The Living Desert offers a multitude of ways to give back through volunteering. The Living Desert offers a multitude of ways to give back through volunteering.


Your time means the world to us!

We rely on the generous support of our beloved volunteers. They are ambassadors for The Living Desert and contribute thousands of hours each year assisting the Zoo with a variety of roles and programs. From helping the animal care team to providing support during school field trips, The Living Desert offers a multitude of ways to give back through volunteering.

Active Volunteers Login


The Living Desert’s adult volunteers fulfill a variety of roles throughout the zoo, such as working in the Petting Kraal, Discovery Center or as a host for our Tennity Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center.

Volunteers are trained to interact with guests of all ages and are often the first impression our guests receive. Volunteers interpret the zoo’s animals and plants and educate and inspire our guests to take conservation action.

Active volunteers receive a number of benefits including exclusive educational opportunities, discounts, and social activities.


For specific questions, please contact the Volunteer Office at (760) 346-5694 ext. 2503 or
Our Volunteers
Mean The World To Us


2019/2020 Volunteer Orientation Schedule

New-Volunteer Open House:
Place: Hoover Auditorium, Education Center

February 3, 2020

May 5, 2020

Qualifications & Requirements


  • Enjoy people and interacting with others
  • Completed training and demonstrated comprehension of information and techniques
  • Have an established interest in nature, or the willingness to learn
  • Have an open mind that is ready to learn and experience new things
  • Be willing to represent The Living Desert in a friendly and professional manner
  • Be able to communicate clearly and calmly
  • Be able to model respect for the animals and the desert ecosystem
  • Be responsible, committed, punctual, flexible and neat in appearance
  • Have free time to devote to the job



  • Complete and submit the Volunteer Application
  • Pay a background check and materials fee
  • Pass a standard background check
  • Be a member of The Living Desert
  • Complete all required training for assigned duties
  • Purchase a volunteer shirt


ZooTeen Volunteer

It’s never too early to get involved!

Teens are invited to gain a new, wonderfully wild perspective of The Living Desert through the ZooTeen volunteer program!

ZooTeens are high school students who are curious, lifelong learners with a special interest in conservation, education and have a passion to give back to their community.

As a ZooTeen volunteer you are an agent of conservation and will have the opportunity to learn about animal care, zoo careers and gain valuable job skills while volunteering in a fun and collaborative learning environment.

ZooTeens receive a comprehensive education and training in public speaking, guest services as well as area specific training in our guest interactions areas such as the Petting Kraal, Discovery Center, G-Scale Model Train Display and more!

ZooTeens that demonstrate considerable commitment and dedication to volunteering will also have opportunities to promote the mission of the Living Desert through volunteering as Animal Keeper Assistants and Educational Interpreters, too.

Important Dates

Information Session
Learn more about the role and responsibility of a ZooTeen volunteer at The Living Desert and attend with a parent or guardian.
Saturday, September 11 and Sunday September 12, 9am to 11am

Applications Due Date
September 19, 2021.

ZooTeen Interview Dates
Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, select appointments from 9am to 12pm.

Orientation and Training Dates
Saturdays, October 9 and 16, 9am to 12pm.

For specific questions or to sign up for an orientation, please contact the ZooTeen Volunteer Office (760) 346-5694 ext. 2504 or
Our ZooTeens
Make Us Proud!


Complete a ZooTeen Application by Sunday, September 19, 2021

Submit a Letter of Recommendation to by Sunday, September 19, 2021. 

ZooTeen Program Overview Schedule

Applications must be received NO LATER than 2 weeks prior to open house and any applications submitted after this date will be considered for the following open house dates. All open house dates will take place in the Education Center at The Living Desert from 9:00am – 12:00pm.

Once your applications is received, you will be emailed with further instructions for the application and open house process.


Qualifications & Requirements


  • Currently enrolled in grades 9-12 (public, private or home schooled)
  • Enjoy people and interacting with others
  • Be willing and able to represent The Living Desert in a friendly and professional manner


  • Complete and submit the ZooTeen Application
  • Attend a ZooTeen orientation sessions
  • Commit to a full year of service
  • Commit to two shifts of volunteering service per month
  • Participate in special events throughout the year
  • Participate in at least one week-long session of Summer ZooCamp
  • Submit a letter of recommendation to:
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