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.

2020 Orientation Date, Time & Location

  • Date: Saturday, February 1, 2020
  • Time: 10 - 11 a.m.
  • Location: Zoo's Nature Exploration Center

Wait-list Orientation, Date, Time & Location

  • If you were not able to attend the regular 2020 Orientation, there is still an opportunity to participate this summer. Email zoovolunteer@cityofmhk.com to find out how to be added to the wait-list. Date of the wait-list orientation will be determined by surveying families on the wait-list. Attendance at an orientation session is mandatory for participation consideration.
  • Date: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: Zoo's Nature Exploration Center

Registration Forms & Fees

Registration forms will be made available at the conclusion of the JZK Orientation on February 1. 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 $100 registration fee for new JZKs, which includes training, manual and uniform shirt.

Training & Summer Schedule

Multiple training sessions will occur in the spring prior to volunteer service. Training dates will be determined after the orientation in February. Junior ZooKeepers volunteer two shifts each week in the summer beginning Tuesday, May 26.

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.