at Quito Zoo and with the Fundación Zoológico del
(Zoological Foundation of Ecuador) are currently under review, details
can be found on
the Zoo's website, www.quitozoo.org.
It may also be worth
getting in touch with the well-respected zoo
the Eco Zoológico San Martin, which is known for its
conservation efforts, to ask about volunteer opportunities.
probably worth avoiding the overcrowded aquarium opposite it as,
despite claiming to work in conservation, there is no evidence of this
and staff there are unable or unwilling to answer questions).
volunteer programs often
book up well ahead of time, so prospective interns and volunteers are
advised to apply several months in advance if possible. It is
probably not too early to apply 12 months in advance for a summer
internship at a zoo, though its still worth enquiring at
the last-minute. "Summer" internships depend where
you're from: roughly December to February for the
Australasians, or for European interns, June to
internships, like most sustainable volunteering opportunities in
countries such as Ecuador, require the volunteer or intern to
make a contribution to help cover their costs. Volunteers and
interns are effectively
"buying" experience to help them get ahead in their future zoo career
(though there's still the hard work to do too...). Zoo intern
here are a worthwhile investment as a way out of the
chicken-and-egg situation of trying to get into such a popular and
competitive field as working in a zoo without zoo work experience.
animal welfare and public safety may depend
volunteers understanding instructions properly, zoo volunteers almost
need to speak at least some Spanish.
professionals or qualified vets are likely to be especially welcome to
volunteer. Zoo volunteering can be very rewarding, but
volunteers with no relevant experience should be realistic about what
they can offer, and not expect much contact with the animals,
especially if without any relevant studies (e.g. zoology, biology,
animal nutrition, veterinary studies, etc.).
leave home without
insurance for zoo volunteers and interns,
many insurers may view a volunteer placement or intership abroad as
work rather than holiday,
and insist on a
Volunteer & Internship
Current zoo internships, opportunities for volunteering with zoo
animals, vet intern and summer
internships and volunteer programs with zoos in Ecuador.
can be taken for the content of external websites. Evaluate
potential zoo volunteer opportunities and internships
carefully before making your application.