Hoofstock Intern

An offering by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

SCHEDULE: Each Internship session, Spring, Summer, and Fall, is 13 weeks long. All interns must be available during this time.
•Orientation: First day of each semester from 9am-4pm. All interns must be available to attend orientation in-person.
•Weekly Schedule: Must be available to work 28-32 hours per week; unpaid. Interns must be available to attend Tuesday OR Thursday afternoon professional development sessions starting the second week of their internship. Must be willing to work weekends and holidays. Schedules will be determined before internships begin by working with the Volunteer Manager and animal area supervisors.

DESCRIPTION: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is seeking an intern in the Hoofstock Department. As part of one of the largest animal care departments at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Hoofstock Interns will assist in and learn about the care of large mammals, including Giraffe, Okapi, Sable Antelope, Eastern Bongo, Cheetah, Impala, Plains Zebra, Indian Rhino, White Rhino, Yellow-Backed Duiker, Sichuan Takin, Goral, Pere David Deer, Tufted Deer, and LesserKudu. Hoofstock interns participate regularly in guest interactions on a variety of topics, demonstrating strong interpersonal skills with both guests and staff. Interns will work at an efficient pace caring for over 60 large mammals, developing a basis of knowledge on the care and welfare of each species.

•Develop, work on, and present an internship project aligned with the research needs of animal care staffing the Hoofstock Department.
•Attend weekly professional development sessions.
•Complete learning goals on internship checklist.
•Participate in and complete a mid-point and final evaluation.
•Assist in and complete tasks as assigned, including but not limited to:
-Cleaning and general maintenance of the exhibits and building.
-Daily care of animal collection.
-Animal enrichment.
-Monitoring behavior and changes in animal health.
-Diet preparation and feeding.
-Develop a basis of knowledge and care for all animals in the OHDZA Hoofstock collection.
-Engaging the public through Keeper Talks and regular guest interaction.
-At times, interns may be required to work in other areas of the zoo to help complete tasks, such as unloading hay trailers or work crews.
-This position offers very limited direct animal interactions and no participation in animal training. Interns will be provided opportunities to observe e animal care staff demonstrate proper animal handling/restraint techniques and operant conditioning training techniques when applicable. Interns are responsible for learning and modelling appropriate behavior around animals at all times
-Other duties may be assigned.
•Must be at least 18 years old.
•Must follow safety guidelines and always demonstrate safe working practices. This includes following appropriate health protocols and requirements set by the zoo and the hoofstock department. Failure to do so will result in restriction of abilities and, in some circumstances, termination.
•Must have effective time management skills for working in a fast-paced and flexible work environment.
•Must possess strong communication skills; Communicate frequently and in a professional manner with supervisor and team members.
•Must work well with others and have the ability to work independently. •Must be team-oriented and willing to work with other interns, volunteers, and staff members to further not only the goals of the Department but also of the Zoo’s Mission Statement.
•Must attend shifts on time and as scheduled. •Must have the ability to follow detailed instructions.
•Must complete a TB Test before beginning internship

EXPERIENCE: Previous experience working with hoofstock or at an AZA institution is preferred, but not required.

EDUCATION: Interns must be currently enrolled in, or have recently graduated from, a college or university. A minimum of one year of coursework in a major field of study to be applied during the internship (e.g. biology, zoology, animal behavior, etc.) is preferred. Knowledge of hoofstock natural history, biology, captive husbandry, and conservation issues preferred. Must be motivated to continue expanding knowledge base as it applies to hoofstock.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: This position requires considerable physical exertion, such as lifting heavy objects (up to 50-100 pounds), and/or assuming awkward positions. This position also requires working in hot and humid conditions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider these physical requirements before applying for an internship in this area. Interns that are not able to meet the physical requirements for the position may be reassigned to another department.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Routine exposure to hot and humid conditions. May be asked to work outdoors in adverse weather conditions.

PUBLIC CONTACT: Interns will interact with the public frequently throughout their internship and are expected to always exhibit professionalism and exceptional customer service. Interns may be asked to engage in public speaking opportunities, including but not limited to informal educational presentations for the public.
Unpaid, Year-long
Omaha, NE
Start Date
1st February, 2022
End Date
29th April, 2022
Start Time
12:00 AM
End Time
12:00 AM
Science - Animal