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Wildlife Champions


Do you love to teach people? Do you love to talk animals and conservation? Then Wildlife Champion is for you!

Wildlife Champions (WC) use information sheets and artifact carts to share animal, habitat, and conservation information with guests on grounds during the course of the day. They may also attend on/off grounds events as well. Being a WC is bout helping guests connect with our animals, learn about zoos, and make good conservation choices. All new WC’s undergo a 1hr training with our Education Specialist focusing on empathy development and interpretation techniques. Copies of info sheets are provided ahead of time for study. Volunteers also have access to San Diego Zoo’s Global Academy online – featuring dozens of free courses to help them become more informed WC’s.

Shift Times

Every Day 10AM-12PM, 12-2PM, 2-4PM

Time Commitment

x1/wk minimum commitment for those beginning in mid June through October; every other week minimum commitment for those volunteering the entire March through October season

Age Requirement

10-13yrs w/ parent/guardian; 14yrs+ to volunteer individually
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  • Initiate conversations with interested guests and answer questions about animals, conservation and zoos
  • Learn about HVZ animals and conservation efforts (we provide this information for our volunteers)


  • 4yrs+ to volunteer individually, 10-13yrs to volunteer with a parent/guardian
  • Complete 10hrs of volunteering in a guest-facing role (Goat Yard, Gate Greeting, or Train/Carousel)
  • Complete 1hr empathy/interpretation training with our Education Specialist (Zoom sessions held regularly throughout the year)
  • Comfortable with public speaking, crowds, and starting conversations with strangers
  • Enjoy teaching your community about animals, conservation and zoos


General orientation (online), empathy/interpretation course (online), role-specific training (on site), mentoring


Meet people with similar interests, build Zoo, animal, and volunteer experience on your resume, and network with the community; help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer nametag and t-shirt, regular educational volunteer meetings, and recognition events

Reports To

Henry Vilas Zoo Volunteer Coordinator