Keeper Volunteer – Herpetology Team, London Zoo

  • Contract
  • London
  • Posted 1 month ago

Zoological Society

Are you interested in animals and care about wildlife conservation?

Are you an active person and like being outdoors?

Our Keeper Volunteers assist the animal teams with their daily routine. Keeper Volunteers at London Zoo join a specific animal section and their time is focussed on supporting that team and the animals in that section.

You don’t need to be an animal expert as we’d love to hear from people from any background but you must be interested in animals and wildlife conservation, able to work calmly and sensitively in animal environments, and have a good level of physical fitness as this role is very active!

Purpose of role:

Keeper Volunteers assist the animal teams with their daily routine. Keeper Volunteers focus on their assigned animal section and will be supervised by the Animal Section Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader.

Commitment for role:

This role requires a regular and reliable attendance, ideally one regular full day per week. The day starts at 8.00am and volunteers must be able to arrive at the Zoo by this time. The day ends at 4.30pm. We look for a commitment of at least 6 months for this role.

Main tasks volunteer will be asked to undertake:

  • Assisting with the preparation of approved diets and carrying out the correct feeding procedures.

  • Cleaning and maintaining exhibits and other designated areas.

  • Supporting positive visitor experiences by good customer service and visitor engagement.

  • Monitoring walkthrough animal exhibits.

  • More experienced and longer serving volunteers may also help with habitat enrichment or enclosure design.

NB. There is limited direct contact with animals in this role but this also varies between section.

Anticipated skills and experience that the volunteer will bring:

  • Enthusiasm and an interest in animals and conservation

  • Ability to work calmly and sensitively in animal environments

  • Good levels of physical fitness – you will be on your feet for much of the day

  • Good levels of English to enable clear communication and understanding

  • Good initiative and a willingness to learn, follow instructions and communicate

  • Commitment to attend induction and ongoing training

  • Ability to demonstrate ZSL’s values – inspiring, innovative, impactful, collaborative, ethical

NB. Volunteers must be aged over 18 years.

Skills and experience volunteer will gain:

  • The opportunity to be involved in an international conservation charity

  • A chance to be part of a team of friendly, like-minded people

  • Training and an opportunity to learn new skills

  • Support from experienced animal keepers and aquarists

Relevant training may include:

  • Orientation around the Section

  • Manual handling

  • Working in walkthroughs

  • Customer service

  • Animal Behaviour

Support and resources provided:

  • Centralised ZSL Volunteer Management Team

  • Named ZSL contact/supervisor from the relevant Animal Section

  • ZSL polo shirt, relevant PPE and volunteer ID pass*

  • Complimentary tea and coffee

  • Access to discounted on-site catering options

  • Regular staff and volunteer e-newsletter

  • Discounts in ZSL shop and on ZSL experiences

  • Travel expenses to and from the Zoo will be reimbursed up to £15.00 a day on their duty or training day

*NB. Volunteers will be required to wear some of their own clothing including stout walking shoes to undertake this role and should be prepared for it to get dirty.

Work Place Conditions:

  • This role may require outside working in all-weather conditions and/or working in hot and humid indoor environments

  • Please note this role involves lengthy periods of standing so a good level of fitness is required

  • Access to basic kitchen facilities and an indoor space for breaks

We are currently looking for volunteers to join our Herpetology Team and have a particular need for people on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays on a weekly basis. Please read the following description of the Herpetology Team before applying:


Volunteering on the herpetology section provides a very unique experience, where you can get up close with a variety of reptiles and amphibians, and some of the conservation and research projects we are involved in. As a volunteer, you will be responsible for a dedicated volunteer husbandry routine working with a range of species. This includes helping keepers with other routine tasks, from cleaning, admin and husbandry, to behavioural management (animal training), water quality analyses and life support system maintenance. On top of this you will have the occasional opportunity to help with vet checks, setting up enclosures and exhibits, providing enrichment and helping us to collect data from animals that are involved in research projects. You will need to be happy to work in hot, humid conditions and be reasonably physically fit in this role, but we will provide you with the training you need to do all of the tasks you are given to complete. We need volunteers to be reliable, communicative and able to commit at least one routine day a fortnight, although weekly attendance is preferred.

Applicants will need to upload their CV and answer the screening questions (detailing your relevant experience, interest and availability) and can do this by clicking the “Apply for this role online” button above.

Please be aware that this role requires good levels of fitness and people to feel comfortable with the conditions outlined above. We do however encourage applications from all and we can discuss any access requirements you may have if invited to attend an interview and/or trial session.

Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) Wednesday 3rd May 2023

Interviews/trial sessions will be arranged after the closing date. If you don’t feel comfortable working with this animal section or with the conditions above, then please wait for our next round of recruitment for Keeper Volunteer roles.

Department and section: Zoos and Engagement – Z&E London – Animal Operations LZ

Post End Date: 03/05/2023

External Company Name: The Zoological Society

External Company URL:

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