Zoo Teens

Go Behind the Scenes at Sunset Zoo

Help educate others about animals and conservation while working with Sunset Zoo's animal residents. Zoo Teens are high school aged volunteers, 14 to 19 years old. (All zoo teens must be pursuing a high school education while participating in the program). Zoo teens gain behind-the-scenes experience with all aspects of the Zoo's daily operations including: shadowing staff, animal demonstrations, Zookeeping chores, conservation projects, photography and much, much more! As a Zoo volunteer, you choose the activities that interest you most.

Dates & Times of Volunteering

Sunset Zoo is open 360 days a year, seven days a week and volunteers are important part of those daily operations. Once volunteers complete training, actual volunteer service is flexible with a Zoo Teen's schedule. There are variety of opportunities throughout the year to volunteer at Zoo special events and education programs, as well as working with Zoo staff to identify specific projects in line with a volunteer's interests.

Training Sessions for Zoo Teens - UPDATED DUE TO COVID-19

Training occurs once a year in late spring. Zoo Teens (new and returning) must complete all required training. Registration is accepted annually until the spring training dateIf you are interested in the Zoo Teen program, complete the Zoo's online zoo teen volunteer registration form

Due to COVID-19, training will be conducted online this year with most training to be at-your-own-pace. Materials for this transition are currently being created and will be launched in mid-to-late May. As this new training opportunity becomes finalized, there may be some interactive components conducted around volunteers' availability. Completion of all training materials by the deadline will be required in order to participate in the zoo teen program. Registered Zoo Teens will receive updates concerning training requirements as we enter May.

Start date for online training: TBD
Deadline for completion of online training: TBD

Application & Registration Fees

There is a $65 registration fee for new Zoo Teens; fee covers training materials, volunteer polo and more. Interested teens should register online at least 48 hours before the training sessions open, please contact Nicole Wade if you wish to register within the 48 hour window before the opening of the training sessions. 

Returning Zoo Teens

There is a $20 registration fee for returning Zoo Teens. Returning volunteers are required to complete an online training session. Zoo staff will contact volunteers in early May with additional information regarding the training sessions.

For more information, email Nicole Wade or call her at 785-587-2737.


A passion for animals and desire to learn about their care in a Zoo setting. Prior work or relevant volunteer experience a plus.