Internships

The Lake Superior Zoo offers five exciting and engaging internship programs! The goal of the Lake Superior Zoo Student Internship Program is to provide pre-professional, on-site experience for students interested in captive husbandry management or environmental education.

We are strongly dedicated to our mission of facilitating understanding between people and the Earth and conserving the environment. Our actions embody these concepts so that we may cultivate positive change in the world.

Animal Care Internship

Animal care interns work primarily in one or two of our five animal care areas, while also having opportunities ot learn about primates and raptors.

Animal Care Internship Description

Animal Care Internship Application

Send application and required documents to;
Emily Perala
Lead Zookeeper
218-730-4500 ext. 104 | eperala@lszoo.org


Education Internship

Education interns will assist educators in teaching about wildlife and conservation through on-site and off-site presentations featuring live animals and animal artifacts.
Education Intern Position Description
Education Intern Application

Send application and required documents to:
Sarah Wilcox
Director of Education
218-730-4500 ext. 214 | swilcox@lszoo.org


Veterinary Technician Internship

Veterinary technician interns will assist veterinary staff in the medical care of zoo animals through hands-on practice of learned veterinary technician skills.
Veterinary Technician Intern Position Description
Veterinary Technician Intern Application

Send application and required documents to:
Amy Gallagher, CVT
218-730-4500 ext. 101 | agallagher@lszoo.org

Application Requirements

• Cover letter
• Resume (education, previous employment/experience)
• (1) Letter of reference
• Complete internship application

Your application is not complete until all four items are received.

Deadlines for Application

Session DatesDeadlines
Summer Session: Mid-May through August (all internships)March 15 (March 1 for animal care)
Fall Session: Mid-September through December (animal care & vet tech only)August 15
Spring Session: Mid-January through April (all internships)December 1

Intern Testimonials


“The husbandry internship at Lake Superior Zoo is an experience that I will sorely miss.  It was very easy to fall in love with the work, the people, and the animals.
It’s actually quite surprising that such a small and little known zoo could have such a fulfilling internship, but they work hard to make sure you get as much experience as possible in the time given.
If there is anything super interesting happening, such as certain vet procedures, they make sure interns know about it and are given the chance to see it happen.  They ensure you gain important knowledge from seminars/lectures on various topics.  You are invited to be a part of different kinds of meetings.  And if you ask to learn something in specific, they will try their very best to make it happen.
The ability to learn and be apart of all areas of the zoo was fun too.  You get assigned certain areas, but you do get to do a shadow day.  I also ended up helping, at least once, in every one of the areas.  Being able to flexibly choose the days and general times you come in is very helpful, especially if you are a college student and/or have a job.
They give you as much trust as you earn.  You will be given more responsibilities and difficult tasks as long as you show that you can handle them.  A lot of interns in other places are treated like toddlers, so I very much appreciate the level of respect interns were treated with.
All in all, it is definitely an internship I recommend.  I wish I never had to leave!” 
Kendra Lender, Fall 2022/Spring 2023

“The Keepers at the Lake Superior Zoo are genuinely some of the kindest and most hardworking people I’ve come across in a professional setting and that shows through their dedication to making the internship program a well-rounded and meaningful experience.” 
Samantha Todhunter, Summer 2023

“Finding a place that allows you to be completely yourself while learning about fascinating animals is not an easy task. However, I found that place this Summer at Lake Superior Zoo. LSZ is a great place for those beginning their animal care career. They prepare you for real-world experiences and give you the best tools to succeed. This internship program will make you a better zookeeper and give you lifelong friendships- even if some friends are a little scalier than others.”       
  -Quinton Wade, Summer 2022

“My summer interning at Lake Superior Zoo gave me many great experiences for working in the zoo field. I was able to improve my skills and knowledge in enrichment, training, and animal husbandry. The keeper staff are willing to work with you to further your interests and are overall great people. This internship greatly exceeded my expectations, and I would recommend anyone interested in a career working with animals to apply.”
-Emily Frost, Summer 2021

“Over the summer of 2021, I was given the opportunity to intern at the Lake Superior Zoo.  For years, I have wanted to work with animals, and the zoo gave me the chance to care for and learn from so many species.  From small invertebrates to massive snakes, and everything in between, I was involved in their everyday care, and it humbled me, to know that they depended on me.
The Lake Superior Zoo also offered different projects to expand our knowledge and prepare us for getting a job in the career.  I learned new software, attended numerous presentations and seminars, and even reviewed my application materials and resume to set me up for the future.  After my internship, I feel more confident in pursuing a job in this field than ever before.
I believe that the zoo is a wonderful place to learn and grow.  The keepers took us under their wings and allowed us to blossom.  I fell in love with the career and animals all over again, and if I had the chance to take another season here, I would.” -Alex Eick, Summer 2021

“This internship has made me appreciate the work zookeepers do.  Being able to spend all day doing the same tasks and learning new information about species with keepers has brought great satisfaction into my world.”
-Marissa Bober, Summer 2020
 
“The Animal Care Internship at the Lake Superior Zoo provided me with the complete experience of being a zookeeper.  There is a very supportive and helpful environment at the Zoo, and I ended my internship with the full knowledge and preparedness to be a zookeeper or animal care specialist.”
-Braeden Barr, Summer/Fall 2020

“Being able to intern at the Lake Superior Zoo was life changing. The entire staff is so helpful in helping you to reach your personal goals and learning new things every day. Each day brings fun and exciting challenges, and I got to be face-to-face with animals I never could’ve imagined. This internship is an amazing experience for anyone who is interested in pursuing a zookeeping career!”
-Lizzy Stanforth, Spring/Fall 2020

“I would recommend interning at the Lake Superior Zoo to anyone interested in working with animals.  Getting so much guidance and advice from the keepers is something most bigger zoos don’t offer, but here at the Lake Superior Zoo the keepers are all willing to answer questions you might have.  The smaller size also means that interns can work with a wide variety of animals every day.  For example, my position as a Main intern allowed me to work with snakes, domesticated breeds such as rats, rabbits, and ferrets, parrots, tortoises, kangaroos, and many more.  Located in a gorgeous city like Duluth, the Lake Superior Zoo provides the wide variety of experiences that other larger zoos offer, in addition to the one-on-one, hands-on feel of other smaller facilities.”
-Greta Fischer, Summer 2019:

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