Friends of the Zoo

2t4jan7hkn julie larsen maher 6327 friends of the zoo zoo center foz with visitors and dromedary camel bz 09 28 06
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Our volunteer docents are enthusiastic adults, ages 22 and up, who can serve weekdays or weekends for a minimum of two years. Weekday docents serve one day per week; weekend docents serve one day every other weekend. Docents enjoy free admission to WCS's four zoos and the aquarium in New York. They also receive continuing education courses on wildlife biology, and discounts at WCS gift shops.

What are some of the responsibilities?

  • Offer guided tours of zoo exhibits to schoolchildren, organized groups, and families
  • Work as exhibit interpreters in exhibits throughout the park, providing visitors with valuable lessons that promote wildlife conservation
  • Assist the Education Department with our environmental education programs
  • Help to facilitate special events (Members' Nights, Overnight Safaris, etc.)

What is the training?

To become a Friend of the Zoo, you need to pass an interview, participate in a three-month period of activities and in-park observation, and successfully complete a three-month training course.

Our staff in the Education Department and other Friends of the Zoo will mentor trainees. As a trainee, you'll attend 8-10 days of classes and exhibit tours. The training course will also include homework and a 10-minute final presentation. The goals of the six-month training program are:

  • To acquaint you with the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Friends of the Zoo
  • To orient you to the facilities and policies of the Bronx Zoo
  • To help you learn about the animals and exhibits
  • To help you to feel comfortable as a member of the volunteer organization
  • To provide the skills necessary for interacting with visitors to the Zoo

Class Days

All class days for both weekday and weekend trainees will be on Sundays from 9:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m. There will be 8–10 class days in the fall.

Volunteer service begins in March of the following year.

The first step to becoming a Friend of the Zoo is to fill out the online application. Click on the link below and get started! We will contact you when the next recruitment program begins.

Volunteer Application Form

For further information contact the docent office at the Bronx Zoo at (718) 220-5141 or foz@wcs.org.

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