John Ball Zoo

Animal Care Volunteers

Do you have an interest in working with animals or in an animal-related career? Then the Animal Care Team may be just right for you! This volunteer program allows you to experience what it takes to care for the animals here at John Ball Zoo. From shoveling animal waste and cleaning animal viewing areas to preparing diets the animal care team is a wonderful opportunity for those who are passionate about caring for animals. Openings are limited by schedules and staff needs. Shifts are 2 hours minimum and must be regular and consistent, i.e. every week at the same time. 

Animal Care training classes are typically offered in spring, early summer and fall. 


Individuals, 18 years of age or older, with an interest in animals, animal care, or animal related career - no experience necessary!


To assist zookeepers (who currently care for approximately 2,000 animals at the Zoo) with many of their day-to-day duties and to continue to provide the highest standard of care for the Zoo's animals

When can you be an Animal Care Volunteer

7 days a week. Even when the Zoo closes in the winter our animals are still here and still need food and clean up. A minimum commitment of, ideally, 6 months is preferred. A regular consistent weekly schedule is required. 

Possible Duties:

  • Prepare animal meals/diets
  • Clean around animal viewing areas
  • Haul feed and bedding materials; stock grain storage areas
  • Clean behind the scenes and keeper work areas of the Zoo
  • Assist our zookeepers in many different ways!

Requirements to be an Animal Care Volunteer

Must be 18 years of age or older
Ability to tolerate the sometimes physically strenuous and demanding requirements of the activities. 
For more information or to schedule an interview please contact 616-336-4317 or email

Volunteer Application