Docent Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering and supporting the Los Angeles Zoo. Currently, recruitment for all volunteer programs is on hiatus. Once we are able to accept new volunteers again, this page will be updated with new opportunities and a link to apply online. Please check back in the fall for updates and keep an eye on the Zoo’s social media and membership publications. We hope to have your support in the future.


Do you love animals? Do you love 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) 522-9128 or send an email to [email protected].

Qualifications

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.  
  • For the safety of the animals, an annual negative tuberculosis test is required. 
  • Upon acceptance to the program, you will be fingerprinted by the City of Los Angeles.  
  • All active Docents are required to attend an annual update session and pass an annual test with a minimum score of 90%.  
  • The training fee for the 23-week training program is $65 and includes training materials, badge, and uniform.  
  • Docents are adult volunteer teachers and Zoo guides, 18 years of age or older who have achieved a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • 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.
  • Classes and volunteer service take place at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
  • The course focuses 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.