Zookeeper Intern - Louisiana Swamp (Zoo)

Audubon Zoo is accepting applications on a rolling basis for a zookeeper internship program in the Louisiana Swamp department. Interns will have the opportunity to work with a variety of native Louisiana species, including American alligator, North American river otter, bobcat, cougar, raccoon, red fox, and native Louisiana reptiles, amphibians, and aquatics. 

Interns will receive thorough instruction in the basic principles and skills required to care for exotic animals in a modern zoological setting. Interns will work side-by-side with staff and gain valuable hands-on experience in daily exotic animal husbandry and best practices. This internship will teach basic principles such as working safely with exotic animals and following established protocols, exhibit maintenance, diet preparation, animal enrichment, training utilizing operant conditioning, behavioral observation, record keeping, and educational interpretation on natural history and conservation to zoo guests. 

Internships are unpaid positions and last for a minimum of 12 weeks. Although exact start/end dates and schedules are flexible, interns must work either three (3) or four (4) days a week, including some weekends and holidays. Applicants must have current proof of a negative TB test as well as proof of a COVID vaccine. Interns must attend an intern orientation upon initiation of internship. No housing is provided. 

Environment/Working Conditions:
This position involves manual labor and work in all outdoor weather conditions, including but not limited to extreme heat and humidity, precipitation, and freezing temperatures. Interns must be comfortable with physical challenges including, but not limited to, walking/standing for extended periods of time, lifting/carrying/pushing/pulling heavy objects (up to 50 lbs), climbing stairs and ladders, sitting, stooping, kneeling, scrubbing, hosing, raking, etc. Intern must be able to follow both written and verbal instructions and effectively communicate with other staff. Intern must be able to understand and follow all Audubon and departmental safety protocols. Intern must have the ability to use a handheld two-way radio, phone, and common cleaning equipment (brooms, shovels, scrub brushes, etc.) An affinity for animals is required – intern should be comfortable working around animals of all sizes and taxa and be able to demonstrate appropriate behavior.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and be able to pass a background check. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in animal care, conservation, and/or guest engagement. Related coursework and/or previous animal experience is preferred but not required. The ideal candidate is a positive, motivated, hardworking individual with strong observational and communication skills who has the ability to work independently and with a team. Applicants should have an interest in Louisiana environment, culture, and natural history. Applicants should be comfortable with or have a willingness to learn about operating a basic paddle boat and working around water.

How To Apply:

To apply to this internship please send a resume and cover letter outlining your experience and why you are specifically interested in interning with the Louisiana Swamp department to Bryan Whittington at zooswamp@auduboninstitute.org. Please add “Internship Application – Your Name” as the subject. Please indicate your preferred session and/or availability. 

If your preferred placement has been filled, qualified applicants may be referred to other Audubon departments. By submitting application materials, the candidate agrees to release their information to our internship staff.

Internship sessions and deadlines (exact dates are flexible): 
Spring (January to April): Deadline of December 1 
Summer (May to August): Deadline of March 1
Fall (August to November): Deadline of June 1
Winter (November to February): Deadline of September 1