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Program Animal Apprentice

Brandywine Zoo is seeking a dynamic and engaging person to join our education team! We are searching for a dedicated candidate to fill a 1 year internship. This person will serve as an Educator and work in the Education Department of the Brandywine Zoo. 
The roles of the Education Program Animal Apprentices are twofold; program animal husbandry and delivering education programs. This person will lead informal and formal education opportunities both on and off site for school programs, family programs, workshops, informal guest encounters, serve as an educator for spring and holiday Zoo Camps, deliver Reptile Shows and other live animal demonstrations, or assist with special events. Reptile shows are throughout the peak season (May-September) and average 75 people per program, so comfort with public speaking while handling animals is a must.

The other half of this internship is providing daily husbandry for the Zoo’s collection of almost 40 program animals. Apprentices in this position will also be trained in daily program animal husbandry, including program mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Husbandry includes cleaning of enclosures and exhibits, feeding, handling, medicating, weighing, and record keeping. 

This position will require working weekends, with typically scheduled days off occurring mid-week. It will also require working holidays and evenings on occasion. Shifts for this position are usually 8 am – 4 pm, unless there is a special event. 

Location Brandywine Zoo – Wilmington, DE 

Supervisor Curator of Education

Term Year-round – Full Time 37.5 hours per week 

  • Must be comfortable handling a variety of live animals, including reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and mammals, and knowledgeable about their natural history. 
  • Must have good time management skills, with the ability to complete designated tasks in a punctual manner. 
  • Attention to detail is necessary for making observations, recording data and completing day-to-day husbandry tasks. 
  • Applicants must be working toward or already have a degree in Biology, Psychology, Animal Science, Pre-Vet, Wildlife Conservation, or other Biological Sciences. 
  • Must have an interest in working with the general public; especially children ages 4-13. 
  • Must exhibit consistent professional characteristics such as a positive attitude, ability to show initiative, emotional maturity and self-responsibility. 
  • Comfortable with public speaking. 
  • Ability to work independently and problem solve. 

Required Skills 
  • At least 18 years old with valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Provide proof of negative TB Test within the last 12 months before start date
  • Good physical condition: able to stand/walk for extended periods of time, kneel, crouch, and able to work in all weather conditions. 
  • Be able to lift up to 25 pounds
  • Must be fluent in the English language (verbal and written communication)
  • Overall GPA must be 2.5 or higher
  • Good organizational skills
  • Able and willing to read and follow verbal and written work instructions and work independently
  • Willing to assist with administrative, customer relations, and housekeeping tasks.  
  • Able to commit to upholding all Zoo safety and personnel policies, and support the overall mission.
  • Able to professionally represent the Brandywine Zoo in all interactions with visitors, staff, and other members of the community.
  • Complete a project of the intern’s own design, and approved by zoo staff, during the internship period.

  • Delivery of on and off-site programming, in both formal and informal settings. 
  • Management of databases and records, registering participants for programs and tracking program and animal husbandry data. 
  • Performing daily husbandry for a variety of reptiles, amphibians, mammals and invertebrates.
  • Able to follow protocols to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases and maintain high levels of animal safety.
  • Time management and ensuring all aspects of the show operation is running efficiently. This includes strong communication with Education staff.
  • Ability to work weekend days and flexible hours as schedules dictate.

  • Training: A hallmark of the program, interns receive training from the field experts they will be working with. In addition to this formal and informal training to successfully conduct their internship assignment, interns will have the opportunity to build associated skills and share real-time experience with park staff and colleagues. Training will be made available to the interns to further their personal and professional development. Additionally, the position will develop critical skills for those interested in a career in conservation, natural resource management, animal management, or ecological studies. Opportunities for school credit are available. 

  • Housing: Limited co-ed housing is available, at no fee, for interns providing full-time hours (30 or more per week). If selected for housing, an intern will share a house, duplex or dorm facility with other interns.

  • Activities: Interns will have the opportunity not only to visit ALL Delaware State Parks at no fee, but also participate in many of the tours, programs, and associated events for free. Delaware State Parks span the length of the state and whether it be canoeing at Trap Pond State Park, surfing at Delaware Seashore State Park, attending a concert at Bellevue State Park, or touring the living history facility at Fort Delaware, there is certainly something for everyone. 

  • Stipend Available: Interns are not employees of the State of Delaware- they are considered volunteers and are not paid for their service. Interns may elect to receive a stipend to help cover expenses incurred during their volunteer intern service. The stipend is a fixed amount of $100 per week for service of 30 or more hours per week or $50.00 per week for service of between 20 – 29 hours/ week paid biweekly as a direct deposit into the Intern’s bank account.

  • The stipend is not a wage, but does count toward the total income on which the intern’s tax obligation is based. Interns electing to receive the stipend will complete IRS Form W-9 Request for Tax-Payer Identification as self-employed and will receive a Form 1099 at the end of the year that reports the amount of income from the stipend. No taxes are withheld from the stipend.

All Delaware State Parks Interns are required to undergo and successfully complete a background check performed by the Division.