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Volunteer Information
and Training Materials

Volunteer Application

Looking for lively, energetic volunteers to present on-grounds programs to our zoo guests!

Programs that you can be certified to present:
Sea Lion Training
Elephant Training
Giraffe Encounter
Lion Training

And more

If interested please let Toni Marie know and she will pass your names along to the Education Department at 915-351-5340.

Volunteer Program Overview
Thank you for visiting our website and for your interest in wanting to become a zoo volunteer. Most of our volunteer assignments are completed by volunteers working one-on-one with staff members. To qualify volunteers must be at least 18 years old, complete an application and attend an interview. For more information call the Volunteer Office at 915-351-5340.

Next Step After Orientation
When you have completed your interview and have attended an orientation session at the Zoo CLICK HERE to begin the e-learning training. PLEASE NOTE: All paperwork must be turned in and your background check processed before you can begin volunteering at the Zoo. You are welcome to read over the e-learning pages now, but please do not answer the questions until you have completed your first orientation session.

The El Paso Zoo
Education Program: Volunteer Guidelines

Thanks for your interest in volunteering at the El Paso Zoo. Our mission is "to celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and to create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature" and volunteers like you can make a real difference.

In helping the Zoo achieve its mission the Education Team:

-presents informal and formal scheduled animal encounter programs,
-provides educational experiences inside four different discovery centers,
-provides content for educational graphics on Zoo grounds and the Zoo's website,
-partners with related conservation education organizations in El Paso, the surrounding region and internationally,
-and leads a conservation take action program on Zoo grounds.

The e-learning program on the Zoo's website is designed to help people who want to volunteer with the Education team to understand the opportunities available at the Zoo and to help them learn more about the animals. The e-learning will also help new recruits qualify to take Education Animal Handling Training.

STEP 1:   Let's Get Started

New volunteers who complete an application, attend an interview and orientation session, turn in all their paperwork and have completed the e-learning training, will be invited to participate as a volunteer with the Zoo Education Program. You are welcome to read over the e-learning pages now, but please do not answer the questions until you have completed your first orientation session. All new volunteers will have to pass a background check and have all of their vaccinations in order (Cleared with Negative TB test within the past year and Tetanus within the last 10 years). Volunteer Application

When you are ready to get started the Volunteer Coordinator will help you connect with Zoo staff. Those who decide to work with Education staff members will learn how to help with Animal Encounter programs and assist our guests when they visit our four discovery centers (EPWU Discovery Education Center, Paraje, Asia and Kalahari). All volunteers who want to work with animals at the Zoo must qualify for the Animal Training Class by meeting the minimum requirements set by the Volunteer Coordinator. Those who prefer not to work with animals may request working with Facilities and Maintenance, the Commissary or ADMIN. Opportunities in these areas do not require that you complete the e-learning program or become a Zoo Education Volunteer.

STEP 2:   Become a Zoo Education Volunteer!

Those volunteers who complete e-learning, which takes just a few hours, can immediately start working to asssist the Education Team. The Volunteer Coordinator will let you know what opportunities are available and how you can sign up.

STEP: 3   Qualify to become an Animal Handler

The Education Program oversees an Education Animal Collection separate from the Zoo's much larger exhibit collection in the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center. These animals are cared for by Area 2 Keeper Staff. Volunteers are needed to help the Education Specialist present these animals to zoo visitors as part of informal and formal animal encounter programs. To qualify to become part of the Animal Handling Team a volunteer must first become an Animal Encounter Team member.

Once a new volunteer has met the requirements to become a member of the Animal Encounter Team he or she will be ready to join the next Education Animal Handling Training. In between training sessions (we need at least 10 team members to offer a training session) Animal Encounter Team members can also learn one-on-one how to handle our education animals by shadowing and assisting Education Specialists conducting their daily programs. To work with an Education Specialist one-on-one the volunteer must first contact the Volunteer Coordinator who will then contact the Education Curator to see if an Education Specialist has the time to train the volunteer one on one. Education Curator may schedule special volunteer training sessions if needed/when needed.

