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Are you a middle school, high school, or college student thinking about a career with animals? Or maybe an adult that’s always dreamed about what it would be like to work as a zookeeper? Or perhaps you just love animals and you’re curious about what happens behind the scenes at the zoo? If this sounds like you or someone you know, the Zookeeper for a Day program at Binder Park Zoo is your exclusive opportunity to discover the zoo’s “secret” world.

Binder Park Zoo’s Zookeeper for a Day program is an interactive educational experience that gives teens and adults a firsthand look at working with exotic zoo animals. Come spend the day helping zookeepers with their daily routines; including: diet preparation and feeding, conducting animal trainings, creating and providing enrichment, and preparing animal habitats.

• This exciting program runs year-round
• Cost of the program is $250 per participant, limit two participants per program
• Program length will be five hours from 8 AM to 1 PM
• Minimum age requirement for this program is 12 years old
• Participants will also receive a Zookeeper for a day t-shirt, lunch at the zoo restaurant of their choice, a certificate showing completion of the program, zoo admission for the entire day, and memories for a lifetime.
• Registration is required at least 10 business days in advance of program date and full payment is due at the time of registration.
• Programs involving the zoo’s animals are subject to change; therefore, we cannot guarantee you will work with specific animals during the program.

What should I wear?

During the program, you will be inside and outside. Please dress comfortably for the day and appropriately for the weather. Programs will take place rain or shine. A t-shirt will be provided. Participants are encouraged to wear this during the program. Please wear khakis or jeans. Shorts are allowed when weather permits. Wear comfortable shoes that are close-toed, such as tennis shoes or work boots. Old shoes are best since you may get dirty. Flip-flops and sandals are not permitted.

What do I need to bring?
It’s a good idea to bring a water bottle. You may also want to bring a morning snack if you will get hungry before lunch. Lunch will be provided as part of the program. Participants with dietary restrictions are encouraged to let staff know in advance so appropriate arrangements can be made. Sunscreen and bug spray may also come in handy.

May I bring a camera?
To ensure the safety of our guest and staff, camera usage during the Keeper for a Day program is restricted. However, there will be some opportunities to take pictures. The Zookeepers will let you know when picture opportunities arise.

What should I know about working with animals?
Although most of our animals are trained to work with their human caregiver, they are still wild animals. It is important that you pay close attention to the guidance and instruction of zoo staff. Never enter any animal area without direction from the keeper. Always wait for instructions and authorization from the keepers before approaching any of the animals while participating in training and feeding sessions. You must avoid touching the animals unless permitted by the keepers.

Are there any restrictions to participating?
Anyone not following instructions may be asked to leave the program without refund. Some animal areas require that guests need to have proof of a negative Tb test within the last year to enter. This is recommended, as your experience will be greatly enhanced; however, it is not a requirement. Please note that behind-the-scenes areas of the zoo are not handicapped accessible.

If you have questions or want more information, please call Kathryn Sippel (269) 979-1351 ext. 158.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural AffairsBattle Creek Community Foundation