DES MOINES, Iowa — For people who are passionate about animals and want to learn more about animal-related careers, the Blank Park Zoo has a few volunteer opportunities coming up.

The chief engagements officer at the zoo said they have volunteer opportunities for all ages and interest levels. 

Their teen volunteer program called the “Zoo Crew” is for ages 13-17 focusing on training them to work with the public and animals. This program starts in the summer and goes through December.

There is also a program that allows adults to get involved in various parts of the zoo. 

Zoo staff said that this is a great opportunity for anyone, especially if kids aspire to go into careers like zoo keeping or becoming a vet. 

“Once they get into the program. We do orientation to learn about the program and then training and each year in the program we try to do something different. So we’re building upon the skills of learning to work with the public, talk with the public, learn about the animals in the first year that you’re here. And then as you get older in the program, you get to do animal care, and then learn what it is to work alongside keepers,” said Chief Engagements Officer, Christine Eckles. 

The application for the teen program is due on March 1 and the orientation for the adult program starts in February, so they urge anyone interested to visit their website.