Because You Live Here!

Internships

Internships with
EARTH Ltd & Southwick’s Zoo

 Thank you for your interest in an internship with EARTH Limited and Southwick’s Zoo. We are now accepting applications for Spring 2023 and Summer 2023 Animal Care Internships, as well as Summer 2023 Education: Wild Adventure Program Internships. Please make sure that you are submitting the correct application.

Internships with EARTH Ltd and Southwick’s Zoo are a rewarding experience which provides college students and recent college graduates the chance to learn and develop valuable skills while working in a unique setting. If you have any questions regarding internships, please email Dani at Dani@southwickszoo.com. 

Summer internships generally run from mid-May through August and require 200+ hours.  Animal Care interns are required to work at least 2 days each week, including at least one weekend day each week. Each day is about 8 hours long. Wild Adventure Program interns must be available to work at least 3 days, Monday-Friday, from mid-June to mid-August.

Fall internships generally run from late August-November and have a similar schedule, but we can be more flexible with dates.

Requirements for All Internships

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must be a student currently enrolled in college or a recent college graduate. (others may email to inquire if they are eligible to apply)
  • Must be willing and able to work with children of varying ages, as well as adults, in a professional manner.
  • Must be able to take and follow directions to maintain a safe work environment for personnel, visitors, and the animals at the zoo.
  • Interns may be exposed to certain allergens, including (but not limited to) dust, hay, pollen, animal hair, fur, and dander, peanuts and tree nuts. 
  • Must be able to safely lift 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to attend internship training orientation and zoo tour in mid to late May. (summer internships only)
  • Summer interns are required to assist with the Benefit EARTH Bash fundraiser (late June).
  • All summer interns are required to create a project for, and attend, EARTH Awareness Day on (the first Saturday in August).

Benefits of All Internships

  • Discounts for food purchased at the zoo during work hours (does NOT apply to Galliford’s Restaurant).
  • Discounts for gifts purchased at the zoo gift shop.
  • Season’s pass to use for yourself and friends for entrance to the zoo on non-work days (after 2nd week of internship).
  • The opportunity to gain experience and work with a great group of people!

Education Internship

(Available Summer Only)

Goal/Objective: Education interns play an active role with our Summer Wild Adventure Program and help guide and oversee students through their daily adventures.

Availability: Please note that this internship begins in mid-June, however Summer Program interns are still required to attend orientation in May. Must be available to work at least 3 days each week Monday – Friday. This position does not require weekend availability with the exception of Saturday, August 5, 2023 from 10:00am-5:00pm, for EARTH Awareness Day.

2023 Summer Programs Dates:

  • June 19: Camp Setup (10am), Open House (5pm)
  • June 21-23: Oh Behave! Zoo Babies & Animal Behavior (grades 2-6, 9am-12pm)
  • June 26-30: Myths vs Reality (grades 4-6, 9am-4pm)
  • June 26-30: Myths vs. Reality (grades 4-6, 9am-4pm)
  • July 5-7: Teen Zoology (grades 7-10, 9am-4pm)
  • July 5-7: T-Rex to Turkeys (grades K-2, 9am-12pm)
  • July 10-14: Going, going, gone! (grades 2-5, 9am-2pm)
  • July 17-21: Animals, Habitats, and Ecosystems (grades 4-6, 9am-4pm)
  • July 24-28: Teen Zoology (grades 7-10, 9am-4pm)
  • July 24-28: T-Rex to Turkeys (grades K-2, 9am-12pm)
  • July 31-August 4: Teen Zoology (grades 7-10, 9am-4pm)
  • August 7-11: Going, going, gone! (grades 2-5, 9am-2pm)
  • August 14: Camp Clean Up & Inventory (10am)

Requirements:

  • Must be available to work at least 3 days each week, Monday – Friday, from mid-June through August. This position does not require weekend availability with the exception of Saturday, August 5, 2023 for EARTH Awareness Day.
  • Prior experience working with children preferred. Experience with animals is a plus, but not required.
  • Must be comfortable working with children of varying ages (grades K-10).
  • Students pursuing a degree related to education, biology, environmental science, or a related field are preferred. Must be able to be in close proximity to hay and shavings and other possible allergens, such as: dust, mold, and grass.

