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Elephant/Rhino Internship - Summer 2020
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Job Description

Elephant/Rhino Internship -- Summer 2020

Internship Period: May 26, 2020-August 29, 2020

Deadline to Apply: March 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET

Please note: If you are seeking an Animal Care internship, do not apply for more than two opportunities within the same term. Applying to more than two areas may disqualify the candidate from further consideration.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is currently seeking enthusiastic and motivated individuals interested in learning about the Animal Care field.


The Elephant/Rhino Internship at ZooTampa at Lowry Park is designed for those who are interested in a career in large mammal management. Our interns work side-by-side with experienced animal care staff every day. Interns will be exposed to all aspects of the daily care and training of African elephants and white rhinos. ZooTampa's Elephant/Rhino program is a protected contact system managed through positive reinforcement focused operant conditioning. The successful candidate will be responsible for assisting with the daily care and husbandry of African elephants, Kenyan impala, Nile Lechwe, Grevy's zebras and Southern white rhinos.

An intern in this department can expect to learn the following:

* Assist in diet preparation, feeding, exhibit maintenance, cleaning, record keeping and other area responsibilities.
* Assist animal care staff in implementing enrichment for various species.
* Complete supplemental work sheets and quizzes as assigned.
* Participate in trainer lecture series given by the animal care staff.
* Participate in behavioral observations and data collection/entry (as required).
* Develop and give educational presentation(s) on microphone for zoo guests.
* Develop fundamental understanding of operant conditioning.
* Assist animal care staff in training sessions.


* High school diploma or GED required.
* Applicants currently pursuing a degree in any of the biological or life sciences are preferred.
* Potential academic credit may be available subject to program eligibility requirements.
* Possess a sincere desire to work with both animals and guests.
* Excellent communication and customer relations skills.
* Ability to effectively work independently and within a team.
* Must be able to multi-task.
* Must have the ability to follow specific instructions and also be comfortable self-directing.
* Ability to communicate ideas and contribute effectively.
* Must be at least 18 years of age.

Required Availability:

* Must be able to commit to a 14 week internship.
* Must be able to commit to a schedule of 30 hours per week.
* Schedule is typically ten hour days (7:30 AM. to 6:00 PM).
* Must be available to work weekends and night events if needed.

Physical Requirements:

* Ability to work in extreme weather conditions typical to west central Florida (i.e., heat, rain or cold).
* Must have physical endurance for long high volume days and be able to stand/walk for long periods of time.
* Must be able to lift 50 pounds and move heavy objects.

Additional Requirements:

If an internship offer is made, it is contingent on:

* Candidates seeking academic credit must have arrangements agreed upon between the Zoo and their school before beginning the internship.
* All offers are contingent on the successful completion of a criminal background screening and execution of a required hold harmless/liability release agreement.
* Candidate will be responsible for the cost of the background check (typically $25 but certain jurisdictions may have additional fees).
* Contingent upon receipt of documentation of negative TB test within the last 6 months and Tetanus vaccination within the last 5 years.
* Interns must have personal health insurance coverage for illness or injury (as volunteers and interns are not covered by the Zoo workers' compensation program).

Applicants must submit an Internship Application, cover letter and resume in order to be considered for a position.


Internships are unpaid and are designed to meet academic requirements, as applicable, and provide valuable real-world experience for participants. Successful completion of an internship may also yield letters of recommendation, a portfolio of their work when applicable and important networking contacts.

Please Note: Interns must make their own accommodation and transportation arrangements. This is an unpaid internship.

Please visit https://zootampa.org/intern-at-zootampa/ for more information.