Would you like to make a positive impact in our Zoo? Volunteering at the San Francisco Zoo can be a fun, educational and rewarding experience. We have volunteer opportunities in our Family Farm, Animal Resource Center, Events and other Zoo departments. Learn more by attending any one of our upcoming orientations.
Minimum Requirements for our Adult Volunteers:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must attend a volunteer orientation.
- You must successfully pass a background check. There is a non-refundable $25 administration fee for the background check. Additional fee for international background checks.
- A minimum commitment of 6 months.
Please meet at the bronze tiger statue in the Entry Village circle at 11:00am rain or shine. Orientations occur twice monthly on Thursdays and Sundays and last approximately 1.5 hours. Please be on time; late arrivals will not be allowed to attend the orientation. Pre-registration is not required. You do not need to pay for zoo admission or parking to attend the orientation.
Have a Question? E-mail email@example.com or call (415) 753-7122.
Adult Volunteer Orientation Dates*
*Dates are subject to change.
There are no Adult Volunteer Orientations held May - July.
Become a docent and inspire future conservationists. Docents support our mission by connecting guests to wildlife through informative talks, biofact presentations, and school tours. You can be a part of a vibrant community of volunteers who care about conserving wildlife. You'll meet new friends and learn all about animals from Zoo staff.
To be a docent, you must be at least 18 years of age and you must participate in our docent training program, offered annually. In this 10-week course (held on Sundays from 9:00am - 3:00pm), you’ll be trained on public speaking, conservation, Zoo history and operation, animal care, taxonomy, and behavior. Docents are required to volunteer 10 hours per month.
Contact us to learn how to get involved before the next training class, to register for the course, or to learn more about our Docent Program.
Have a Question? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 753-7122.
Please check back in January 2017 for upcoming docent training information.
The Zoo supports future conservation action through engaging youth development volunteer opportunities. We have popular summer and year-round programs that are designed to be fun and educational while building job readiness skills and inspiring youth to appreciate, care for, and conserve nature.
Teen Volunteer Requirements
- You must attend the scheduled orientation.
- You must attend the scheduled trainings.
- You must meet the age requirements for the program.
- You must complete the application process.
Volunteer on a team to restore wildlife habitat at Lake Merced and other Mountain Lake.
- Ages 11-14
- Program runs: September through June
- Hours: One Saturday per month, from 10 am to 12 pm
Learn to handle birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians and speak to the public about wildlife and conservation.
- Ages 12-14 (must be 12 by Memorial Day)
- Program runs: Memorial Day to Labor Day
- Hours: 2 days per week, 10 am to 4:45 pm
Talk on the Wild Side
Learn to handle amazing animals like livestock and arthropods while giving informational talks to Zoo visitors. Utilize biofact carts to educate the public.
- Ages 14 - 17
- Program runs: Memorial Day to Labor Day
- Hours: 2 days per week, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Zoo Teacher Assistant
Help kids explore the world of animals through zoo tours, crafts, games and assist Zoo Camp teachers with activities. Gain practical work experience with children.
- Ages 14-17
- Program runs: mid-June through mid-August
- Hours: A daily half-day or full-day shift for a minimum of four weeks over the course of the summer
Have a Question? Email email@example.com or call (415) 753-8123.
View our Youth Volunteer Programs flyer for programs through Summer 2017.
All Programs have a mandatory orientation. Orientations are held in the Connie and Bob Lurie Education Center, just to the left of the Main Entrance. You do not need to pay Zoo admission to access the Connie and Bob Lurie Education Center.
2017 Orientation Dates
|Nature Trail||Sat., Feb 18 or Sun.,
Feb 26, 10 am-noon (attend only one)
|Talk on the Wild Side!||Sat., Feb 18 or Sun.,
Feb 26, 1-2pm (attend only one)
|Zoo Teacher Assistant||Sat., Mar 4, 10-11 am|
|Zoo Crew||Saturday, Aug 12, 10-11 am|
Renew the Zoo
Spend a Saturday beautifying the Zoo.The role of the Zoo's Horticulture Department is more than just to create beautiful gardens for the animals and visitors, it is also to help spread the message of habitat conservation and vegetation management.
- Weeding and clean-up to eliminate the need for harmful pesticides
- Meeting new people of diverse backgrounds and all ages who share your commitment to conserving the Earth's plant and animal species
- Sharing your expertise and developing new skills and interests
- Becoming part of San Francisco Zoo's history
- Contributing to the ongoing development and improvement of the Zoo
- Getting really, really dirty
Who can volunteer?
Adults and children (adult:child ratio must be at least 1 adult per 5 children).
When can I volunteer?
The second Saturday of March, June, September, and December, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am Please be prompt. We will be closing the gates at 8:15. No late entries allowed.
Where do we meet?
Meet by the old entrance gate on Sloat Blvd. and 45th Avenue.
What do I wear?
Something warm and comfortable that you don't mind getting dirty. The Zoo provides tools and work gloves, but if you have work gloves, bring them just in case. Please wear sturdy work shoes.
Have a Question? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsoring a Corporate Renew the Zoo Event
Groups of all sizes can sponsor a private Renew the Zoo day for their companies. At a Corporate Renew the Zoo day, your group works as a team to complete Zoo projects that ultimately benefit our Bay Area community. In addition to having fun and building team camaraderie, your group receives admission to the Zoo, refreshments and free ride coupons. Zoo staff coordinate each event to make sure that your group enjoys its day at the Zoo.
Have a Question? E-mail email@example.com.
Sign up now:
Pre-registration is required
Sign up individually, although families may register as a group. When you register, you will receive an email confirmation. Please do not attend unless your registration has been confirmed. Print and bring your e-mailed registration to the event.