Wild Adventure Summer Program interns will:

  • Provide support to program staff and assist with daily tasks including: set-up/clean-up, planning, organization, and running activities such as crafts
  • Enthusiastically engage students in a schedule of crafts, activities, animal encounters, and zoo tours
  • Present animals and exhibits in an interactive format that engages children
  • Design and conduct age-appropriate activities for groups of children
  • Ensure the safety of all students and help maintain a safe environment for students, zoo visitors, and the animals
  • Build and maintain a good rapport with students and parents
  • Encourage the children to develop an interest in and appreciation for science and learning
  • Chaperone students on excursions during the Teen Zoology weeks
  • Develop a project to present on EARTH Awareness Day

Please note, this is an education position, and does not involve any animal care.

Deadline to apply: March 15, 2023.

Animal Care Internships

Requirements for all Animal Care Interns:

  • Animal care interns will be required to attend an animal training class conducted over Zoom (early June)
  • Summer applicants must be available to work at least 2 days each week, including at least one weekend day, from Mid-May through August. Fall applicants must be available at least 2 days each week.
  • Must be able to safely lift 50lbs.
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time and work in varying weather conditions including heat and rain.
  • Must be able to crawl, climb, and reach to clean low and “awkward” areas.
  • Must be able to be in close proximity to hay and shavings and other possible allergens including pollen, animal hair, fur, and dander, peanuts and tree nuts.
  • Please note: Animal Care internships are zookeeping focused. Though interested interns are invited to view and/or participate in veterinary appointments and procedures, this is not a veterinary medicine focused experience.

Animal Ambassador & Reptile Internship

Goal/Objective: Animal Ambassador & Reptile department interns have a dual focus on animal care and education. Interns learn proper animal husbandry and animal handling techniques to assist staff with daily animal care and education programs. Interns will work in the EARTH Discovery Center, Reptile & Insect Building, and various exhibits throughout the zoo. Interns also interact with the zoo’s visitors and assist with other tasks as needed.

Animals: The EARTH department currently cares for 28 reptile species, 14 mammal species, 10 invertebrate species, 4 amphibian species, and 1 bird species (over 150 individuals)

Animal Ambassador & Reptile interns will:

  • Assist with animal husbandry for reptiles, small mammals, amphibians, invertebrates, and exotic birds (cleaning, diet preparation, etc.)
  • Design and construct animal enrichment
  • Observe and assist with animal training through positive reinforcement
  • Observe veterinary consultations/procedures and assist with medication administration, as needed
  • Keep daily records in Animal Care Software
  • Help with upkeep of the EARTH Discovery Center and Reptile & Insect building (raking, sweeping, mopping, dusting, etc.)
  • Transport animals throughout the zoo
  • Work as a conscientious educator interacting with zoo visitors and answering questions
  • Present an animal or biofact at the “Ask a Zoo Crew” stage
  • Assist with preparation of live animal presentations
  • Accompany staff on off-site ZooMobile programs, as needed
  • Complete a (group) project for EARTH Awareness Day.

Bird Keeper & Training Internship

Goal/Objective: Interns in the Bird department will learn proper bird handling and training techniques, leaving with a working knowledge of avian behavior and classical and operant conditioning. Interns will learn to apply science based positive reinforcement to train a number of different husbandry, veterinary, and show behaviors. These skills will be developed by providing an exceptional level of care to our show and exhibit birds through relationship building, basic husbandry care, and enrichment.

Animals: The Bird department currently cares for 20 different bird species (over 40 individuals, in addition to over 100 parakeets and cockatiels in Parakeet Aviary). Species include a variety of parrots, a kookaburra, a pied crow, Eurasian eagle owls, red- legged seriemas, turkeys, and Emus. 

Bird interns will:

  • Clean cages of, and prepare diets for, show birds and exhibit birds
  • Assist with daily husbandry projects
  • Create and distribute enrichment to all birds daily
  • Assist with handling the birds during husbandry procedures and educational programs
  • Assist in transporting ambassadors to show/exhibit locations
  • Provide a support role in the zoo’s formal bird show
  • Interact with the public before and after each show
  • Assist staff with informal Keeper Chat presentations on site
  • Assit in training new show and husbandry behaviors
  • Keep records of training, enrichment, and daily happenings in Animal Care Software
  • Construct a staff-approved training or behavior modification plan for a bird of your choice
  • Complete a (group) project for EARTH Awareness Day

Primate Department Internship

Goal/Objective: Interns in the Primate department will actively participate in animal care and help maintain all primate exhibits as well as additional exhibits throughout the zoo, along with some grounds maintenance.

