Are you interested in a career with animals? Do you love hands-on learning and working with others?

If so, the Keeper-in-Training Program is for you!

The Keeper-in-Training (KIT) Program is a unique way for teens ages 14 – 17 to be a part of The Zoo Team! Keeper-in-Trainings will gain valuable, hands-on experience of what a typical zookeeper's day is like, as well as offer the chance to help in other areas of The Zoo such as special events and programs within our Education Department.

Important Information

  • Please come dressed appropriately as KITs will spend most of their day outdoors.
  • Reservations are not confirmed until payment is made in full.
  • Please bring a bagged lunch (refrigerator will not be available). We recommend bringing a lunch with an ice pack or two.


1 week, half day
(A.M.: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or P.M.: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Members: $50
Nonmembers: $60

1 week, full day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Members: $100
Nonmembers: $110

Single shifts (A.M. or P.M. - subject to availability):
Members: Half day: $10 per shift
Nonmembers: Half day: $12 per shift
Members: Full day: $20 per day
Nonmembers: Full day: $24 per day

Other notes:

  • This program was formly known as the Crew-in-Training Program (CIT program). We now also have a Counselor-in-Training Program (CIT) for those interested in working more closely with our Zoo Camp program.
  • The Zoo will not process refunds for the KIT program unless accompanied by a doctor's note.


"I volunteered as a KIT (Keeper-in-Training) for The Zoo in Forest Park when I was thirteen years old. I remember learning about all the animals, especially the chinchillas and hissing cockroaches. I was excited about volunteering every day. Today, I am Wildlife Conservation Biologist and a Park Ranger with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. I teach environmental education to the public. I know that my volunteer experience with The Zoo was a stepping stone to a career in natural resource education." - Tasha Daniels

Tasha Daniels, from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, meets a North American beaver.