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Zoo Volunteer
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Volunteers in the zoo vet clinic, preparing enrichment items for the zoo animals
Jaguar enjoying an enrichment activity at Quito Zoo, Ecuador
Conservation volunteer noting observation data on condor project.
Endangered Andean condor at Quito Zoo, Ecuador.
Zoo volunteer task: maintenance workers mending fence
Spectacled bear at Quito Zoo, Ecuador.

 Zoo volunteer opportunities include behavioral observation for conservation, zoo animal nutrition, marketing, general zoo volunteering and opportunities for vet interns.



Zoo Volunteer Opportunities in Ecuador
Zoo volunteer and internship programs at Quito Zoo and with the Fundación Zoológico del Ecuador (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 in Baños, the Eco Zoológico San Martin, which is known for its conservation efforts, to ask about volunteer opportunities.  (It's 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).
Zoo internships and 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 September.
Most zoo volunteer opportunities and internships, like most sustainable volunteering opportunities in developing 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 jobs 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.  
Since animal welfare and public safety may depend on volunteers understanding instructions properly, zoo volunteers almost certainly need to speak at least some Spanish.  
Experienced zoo professionals or qualified vets are likely to be especially welcome to volunteer.  Zoo volunteering can be very rewarding, but would-be interns or 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.).
Don't leave home without suitable travel insurance for zoo volunteers and interns, remembering that many insurers may view a volunteer placement or intership abroad as work rather than holiday, and insist on a different policy.  
Zoo Volunteer & Internship Opportunities in Ecuador
Current zoo internships, opportunities for volunteering with zoo animals, vet intern and summer internships and volunteer programs with zoos in Ecuador.  No responsibility can be taken for the content of external websites.  Evaluate potential zoo volunteer opportunities and internships carefully before making your application.