Junior ZooKeepers

Summer Career Shadowing Program for Youth Ages 10-13

Taking care of animals has never been so much fun! Sunset Zoo Junior ZooKeepers (JZKs) are youth, 10 through 13 years of age, who attend special training classes each spring to learn more about animals and conservation. Upon successful completion of the training class, JZKs have the opportunity to perform regular zookeeper chores in a majority of the Zoo and help care for the education animal collection throughout the summer months.


Parent/guardians and prospective JZK must attend the JZK Orientation that takes place in on the first Saturday in February each year. At the orientation you'll receive an overview of the policies and procedures, and have an opportunity to register. Parent/guardian and interested youth must both attend.

2023 Orientation Date, Time & Location

  • Date: Saturday, February 4, 2023
  • Time: 10 - 11 a.m.
  • Location: Sunset Zoo's Nature Exploration Center
  • No pre-registration required

Wait-list Orientation, Date, Time & Location

If you missed the orientation, you may be added to the waitlist. The waitlist orientation date and time will be determined by surveying families on the waitlist.

Registration Forms & Fees

Registration forms will be made available at the conclusion of the JZK Orientation on February 4. Space is limited. If there are more youth wanting to join the JZK program than spots available, participants will be selected randomly from those who attend the orientation. There is a $125 registration fee for new JZKs, which includes training and uniform shirt.

Training & Summer Schedule

All participants must complete training prior to volunteer service. New participants are required to attend three mandatory training sessions over the course of the spring. All participants must attend the final, mandatory, in-person training. All training dates will be determined by surveying participants. We will choose those dates that the majority of participants indicate they can attend.

Junior ZooKeepers will volunteer two shifts each week in the summer beginning Tuesday, May 30. One shift will be in the AM and one shift will be in the PM to afford participants a well-rounded experience.

Contact Us

For more information email Nicole Wade, Programs & Education Animals Manager, or call her at 785-587-2737.


A passion for animals and desire to learn about their care in a Zoo setting. Applicable work or volunteer experience a plus.