What are Ambassador Animals? We are the most diverse department in the Zoo, caring for every animal taxa with the exception of fish. Ambassador Animals are animals that have close contact with Zoo guests on a regular basis. These include our show birds, animals used for educational programming both on and off grounds and our contact yard with goats, sheep and Kune kune pigs. Although Ambassador Animals keepers and interns do not conduct classroom programs, keepers do conduct informal animal encounters on zoo grounds, host two different live animal shows on grounds and work in the contact yard. From Memorial Day to Labor Day we have up to four shows per day, five to six days per week. Much of the internship during this time will be spent ensuring keepers are able to present a high-quality show to our guests by being an active participant in behind-the-scenes show preparation. This is also busy season for our contact yard, so interns will be able to gain valuable guest interaction experience as well as daily hands-on animal experience. The fall season brings a slower pace for the department to catch up from the summer on various projects. This internship is focused around enrichment building, assisting in solving training challenges observed during the summer, an increase in informal animal encounters, preparatory work for our annual workshop, and preparatory work for the winter. The contact yard sees a large influx of school children on field trips, which provides great opportunities to gain experience with conservation messaging to young children. The winter season typically is much more husbandry focused. There is a lot that goes into keeping the animals warm during the colder months as well as enriched without as much time outdoors and interacting with guests. This is also the season we do most of our annual physicals for animals, so it"s a great time for interns interested in the vet field to see some of that in action. The spring is primarily about prepping for the busy season. This is focused around show design and rehearsal, training novel behaviors, and aesthetic work ensuring that all areas are in tip top shape for the summer crowds. This is usually the second round of large field trip numbers in the contact yard before kids are out for the summer.

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