Thank you for your interest in becoming a Keeper Aide Volunteer for the Great Cats and Bears animal care team at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Please fill this form out completely. If you wish to include a resume with your application, please attach a PDF copy to your form.

These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available.  You must be at least 21 in order to apply for this program. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. Applicants will be interviewed by unit staff, and those who are provisionally accepted will undergo background checks, including fingerprinting, as a requirement for approval as a keeper aide. Once accepted, volunteers must submit proof of required vaccinations, including tetanus and a negative TB test, to the Zoo's health unit.  

If you are a current or former volunteer please log in before filling out this form. Go to to sign in with your email address and password. If you don't remember your password, contact Lois at to reset it.

New User Details
FONZ Volunteer Application: Great Cats and Bears Program
Basic Information
Please note: if we receive your application after the available spots have been filled, we will keep your form on file for three months, and then will delete it.
Shifts generally begin at 7:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. What day(s) of the week are you available?

Home Address

In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact Information

General Medical Information
Have you ever volunteered with or worked for FONZ or the Smithsonian's National Zoo?
Have you ever held a volunteer position before?
Do you have any previous animal care experience? Explain briefly.

Background and References
Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the past seven years, other than a minor traffic offense, which has not been pardoned or expunged from your record?
(Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor will not automatically disqualify you from employment)

Please list one employment supervisor or teacher and one non-family member reference:

Please check this box to show you understand this program is a long-term volunteer opportunity and you can commit to volunteering for at least one year in this program.
Please check this box to show you have read and understand the requirements for this volunteer position.