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Keeper for a Day

Keeper for a Day is an exciting program at Zoo Atlanta that gives teens and adults a firsthand look at working in a zoo. Come spend the day helping zookeepers with their daily routines of food preparation, cleaning and animal care. Whether you're considering a career in zookeeping or have always wanted to spend some time with your favorite animal, this exclusive behind-the-scenes program is a once in a lifetime experience.

Participants can choose from five program options:

NEW! Giant Panda
Cost: $1350 Members / $1500 non-Members
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Being a zookeeper is hard work, especially if you take care of giant pandas! For the first time ever, we are inviting you behind-the-scenes to see the panda building in action with our brand-new Giant Panda Keeper for a Day program! Participants will spend the afternoon alongside our panda keepers learning about their exciting and challenging careers. 
Upcoming dates: Jul 16
 
NEW! Hoofstock and Carnivores
Cost: $265 Members / $295 non-Members
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Spend the morning helping Zoo staff care for Zoo Atlanta's favorite hooved residents: giraffes, bongos, zebras and more! In the afternoon, you'll switch gears and learn about meat-loving residents such as our giant otters, sun bears or tigers. 
Upcoming dates: Feb 20, Mar 19, Apr 16
 
Show Birds and Animal Ambassadors
Cost: $215 Members / $245 non-Members
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Come meet dozens of birds, reptiles and mammals! Spend the morning with our amazing program animal ambassadors. In the afternoon, you will go behind-the-scenes and assist with the presentation of our Wildlife Theater show! Get up-close-and-personal with everything from alligators and hedgehogs to birds of prey and parrots. 
Upcoming dates: Mar 26, Apr 23, May 28 

 
Elephants and Carnivores
Cost: $265 Members / $295 non-Members
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m
Spend the day with some of the Zoo’s most unique residents – elephants, tigers, bears and more!
Upcoming dates: May 7, Jun 4, Jul 2

 
Birds and Reptiles
Cost: $215 Members / $245 non-Members
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m
Hang out all morning with the Zoo’s fine, feathered, flyers! Then venture over to spend some time with our friendly reptiles, including Aldabra tortoise and many more.
Upcoming dates: Feb 13, Mar 12, Apr 9

Program Information

  • Programs are offered on Saturdays year-round.
  • Participants must be at least 14 years old.
  • Registration is required at least one week in advance of program date and full payment must be made at time of registration.
  • Due to the hands-on nature of this program, group size is limited to 2 participants per session.
Programs involving the Zoo’s animal collection are subject to change; therefore, we cannot guarantee you will work with specific animals during the program.
 
Click "Register Online" button to see additional dates. Cost includes Keeper for a Day behind-the-scenes activities, Zoo admission, lunch*, and a t-shirt.
 
*lunch not included with Panda Keeper for a Day
 



Keeper for a Day Gift Certificate

Give the adventure of lifelong learning. Here’s an idea we can promise won’t be re-gifted: give a certificate for one of Zoo Atlanta’s award-winning education programs! You may also purchase gift certificates in $25 - $200 increments. Program restrictions apply.


All About Keeper for a Day

What should I wear?
During the program, you will be inside and outside. Please dress comfortably for the day and appropriately for the weather. Programs will take place rain or shine. A t-shirt and nametag will be provided for participants to wear during the program. Participants must wear both of these items during the program. Participants will have time to change before the start of the program. Participants can wear a long-sleeved shirt under the t-shirt if the outside temperature is cold.

Please wear khakis or jeans. Shorts are allowed during summer months. Wear comfortable shoes that are close-toed such as tennis shoes or work boots. Old shoes are best since you will get dirty. Flip-flops and sandals should not be worn, as they will prevent participants from entering the behind-the-scenes areas that are part of the program.  

What do I need to bring?
Plan to bring a water bottle and a morning snack if you will get hungry before lunch. Lunch will be provided as part of the program*. Participants with dietary restrictions are encouraged to bring their own lunch. Also wear or bring bug spray and sunscreen in the spring, summer, and fall months. *Lunch not included with Panda Keeper for a Day program.

May I bring a camera?
Sure! Bring your phone, digital, or film camera and take memorable pictures of your experience! (Video cameras are not allowed.)

What should I know about working with the animals?
Although our animals are trained to work with their human caregivers, they are still wild animals and their behavior is unpredictable. It is important that you pay close attention to the guidance and instructions of Zoo staff. Never enter any animal area without direction from the keeper. Always wait for instructions and authorization from the keepers before approaching any of the animals while participating in training and feeding sessions. You must avoid touching the animals unless instructed to touch by the keepers. In addition, please note that participants who work around carnivores will be exposed to raw meat.

Are there any restrictions to participating?
Due to animal health and safety regulations, guests who have been outside of the United States or outside of Canada within the (10) days prior to the program will not be allowed to participate. Guests are expected to follow all rules and instructions of Zoo staff. Anyone not following instructions may be asked to leave the program without refund. Please note that behind-the-scenes areas are not handicapped accessible.

Call 404.624.5822 or email education@zooatlanta.org for more information.


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