STEP: 4   For those on a career track or wanting to help the Zoo at a higher level

Are you pursuing a career in biology, zoology, conservation, or are you interested in a certain area, or are you a very committed volunteer? If you are you can also work towards qualifying to being trained to assist with our advanced Americas Education, Asia Education, Africa Education and Water Education programs. For more information about the Education Team and the Zoo Education program contact Rick LoBello, Curator of Education, by calling 915-521-1881 or by e-mail at

Volunteer Training Documents

Past Issues of the Pachyderm Press

Past issues of the volunteer newsletter called the Pachyderm Press offer a history of the volunteer program at the Zoo over the past decade.

August 2010 Open Document
May 2010 Open Document
April 2010 Open Document
March 2010 Open Document
February 2010 Open Document
January 2010 Open Document
December 2009 Open Document
November 2009 Open Document
October 2009 Open Document
July 2009 Open Document
June 2009 Open Document
March 2009 Open Document
January 2009 Open Document
February 2009 Open Document
December 2008 Open Document
November 2008 Open Document
October 2008 Open Document
September 2008 Open Document
August 2008 Open Document
July 2008 Open Document
June 2008 Open Document
May 2008 Open Document
April 2008 Open Document
March 2008 Open Document
February 2008 Open Document
January 2008 Open Document
December 2007 Open Document
November 2007 Open Document
October 2007 Open Document
September 2007 Open Document
August 2007 Open Document
July 2007 Open Document
June 2007 Open Document
May 2007 Open Document
April 2007 Open Document
March 2007 Open Document
February 2007 Open Document
January 2007 Open Document
December 2006 Open Document
November 2006 Open Document
October 2006 Open Document
September 2006 Open Document
August 2006 Open Document
July 2006 Open Document
June 2006 Open Document
May 2006 Open Document
April 2006 Open Document
March 2006 Open Document
February 2006 Open Document
January 2006 Open Document
December 2005 Open Document
November 2005 Open Document
October 2005 Open Document
September 2005 Open Document
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• Health Care of Zoo Animals a Top Priority
• Not Your Parent's Zoo
• Education Animal Update
• FREE DVD available on orangutans from Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo
• Malaysian Tiger Action Plan
• Plans for 2009-2010
• In Memory of Chiricahua
• 2009 El Paso Zoo Calendar
• Amur Leopard Update
• Conservation of Black-footed Ferrets
• Dr. Lea Hutchinson recognized as first-ever Director Emeritus of the El Paso Zoo
• Just in Time for the Holidays
• Zoo Night Prowls
• Meet our Artist in Residence - Ibu the Sumatran Orangutan
• Multinational Species Conservation Fund Update
• Boo at the Zoo a Great Success!
• Flying Squad Update
• Elephantine Dental Procedure on Savannah a Success!
• It sure was a great Elephant Festival
• Elephant Festival celebrates world's largest land animal
• New Education Animal Arrivals and Education Animal Handling Update
• Stray Dogs kill Two El Paso Zoo Animals
• Animal Services Captures Two Dogs near Zoo
• Zoo Adventure program to be launched in September
• Hop on over to the Zoo for Frog Fest!
• Message from the Northern Jaguar Project
• Illegal Activity Has Caused Multiple Wolf Deaths
• Conservation Committee approves new projects
• Extinction is forever
• Party for the Planet Picture Album
• Endangered Species Day at the El Paso Zoo, May 16
• El Paso Zoo Society Gala "Africa in El Paso"- May 17
• Volunteer of the Month - Meet Helen Stark
• Education Animal Update
• Bull Snake, Pituophis catenifer say
• El Paso Zoo Event Calendar
• Why is this burrowing owl standing by a drainage pipe?
• Discovery Stations Update
• AAZK Triangle of Love
• A Look into our Future
• El Paso Zoo receives AZA Accreditation
• Girl Scout Troop takes dramatic step to help animals in Indonesia
• Zoo launches Sea Lion Recycling Program
• Volunteer Profile: Jeanette Surface
• Volunteer Profile - Elaine Prensky
• Zoo Support for Elephant Conservation Hits Record Levels
• Juno and Savannah enjoying the day on El Paso's Secret Beach
• Siamang baby brings joy for the New Year
• Zoo to launch new Animal Discovery Program in February
