Careers FAQ

Answers at the Ready

The Calgary Zoo fields all sorts of questions from excited job seekers like you. These are the most common questions we’re asked.

Who does the hiring for the Calgary Zoo?

The Calgary Zoological Society employs the majority of staff at the zoo. The zookeepers are employed by the City of Calgary and assigned to work at the zoo.   

How do I become a zookeeper?

Turnover is extremely low in this field, so it’s quite competitive. We receive hundreds of applicants when Animal Care positions are posted.

Many of our zookeepers have a university degree with courses in biology, zoology, anatomy, animal behaviour or animal husbandry. They also have animal handling experience gained through volunteering at a zoo, veterinary clinic, farm, humane society, wildlife rehabilitation center, animal shelter or another animal-related organization. Many new graduates with limited experience begin working at the zoo in another department. As an employee or a volunteer you will have the opportunity to become familiar with the zoo and meet our zookeepers.

Can I shadow a zookeeper?

Due to limited resources and the excessive number of requests we regularly receive, we are unable to offer a shadowing program. We do offer a variety of paid programs that provide a similar experience, including Zookeeper for a Day

Do you offer internships/practicums?

We don’t offer internships or practicums in our Animal Care department, but other departments may have paid or unpaid opportunities. See our current job postings for available opportunities. 

How old do you have to be to work at the zoo?

Applicants must be at least 15 years old. Some positions may require that you be at least 18 years of age.

Black bears come in a full array of colours including blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon and even (rarely) white.