Volunteer at Brights Zoo

Brights Zoo offers an Adult Volunteer Program with the purpose of augmenting the experience of visitors to the zoo. Volunteers can help through a variety of roles like assisting zoo staff with caring for animals, educating visitors about animal conservation, helping out with special events, and aiding with daily operations. For college students that need community service hours for graduation, we participate in the program and provide opportunities to earn accredited hours towards completion of service hour requirements. 

Get Started
1. View the list of available Volunteer positions and choose one that interests you and matches your skills.
2. Review the FAQs below.
3. Complete the Adult Volunteer Application Form and return to Brights Zoo.
4. Attend a scheduled interview at the Zoo.
5. If selected as a Volunteer, attend an orientation to complete all paperwork and receive materials and uniform.

Volunteer Opportunities

Below is a list of volunteer opportunities at Brights Zoo.

Animal Care

    Animal Care volunteers provide daily care for our animal residents and may perform tasks like:

  • Preparing animal diets
  • Cleaning animal enclosures
  • Providing behavioral enrichment 

Visitor Services

    Visitor Services volunteers assist visitors at Brights Zoo and typical tasks are:

  • Providing directions and maps, and answering questions
  • Assisting visitors with special needs
  • Working in the Gift Shop

Conservation Education

    Conservation Education volunteers teach visitors about animals, habitats, and conservation and might be responsible for:

  • Conducting scheduled tours of the Zoo
  • Assisting in animal demonstrations and classes
  • Providing animal encounters for the Zoo 

What are the requirements for becoming a volunteer?

You must be 18 years of age or older and be able to commit to being a volunteer for at least six months. A valid driver's license is required.

Who can I contact for more information about volunteering?

Call Melinda at 423-257-1927 during regular business hours or use the contact form.


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How do I become a volunteer?

Complete an Adult Volunteer Department Participation application and return to Brights Zoo. The application will be reviewed and you will be contacted if a position is available matching your time availability and skills.

How many hours do I have to commit to in order to volunteer?

Volunteers must be willing to volunteer for a minimum of one four-hour day per week for at least six months. Special Events Volunteers and Group Volunteers may be exempt from a weekly schedule, but must still commit for a minimum of six months.

Can volunteering at the Zoo lead to a paid position?

It is possible, but there are absolutely no guarantees that any volunteers will be offered a paid position. When a position becomes open, volunteers will be given the same consideration as other applicants.

What days and times do I need to be available to volunteer?

Each position is different and has different time and day requirements. Most positions require morning or mid-day shifts.


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