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Join us!


Volunteer With Us

Zoo volunteers represent all walks of life and a wide range of ages. We’re looking for volunteers who are positive, friendly, customer-focused, team-oriented, and comfortable traveling around zoo grounds in all weather conditions, and are able to commit to a yearly minimum of 25 volunteer hours.

As a volunteer you will:

  • Help guests get the most out of their visit to the zoo
  • Educate zoo visitors about animals and the importance of protecting them in their native habitats
  • Contribute to the success of on-grounds and event fundraising

How to Get Started:

  • Complete the Volunteer Inquiry Form 
  • Receive information about volunteer opportunities and orientation and training dates
  • Attend an orientation about the volunteer positions and opportunities available and information about the Henry Vilas Zoological Society
  • Shadow an experienced volunteer
  • Start volunteering!


Volunteers aid zoo efforts in a number of capacities and help support the zoo through their gifts of time and talent:

Guest Services volunteers help zoo guests get the most out of their visit. Volunteers offer friendly greetings, answer questions, provide directions, respond to guest concerns, and invite visitors to support the zoo through on-grounds purchases, donations, or memberships. Guest Services volunteers may be stationed at information booths, run the train and carousel, be our Henry the Lion zoo mascot, or provide change at the goat yard. Most roles require volunteers to be at least 10 years old and accompanied by an adult or 16 years old to volunteer solo. Train and carousel volunteers must be 18 years old.

Conservation Education volunteers give their time in a variety of ways to educate our guests about our animals, their challenges, and how we can support them. We have several opportunities to educate guests, including discovery docents, program assistants, and animal handling docents. The zoo offers limited opportunities to work directly with the education animals (primarily reptiles, invertebrates, and small mammals). These animal handling docents must be at least 18 years old, able to volunteer weekly for at least one year, and willing to complete extended training. Our professional zookeeping staff is responsible for all animal care, including animal enrichment and the cleaning of enclosures.

Special Event volunteers support the zoo by helping out at events throughout the year, which include corporate nights, Dream Night, Tails & Cocktails, Zoo Run Run, Halloween at the Zoo, Brew Lights and Zoo Lights

Group Volunteer Opportunities includes helping throughout the year with landscaping, painting, gardening, cleaning, and crafting projects.

Please contact the volunteer department at or 608-258-9490 or complete the Volunteer Inquiry Form to get started.

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