Career Shadow Program

Zoo Boise’s Career Shadow program offers a unique opportunity for school students to experience the day in the life of a zoo employee.

Career Shadow opportunities are not available for the 2013-14 school year and will resume in Fall 2014
What do Career Shadows do?
The shadow will spend up to 4 hours following an employee through their normal workday, helping perform their daily duties or observing when an activity requires. Career Shadow opportunities are available in with zookeepers and education staff. There may be some hands-on work with animals, under very close supervision of the zookeeper or veterinarian. Students will not be left alone with any animal at any time. If the shadow has a special interest in a particular animal or aspect of a zoo career (e.g. training, diets, etc) an effort will be made to accommodate the shadow.

What is the cost for Career Shadows?
No cost is required by the student, school or family.

When are Career Shadows available?
Career Shadows are available any day of the week (dependent on staff  schedules) for one 4-hour period (8:00 am - 1:00 pm or 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm).

Other important information

    • Shadows must me a minimum of 13 years of age and in 9th grade to participate in the Career Shadow Program. The shadow must be fairly responsible, and exhibit good judgment and common sense.
    • Written permission from the shadow’s parent/guardian and the school counselor/teacher is required before students can participate in a Career Shadow experience. The shadow, the shadow’s parent/guardian and school counselor/teacher must read through program guidelines and liability release before granting their permission for the shadow to participate. Zoo Boise will provide the permission forms and liability release after a Career Shadow date has been scheduled.
    • Shadows will be required to complete a report regarding their experience. Zoo Boise will provide questions for shadows to answer that are to be summarized in a report. A copy of the completed report must be submitted to Zoo Boise the end of their Career Shadow day.
    • Experience with animals is not necessary. However, students with a strong fear of animals should work in a non-animal department.
    • Shadow should reconsider their work site if they are allergic to hay, dust, or animals.
    • Appropriate clothing must be worn. Shadows should dress for outdoor weather and for getting dirty. Sturdy shoes or boots with closed heels and toes are required (no thongs, flip-flops, or clogs).

How to schedule a Career Shadow
Contact the Education Director via email or by calling 608-7741.  Please submit your Career Shadow requests at least 2 weeks prior to the Career Shadow date.

More information on Zoo Careers