Behavior-Management-Internship2Behavioral Husbandry Internship

The Minnesota Zoo strives to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare/well-being, in order to meet the biological, behavioral and social needs of the individual animals.  MN Zoo staff achieve this through behavioral husbandry, or animal enrichment and training.  Behavioral husbandry aims to draw out animals’ natural behaviors and abilities with stimulating environments that provide the animals with behavioral choices and encourage them to explore and interact with their surroundings.  Behavioral husbandry begins at exhibit planning and continues with the day-to-day animal care provided by keepers and interpretive naturalists.

Behavioral Husbandry Interns will be assigned a specific animal (or species) from the Zoo’s collection, and will conduct behavioral observations, record and enter data, work on enrichment initiatives for these animals, and interact with guests by providing interpretive information throughout the Zoo.

Working Conditions:

  • Schedule:
    • 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Sunday through Thursday; 32-40 hours/week; 4 or 5 days/week; 8 hours/day, 12 weeks
    • Schedule may include one weekend day
  • Location:
    • Both indoors and outdoors throughout the Zoo exhibits and grounds
  • Activity Level:
    • Medium level of physical activity required, including extensive walking indoors and outdoors
    • May work outside in the enrichment garden and/or inside using a range of materials (including Paper Mache) to construct enrichment objects
    • Seated deskwork daily
    • Animal observations daily
  • Animal Husbandry-Collection Interpretation work task distribution:
    • Interns in this work area do NOT perform tasks associated with the physical care of animals in the Zoo’s collection
    • Interns may deliver scheduled interpretive talks to the public daily
    • Interns may create enrichment items from Paper Mache, natural materials, and human-made objects identified by zoologist staff