Volunteer Programs

If you have a sincere interest in animals and conservation, enjoy working with people, and are enthusiastic and dependable, our Volunteer Programs are for you.


Adult Volunteers


Teen Volunteers

Renew the Zoo

Leadership Fellowship and Conservation Corps Programs:

The Leadership Fellows program is designed for students ages 14+.  Fellows assist Summer Zoo Camp teachers with activities such as tours, crafts, games, and helping zoo campers explore the world of animals and conservation.

Application Process:
1. Please fill out an online application here.
2. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.


Program Requirements:
1. Student must be 14 years old by June 1, 2023.
2. Students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination.

Have a Question?
Please email [email protected].

Leadership Fellows Schedule:

Dates: June 19 – August 11
Volunteers select a 3-week session (there will not be Zoo Camp the week of July 4)

Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4 PM assisting with Zoo Camp.

Fellows may volunteer for more than 3 weeks with an optional additional week, to be determined, doing conservation/enrichment volunteer work.

Fee: There is no fee associated with this program.

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.

Participation means:

  • 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 November, 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 at the main entrance to the Zoo near the ticketing windows. 

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 [email protected].

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 free admission to the Zoo. Zoo staff coordinate each event to make sure that your group enjoys its day at the Zoo.

Have a Question? E-mail [email protected].

Volunteer Dates
Please be prompt. We will be closing the gates at 8:15. No late entries allowed.

Saturday, March 11, 8 am – 11 am (Canceled – rain out)

Saturday, June 10, 8 am – 11 am (SOLD OUT)

Saturday, September 9, 8 am – 11 am

To sign up e-mail [email protected]


Adult Volunteers

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 Adult Volunteers*:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must attend a volunteer orientation.
  • After being accepted into one of our volunteer areas, you must successfully pass a background check. There is a non-refundable administration fee for the background check. Additional fee for international background checks.
  • There is a uniform fee of $30.00.
  • A minimum commitment of 6 months.

Meet at the bronze tiger statue in the Entry Village circle at 9:50am. Orientations are from 10am – 12noon. Please be on time; late arrivals will not be allowed to attend the orientationYou do not need to pay for zoo admission or parking to attend the orientation.

*These opportunities are only for individual volunteers. If you are looking for group volunteer opportunities, please see Renew the Zoo.

Have a Question? E-mail [email protected] or call (415) 753-7122.



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. Attend the Docent Orientation to better understand the Docent Program and Docent responsibilities. To become a docent, you must participate in our training program, offered annually. This 10-week comprehensive course covers public speaking skills, conservation messages, Zoo history and operation, animal care and wellness, and taxonomy. 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 [email protected] or call (415) 753-7122.