploma or GED certificate.  Prefer candidates that are pursuing a degree in a zoological related field.
  • Schedule is generally 30-40 hours for 12 weeks and can be extended beyond this period.  Must complete a minimum of 400 hours.  
  • All interns should have a passion for animals and a genuine interest in a zoo career and an ability to have a good relationship with others.
  • Interns must take directions well and pay careful attention to procedures and established protocols.
  • They should follow instructions and carry out their responsibilities in a safe and careful manner in order to avoid injury to themselves, to employees, to visitors, and to the animals.
  • They must be physically able to perform cleaning, feeding, and general husbandry tasks for animals in various weather conditions.
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds regularly.
  • Weekend, evening, and holiday work may be required.
  • Interns are required to work as a team and with minimal supervision.
  • Participants must be able to adjust to changes in the daily routines.
  • Must also maintain a valid driver’s license.

We encourage applications from people who hold historically under-resourced and underrepresented identities who have lived experiences that can be brought into this work. If this position resonates with you and you believe you could bring passion and commitment to this role, please do not hesitate to apply. Although certain skills and prior experience may be preferred, we are committed to providing the necessary training for successful applicants to be able to succeed and thrive as part of a dynamic, diverse staff. 

Internship Timetable

We are currently accepting applications to begin the summer internship at the end of May.  Start dates may be flexible depending on your availability. 

The 45-acre Great Plains Zoo is located in Sioux Falls, SD a vibrant and growing community!

A metro population of over 278,000.

Smart Asset ranks Sioux Falls first as the Best City For Young Professionals in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  

ZipRecruiter identified Sioux Falls as the third hottest job market in 2020.

WalletHub ranked Sioux Falls as No. 15 on the 2019 list of Happiest Cities in America.

Livability ranked Sioux Falls No. 7 among the 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live

Complete the employment application form below and upload a cover letter and resume. 

*****Please indicate in your cover letter your interest in the zoo field, along with any experiences you've had that you feel demonstrate this interest. *****

02.22






Proof of U.S. Citizenship or immigration status will be required upon employment. Criminal convictions are not an absolute bar to employment, but will only be considered in relation to specific job requirements.

  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.
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