ZooALIVE (Active Leaders In Volunteer Education)


What is the Zoo ALIVE program?

The ZooALIVE volunteer program is an opportunity for teens to engage with zoo visitors by sharing their interests in animals and conservation at the Pueblo Zoo. ZooALIVE teens are trained to be interpretive guides during an intensive, week-long course.    


ZooALIVE members are taught how to handle ambassador animals and learn techniques for animal presentations and informal conservation lessons. Additionally, they learn about how zoos operate, what careers are available in the zoo world, and how zoos continue to evolve to provide the best education and inspiration to those who appreciate animals and nature. 


When does the training take place?


Due to the success and demand of this program, we will be holding two trainings in 2020:


Training for teens who WILL BE entering 7th-10th grades in the 2020-2021 school year will take place

March 23-27, 2020.  


Training for teens who WILL BE entering 7th-10th grades in the 2020-2021 school year will take place

June 15-19, 2020.  


I LOVE animals!  All I want to do is play and cuddle with them.  Is this training for me?


We love animals too!  We also love education, public speaking, and conservation- which is much of what you will be introduced to and participate in as a ZooALIVE member.  Presenting animals to audiences at the zoo is certainly a fun aspect of the program, however, if you are uncomfortable speaking to people you are unfamiliar with or are uninterested in educating zoo guests about the environment, animal conservation and facts about zoos, becoming a ZooALIVE team member is probably not for you.


What kind of time commitment is expected of me after I complete the week of training?


We require a minimum of 25 hours volunteered in the year following your training.  If the 25 hours are not met, we may ask you to retrain on certain aspects of the volunteer position or reevaluate your commitment to the program entirely. 


You are able to sign up for 2 1/2 hour shifts any day of the week you are available.  We understand many participants are in school most days of the week.  Our current Zoo ALIVErs sign up for their shifts on weekends, special event days and during long school breaks (spring, summer, winter).  Most of our teens are unable to transport themselves to the zoo, so make sure your parent or guardian is willing and able to provide you with transportation to the zoo so you can complete the minimum hours required.

Are there other trainings available?


Due to the staff time required and the limited availability of space, these are the only two weeks of training available in 2020. 


I am going into 11th or 12th grade in the 2020-21 school year.  What opportunities are available to me?  

Please visit our volunteer page and check out the Zoo Ambassador position.  This volunteer opportunity will allow you to do many of the same things as ZooALIVE members.  Orientation and training for this position are more flexible and you can sign up at any time.  


OK!  I'm ready to apply... what does that entail, exactly?  


Application & Essay Answers

YOU (not your sister or brother or mom or dad) are required to answer essay questions in the first part of the application process.  This allows us to get a better understanding of why you want to join the ZooALIVE team and how you will help us in our zoo-wide mission to empower people to engage in conservation of animals and their natural habitat.  


We also require TWO reference submissions from non-family member adults.  This can include teachers, mentors, scout or 4H leaders, etc. 

Application timeline

March 23-27, 2020 Training

Application open:  January 6, 2020

Application and references due: February 6, 2020

Scholarship due (if necessary):  February 6, 2020

Interviews (if necessary):  February 14, February 15

Notification of acceptance: February 21, 2020

Official registration forms and fee due: March 6, 2020

There's a fee!?! What does it cover? How much is it?  Are scholarships available?  

Yep.  The cost for the weeklong course is $170 for zoo members and $185 for non-members. 

The fee covers the training, a volunteer shirt, water bottle, tote bag, and all other training materials. 

We have some fantastic support from the Pueblo Humane Society and the Southern Colorado Community Foundation that enables us to provide partial scholarships to our applicants.  Once you have been chosen to participate in the training and your scholarship need has been identified, you will be notified of your scholarship award.  



An application and two reference submissions will be required for applicants to the 2020 program. See the application timeline above for information about deadlines and notifications. The cost for the weeklong course is $170 for zoo members and $185 for non-members. 

Applications and reference forms are linked below.


Partial need-based scholarships are available. Fill out the scholarship application below to be considered. See the application timeline above for information about deadlines and notifications.


Please email Heather with any ZooALIVE program questions at hdewey@pueblozoo.org 


June training applications are
now open!  

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Pueblo Zoo  • 3455 Nuckolls Ave.  •  Pueblo, CO 81005  

Phone: 719-561-1452  Fax: 719-561-8986


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Our mission is to empower people to engage in conservation of animals and their natural habitat.