Close Encounters & Marine Mammals Program Internship

The Close Encounters & Marine Mammals internship is a unique opportunity to support interpretive naturalists in two different animal management programs.

The Close Encounters Program provides engaging, on-site animal experiences to Zoo guests by offering enrichment, training, and Ambassador Animal programs.  Staff and Ambassador Animals participate in encounters with guests around the Zoo, and participate in multi-species educational and conservation programs at the Zoo’s Lakeside Terrace and Discovery Bay Stadium.  The Close Encounters Ambassador Animals collection includes nearly 20 different species.  Among these are an African crested porcupine, an African grey parrot, an American kestrel, a North American beaver, an Eastern Screech Owl, a striped skunk, a tamandua, a three-banded armadillo, a two-toed sloth, a black-and-white tegu, and a pancake tortoise.

The Marine Mammals work area is responsible for the daily management and care of the Zoo’s three male Northern Sea Otters and two female Hawaiian Monk Seals.  The Zoo’s Hawaiian Monk Seals are the only ones exhibited in mainland North America.  This species is one of the most critically endangered marine mammals in the world.

The Close Encounters & Marine Mammals intern will help to prepare diets, assist in cleaning kitchen and animal areas, and develop animal enrichment.  They may have opportunities to observe training sessions with the seals, and will support the interpretive programs staff deliver to Zoo guests.

Close Encounters & Marine Mammals Internship Working Conditions

  • Schedule
    • 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
    • 12 weeks long (June 2, 2020 to August 22, 2020)
  • Location
    • Indoors in the main Zoo building and the marine mammals kitchen
    • May include outdoor presentations at the Zoo’s Lakeside Terrace (summers only)
  • Activity Level
    • Medium level of physical activity required, including walking indoors and outdoors; standing to prepare diets; crouching, bending, stretching, etc. to maintain sanitary and safe work and public areas
  • Animal Husbandry – Collection Interpretation work task distribution
    • Interns in the placement should expect to perform more tasks associated with animal care than with public engagement