Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open 9a-5p, last admission 4p

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Open 9a-5p, last admission 4p

View All Rates ›

Student Job Shadows

Are you thinking about working at a zoo someday, but now sure what it’s all about?  Come shadow us at the zoo!

Job shadows at the zoo are 3 ½ hours long (9 am – 12:30 pm) on Tuesdays.  Students are able to come and learn about all the different career opportunities at a zoo, from Accountants to Zookeepers and everything in between. Students will get the chance to work in multiple departments to get a well-rounded view of all the different opportunities there are within the zoo.  

Job shadows are broken down into 4 parts:

  1. Students will get to work hands on in one of our keeper areas to learn all the hard work that goes into caring for the animals here at the zoo.  Keepers’ jobs can get pretty messy so students should come prepared to get dirty.  (no sandals or open-toed shoes allowed)
  2. Students will get to work with Aquarists and learn about all of the work that goes into keeping our aquariums healthy and beautiful!
  3. Students will get to work with some of our educators at the zoo and learn about programs they conduct both on zoo grounds and throughout the state of Iowa to educate people about animals and wildlife.  Students will also get the chance to tour our veterinary clinic which shares a building with the Education Department.
  4. Our Director of Research and Conservation will sit down with students and teach them about all the different conservation programs the zoo is involved with and how our zoo animals help their wild counterparts.  Students may even learn about some of our local conservation efforts and what they can do right in their own backyards to help animals. 

Before coming in to shadow we ask that students do a little research into the zoo field.  Look into the different career choices available in zoos and write a one page short essay about what you learned.  Working at a zoo is an exciting and unique career.  This is your opportunity to learn as much about the zoo profession as possible. The zoo staff believes in the mission of the zoo and that what they are doing here is important and making a difference for animals all over the world. We are more than happy to spend part of our day to help an aspiring zoo professional.  
Students must set up their shadow two weeks in advance through the registration link below. If you do not receive a confirmation email your registration did not go through.  Please note, shadows are on a first come first serve basis and only 2 students can shadow per date. Students will need to arrive at the zoo and be ready to work ten minutes before their shadow time is to begin.

For a more in depth look at the animal care field students can now opt for a full day shadow.  Please note the full day shadow has an added price. 

Click here to register

Veterinary Job Shadows are available to students in their 3rd year of high school or higher with a specific interest in veterinary care.  Students will be able to work closely with vets, vet techs, and vet students (students already in veterinary school) to learn what it takes to provide care for a large range of animals.  To learn more and check availability please contact Julia Bingham directly at: 

If you have any questions about our shadow program contact Julia Bingham at 515-974-2566 or by email at 


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