Do you like working with people and learning about animals? Are you in high school? You should try working in Reid Park Zoo’s Zoo Crew! I’ve been in Zoo Crew for a little over six months, and I’m going to tell you about it.
First you need to submit an application to the program. Applications are accepted through the end of March. After you apply, a coordinator may reach out to do an interview. If you get accepted, you attend a four-day training at the zoo. My first day, we did a zoo scavenger hunt in the morning, along with a bingo game. After lunch, we did indoor presentations on conservation, the zoo’s mottos, and about AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums).
The second day, we did a zoo tour in the morning. We did presentations and training on the different animal stations at the zoo. Each group picked an animal to learn about so they can talk to guests about it at the zoo. The third day, we finished our zoo tour and watched elephant training at the zoo! We got to go behind the scenes and watch zookeepers do enrichment with the elephants. We also toured the kitchens and the health center and got to meet an enrichment animal.
The last day, we had our final and we went behind the scenes in the rhino enclosure. At the end of our training, we got checked out for our stations.
My friend Callum and I got checked out for African Wild Dog. Zoo Crew members help at station carts and events, including Boo at the Zoo and Zoo Lights. Those at the highest level get to do animal handling.
Some of my favorite things about being a Zoo Crew member are the hangouts and special events! Members have Zoo Crew only events including hikes, movie nights, and even gingerbread house decorating. Zoo crew is not only a place to meet new animals and learn new information, but also to make new memories.