Volunteer Placements

Our volunteer placements are a great opportunity if you are looking to build upon an animal management qualification and pursue a career working with wild animals. Don’t take our word for it though! See what our previous volunteer placements have to say about their time at Dartmoor Zoo and then read how you can apply below….

“In the summer of 2017, I had the fantastic opportunity of carrying out a 3-month volunteer placement at Dartmoor Zoological Park. I had never worked in a zoological environment before, so I didn’t really know what to expect! However, from my first day I knew that this was definitely the career path that I wanted to take!

What made the placement so enjoyable is that I was able to work with all of the animals, it was very hands on and all of the people that I came into contact with during my placement couldn’t have been more friendly or helpful! I felt like I was part of the Dartmoor Zoological Park family! I learnt so many new skills and gained an unbelievable amount of knowledge, which has helped me to achieve my ambition of becoming a zookeeper!”

“The placement at Dartmoor significantly increased my practical experience not only in terms of hours, but range of species worked with; I hadn’t previously worked with hoof stock or large carnivores. I’ve learnt a huge amount about how to care for a wide range of different species, especially their different nutritional requirements. Also, how the use of enrichment devices can be used to present their diet in a way that encourages desirable natural behaviours. I would highly recommend volunteering as its very enjoyable and rewarding experience, I have learnt a lot from the keeping team. “

“My volunteer placement at Dartmoor zoo was a wonderful experience, all the staff at the zoo were very welcoming and supportive. It was the perfect opportunity to expand my skills and also work in an area I am highly passionate about. During my placement I worked with a range of exciting species, I was trained to complete the bird and mammal rounds independently.

I loved getting to know each animal’s individual character; these included Mapachee (raccoon) and Buzz (macaw). Dartmoor zoo was a great starting place in my career as it provided me with all kinds of experiences – from catching the goats and trimming their hooves, to cleaning out all the big cat enclosures. I particularly enjoyed coming up with creative enrichment ideas, then seeing the animals figuring them out.

All this valuable experience was a big help in getting a keeper job, as it gave me an edge over all the other candidates. I use my experience from Dartmoor to help me in my new job as an animal keeper. I would not hesitate to do a placement at Dartmoor, I was very lucky to meet such incredible animals and work alongside many highly skilled keepers.”

To find out more about what’s involved, and see if the placement might be right for you, please view the role description: CLICK HERE.

We are currently accepting applications of a letter and CV for the following dates:

  • June 2022 (for 3, 6 or 9 months)

Please clearly state which position and dates you are applying for, and send your application to hannah.webb@dartmoorzoo.co.uk

These positions require a minimum commitment of 3 days per week.