Animals: The Primate department currently cares for 17 primate species, 2 marsupial species, 4 large rodent species, and 2 reptile species (over 130 individuals)

Primate interns will:

  • Ensure the safety of zoo visitors, primate keepers, and primates
  • Assist with animal husbandry for numerous primates and other animals throughout the zoo (cleaning, food prep, etc.)
  • Design and construct animal enrichment
  • Help with upkeep of zoo grounds
  • Assist with training of certain animals
  • Assist with veterinary procedures and consultations. Administer medications, as needed
  • Complete a (group) project for EARTH Awareness Day

Hoofstock Department Internship

Goal/Objective: Interns in the Hoofstock department will actively participate in animal care and help maintain all hoofstock and big cat exhibits as well as additional exhibits throughout the zoo, along with some grounds maintenance.

Animals: The Hoofstock department currently cares for over 20 hoofstock species, 20 bird species, and 6 large carnivore species (over 360 individuals)

Hoofstock interns will:

  • Ensure the safety of zoo visitors, hoofstock keepers, and animals
  • Assist with animal husbandry for numerous hoofstock and other animals throughout the zoo (cleaning, food prep, etc.)
  • Help with upkeep of zoo grounds
  • Complete a (group) project for EARTH Awareness Day.

Deadline to Apply: March 15, 2023

Rolling interviews/acceptance.

This application is for Spring 2023 applicants ONLY.

FAQs

Common questions regarding our internships are answered below. If you have any additional questions, please email Dani at: Dani@southwickszoo.com

How long do the internships last?

Most Summer internships require 300 hours. Animal Care interns are required to work at least 2 days each week, including at least one weekend day each week. Each day is about 8 hours long. Wild Adventure Program interns have different start/end dates and work schedules than Animal Care interns. Fall internships have a similar schedule, but we can be flexible with dates.

Do you only offer internships during the summer when the zoo is open?

Our summer internships are the most popular, however we do offer internships during the spring, fall, and winter. These internships typically focus more on caring for animals during the off-season and assisting with ZooMobiles. They involve less visitor interaction since the zoo closes for the season after October and remains closed until early April. Spring Internships go from March-May; Summer Internships go from May-August; Fall internships go from August-November. Spring animal care internship positions are limited, so please email lauren@southwickszoo.com if interested.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be currently enrolled in college or recent college graduates. Applicants must also be at least 18 years of age.

If you do not fit this criteria but feel your skillset qualifies you for this internship, please email to inquire.

Can I get time off for vacation?

All requests for vacation time must be submitted at the start of your internship. The deadline for Spring/Summer interns to request vacation time is June 9. The deadline for Fall interns to request vacation time is two weeks in advance of vacation.

What if the position I apply for is already filled?

Certain departments have fewer openings than others. If your desired position is no longer available, and we feel you are well suited for another, we may offer you an internship in another department.

Are internships paid?

Our internships are unpaid and are completed for college credit only. However, they offer valuable hands on experience in a fun environment.

Is an in-person interview required?

If you are within driving distance to the zoo, an in-person interview will be requested. Accomidations for a zoom interview will be made for those applicants outside of this radius.

What is EARTH Ltd. Awareness Day?

EARTH Awareness Day is an annual event at the zoo that takes place on the first Saturday of August. The purpose of the event is to give visitors a fun way to learn about conservation and environmental issues. In addition to local organizations and vendors that will be located throughout the zoo, interns will be presenting their EARTH Awareness Day project. Working in some groups, interns will collaborate on a conservation topic and develop and interactive learning activity to present to the public on EARTH Awareness Day. . Staff in each department will help guide interns in developing and completing their projects.
(Note: EARTH Awareness Day is a requirement for all Spring/Summer interns)

Located at Southwick’s Zoo

2 Southwick’s Street

Mendon, MA 01756

1-800-258-9182

 

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