Reports to/Department: Under the supervision of the General Curator, reports to Lead Enrichment Coordinator Keeper or other assigned Animal Care staff members.

Position Description: The Brandywine Zoo Animal Enrichment Volunteers would assist the Enrichment Coordinator in building various types of enrichment toys or devices for the animals at the zoo. Animal Enrichment volunteers research, design, and assist keepers in implementation of enrichment for the Zoo animal collection. This includes but is not limited to: researching specific animal enrichment activities via appropriate sources, preparing lists of low cost materials needed for enrichment, assisting in the creation and implementation of animal enrichment activities. Enrichment volunteers may also be involved with creating a wish-list for enrichment donations.

If time and space is available, some of the constructing would be done off zoo grounds (at your home), but we can also arrange times for workshops to be set up here at the zoo. All supplies needed would be provided by the Zoo, except for the actual tools. Written and visual Instructions will be provided. All Zoo Enrichment safety and aesthetics guidelines would need to be strictly followed.

Animal enrichment helps keepers create zoo environments that provide a stimulating life for our animals, with opportunities. It gives the animals the chance to utilize some of their natural behaviors, helps them be more active and have more control over their environment. Enrichment helps keep the animals both physically and psychologically stimulated and happy and allows them to make choices. Enrichment can come in many forms: changing the animal’s physical environment, modifying animal care, creating social groupings and increasing sensory stimulation.

Volunteer Responsibilities:

  • Assist keeper staff in creating enrichment items that are focused on enhancing the animals’ physical and psychological being.
  • Coordinate with staff and other volunteers on projects.
  • Research taxonomically appropriate enrichment for animals housed at the zoo.
  • Create safe items which will stimulate animals natural behaviors through sight, sound, scent, texture and more.
  • Ability to work on projects at the zoo or work independently at home.

This Opportunity is GOOD for People Who:

  • People who are crafty: can paint, sew, paper mache, use powertools and more.
  • People interested in woodworking.
  • Those who ‘think outside the box’ and enjoy problem solving.
  • Ability to work independently or as part of a team.

Volunteer Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Must pass a background check

Training: Volunteer orientation. Meetings with keepers and/or the enrichment coordinator to plan projects which best meet the volunteer’s ability.

Required Time Commitment: Once you go through our basic training session, you may volunteer as much as you like.

Shift Times: Undetermined

Scheduling: Work with the Enrichment Coordinator to determine project timelines.


  • Full access to the San Diego Zoo Global Academy course-list for the duration of the internship; certificate upon completion.
  •  Networking opportunity and access to 180+ years of professional experience and knowledge via current zoo staff.
  • Potential training in numerous animal husbandry and zoo facility skills such as exhibit design and maintenance, animal nutrition, landscaping, small tool use, veterinary care, operant conditioning and public speaking.
  • Free access to all Delaware State Parks during internship or volunteer duration including Delaware Seashore and Fort Delaware.
  •  Job shadow opportunities at nearby AZA zoos when scheduling permits.

To Apply: All volunteers must complete the DE State Parks Volunteer Application. Volunteers must also complete and pass a background check administered by DE State Parks. For more information, visit

Questions: If you have questions about volunteer opportunities specific to Brandywine Zoo, please direct them to our Volunteer Manager