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Docent Program


Become a Docent at the L.A. Zoo!

Classes begin in October 2015

Do you love animals? Working with children? Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity? The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) docent training program could be just for you!

Docents are volunteer teachers and Zoo guides who share their knowledge with visitors. They are an expressive voice for the endangered animals and rare plants that the Los Angeles Zoo, and so many other zoos around the world, are striving to protect and preserve. Docents are the L.A. Zoo’s ambassadors, enlightening the public on conservation, preservation, and research efforts.

At the end of training, our docents have a marvelously unique understanding of the flora and fauna here at the Zoo, as well as an excellent knowledge of species worldwide.  More importantly, they’re part of an effort to make a difference in our world!

The duties that our Docents participate in are as varied as those performing them. If you love learning, love animals, and love sharing what you know with others, this is the volunteer program for you!

For more information, please call (323) 644-4702 or send an email to [email protected] .

Big Bunny Docents & Kids PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham



Applicants must enjoy working with children and adults of all ages. This program does not work directly with animals, but engages the public to care about wildlife.

Special Requirements

All Docents must maintain a family or individual membership with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. In addition, all active Docents must attend an annual update session and pass the annual test with a minimum score of 90%. For the safety of the animals, visitors, and fellow staff and volunteers, an annual negative tuberculosis test is required of all GLAZA volunteers and must also be fingerprinted by the City of Los Angeles upon acceptance to the program.

Docent tour 2-Jamie Pham


Beach & Boa PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham

Who are docents?

Adult volunteer teachers and Zoo guides, 18 years of age or older.

What does the program entail?

The course will focus on taxonomy of both the plants and animals at the Zoo as well as ecology, conservation, and the role of zoos in wildlife preservation. Docents’ duties are as varied as those performing them, with individual opportunities discussed and developed throughout the training course.

When are the classes?

Beginning in October, classes meet once a week on Mondays or Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open enrollment for the 2015-16 Docent Training Program ends August 31, 2015.

Where is the program located?

Classes and volunteer service take place at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens.

How long is the program?

Docents commit to a 23-week training program, beginning each fall in conjunction with UCLA Extension, and dedicate 100 hours per year of volunteer service.

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