Asheboro, NC – Consider being a volunteer and experience the North Carolina Zoo like never before. With a new year upon us, the zoo is kicking off its annual volunteer recruitment campaign with orientations beginning in mid-January.

Volunteers are the heart of many organizations and the zoo is no different. In 2014, zoo volunteers contributed more than 35,000 hours. The zoo is seeking volunteers to serve as educators, giraffe deck operators, zoo hosts, and office assistants, as well as serve as animal caregivers at the zoo’s wildlife center, where volunteers care for native injured, orphaned and sick native wildlife.

Youth may volunteer independently at age 16 with parental consent and at age 12 with a parent or legal guardian. Volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of 90 hours between April and October although some positions are year round. One-day service projects also are available for groups that are looking for episodic opportunities.

There are many benefits to volunteering at the zoo, including access to behind-the-scenes tours, training, zoo discounts, meeting others who share a similar passion and earning valuable service hours for college scholarship/service-based clubs, or gaining job experience.

If you are looking for fun, creative and rewarding ways to give back to the community, volunteering at the zoo might be for you. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the North Carolina Zoo and to be notified of training dates, please visit and complete an online application, or contact the zoo’s volunteer coordinator, Toy Lambeth, at

The zoo is open 364 days a year (closed on Christmas), offering 500 acres of exhibits with special events year round. Visit for more information.

The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Donald R. van der Vaart, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.