Volunteer Information and Training Materials

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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