• Save the Orangutan from extinction next time you shop
• Savanna Monitor
• New Education Programming at the El Paso Zoo
• Anyone want to give an elephant a bath?
• Volunteer Profile: Meet Jack Makepeace
• 2008 promises to be an exciting year
• Farewell to "Sheba" the oldest living AZA Zoo Jaguar
• Endangered Species Handbook
• Volunteer Profile: Rosemary Strain
• Zoos will highlight 2008 as the Year of the Frog
• Commitment and Urgent Actions are needed to save the remaining tigers and elephants
• Where do you get your news about animals and conservation efforts?
• Help save trees
• Habitat for Wildlife Weekend March 17-18, 2007
• The Ocean Project
• Focus on the Amur leopard
• Test your elephant IQ
• The Flying Squad
• Test your lizard IQ
• American Association of Zoo Keepers Reform
• Volunteering in the Paraje
• Cornsnake - Elaphe guttata Fact Sheet
• Recycling at the Zoo
• Zoo Volunteer Phone Directory
• Conservation in Action At the El Paso Zoo
• Amur leopard featured on BBC's Planet Earth
• Amur Leopard Fact Sheet
• Loris Confiscations Highlight need for Protection
• Three Eagles, free again!
• Malayan Tigers and Tapirs - Rare species at the Zoo
• Elephants = Passion and Emotion
• Over 500 people visited our Conservation Action Center during Habitat for Wildlife Weekend
• Elephants Will Stay!
• Code Adam Reminder
• Biodiversity Loss is Increasing
• Exhibit Hosting Workshop Planned for next Volunteer Meeting
• Flying Squad
• Dreams of Africa
• Animal Communication
• They're back and they're barking!
• Wildlife News
• Elite rangers take on rebels to end the slaughter of Congo's hippos
• Flying Squad lands a new home in Sumatra
• 60 minutes reports on tiger conservation in India
• Amur Leopard Update
• Elephants released in Tesso Nilo National Park
• Help Wanted - Nominations
• Mexican Wolf Update
• A Rosy Future with the New El Paso Zoo Educator
• Zoo Education Animal Handling Tips
• The Zoo's Elephant Conservation Program is helping to protect one of the most important rainforest ecosystems in the world
• Mexican Wolf Awareness Day - October 15
• Groundbreaking study identifies impact of zoo and aquarium visits
• Asian Elephant-(Elephas maximus) - Fact Sheet
• Acouchi (Myoprocta pratti) - Fact Sheet
• Ibu art and the Orangutan Foundation International
• Learn to present sea lion programs at the Zoo Educator/Volunteer Information
• Mozart helps bereaved Elephant in Croatia
• Members Night
• Tiger News
• Have you seen Inca?
• Mozart helps bereaved elephant in Croatia
• Read the premier Zoo news publication online at
• Traveling Safari brings the Zoo to you!!
• New Graphics Guy
• Welcome Inca
• The Meaning of the word Docent
• Earth Day Weekend Planned for April 22-23
• World zoos and aquariums develop plan to respond to the extinction of frogs
• Guinea Pigs need homes
• Share your cool animal pictures with our readers!
• Books for Zambia Update
• Zoo expansion planning documents near completion
• Habitat for Wildlife Weekend, March 18-19
• Habitat for Wildlife Weekend Planned for March 18-19
• Earth Day Weekend Planning Underway
• Ibu Art and The Orangutan Foundation International
• Zoo Jaguar - First shipment of books sent to Zambia
• Numbers of threatened species by major groups of organisms (1996-2004)
• The Return of a Big Border Cat?
• A Slaughter of California Sea Lions
• National Park in Kenya downgraded to a National Reserve
• NOTICE: New Policy
• Poverty will make the great apes history
• Fourth Annual Elephant Festival Planned for October 1st and 2nd
• Story time at the Zoo
• Farewell to "Raja" the El Paso Zoo's Malayan Tiger
• 8th Annual Elephant Festival
• Meet Your Neighbors
• Exhibit Openings
• Multinational Species Conservation Fund Update
• Animal News
• December Events
• A Happy Birthday to Zoo Volunteers
• More on our new lions
• El Paso Electric Kalahari Research Station
• New Lion Exhibit a big hit at the Zoo
• Giraffes expected to arrive sometime in April
• Life-sized Elephant sculpture display
• March was a record breaking month!
• El Paso Zoo Launches New Website
• Young meerkat dies at the Zoo
• Cocoa the California Sea Lion 1986-2010
• Volunteer Coordinator's Corner
• Say hello to our bachelor herd of giraffes
• What is a Volunteer?
• Join us on facebook


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