Do you love animals? Working with children? Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity?


Saturday, July 16, 2016, 10 am to 12 pm

Do you love animals?  Working with children?  Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity?  Check out the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s (GLAZA) Docent training program at an information meeting on Saturday, July 16, 2016, 10 am to noon, at the Los Angeles Zoo’s Witherbee Auditorium.  Docents serve as volunteer teachers, sharing their knowledge of the Zoo and its flora and fauna with adults and children through touring, educational activities, educational programs, classes and more.  The docent program, open to ages 18 and up, provides a comprehensive training course where individual opportunities are explored and developed.  GLAZA volunteers, topping 700 people, contributed more than 76,000 hours last year to the Zoo, with duties as varied as the men and women performing them.  Some GLAZA volunteers, who range in age from 15 to 95, have provided over 46 years of service.  No previous experience is necessary.

“We’re looking for people who enjoy learning and interacting with youngsters, families and other Zoo visitors,” says Kirin Daugharty, Manager of Volunteer Programs.  “Volunteers and docents are the soul of the zoo, so passion, dedication and enthusiasm are ideal characteristics for those applying to the program.”

Docents complete a 23-week training program offered at the Zoo each fall in conjunction with UCLA Extension.  Classes, which begin in October, meet once a week on Tuesdays or Saturdays, from 8:30 am to 3 pm, and focus on taxonomy of both the plants and animals at the Zoo as well as ecology, conservation and the role of zoos in wildlife preservation.  Docents must be high school graduates or equivalent and 18 years or older when applying and be able to commit 100 hours per year for a minimum of two years.  Applications are accepted through August 19, 2016, and can be completed on-line at

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.75 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.  Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo; one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world; a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants; and much more.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.  The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children.  As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  Free parking is available.

Reservations for the July 16 information meeting are not required; check-in tables will be set up at the Zoo entrance.

Full descriptions of volunteer and docent opportunities and requirements are available at general information is available by calling (323) 644-4703 or (323) 644-4773 or emailing
Credit: The Los Angeles Zoo. PHOTO CREDIT:  Jamie Pham.

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