ACC Mission Statement
The mission of the Athens-Clarke County Department of Leisure Services is to enrich the lives of our citizens through the stewardship of the community's natural resources and the efficient and responsive provision of quality leisure opportunities, experiences, and partnerships.
Bear Hollow Mission Statement
To inspire change in order to protect the animals in your backyard.
To foster a connection to Georgia wildlife and to enhance positive concepts about these animals and their environment. Allow interns hands on opportunities in the way of education, interpretation, animal care, including husbandry, enrichment and training.
Bear Hollow follows UGA’s academic calendar for internships. The first week of internships, start with the first day of class each semester .The last week of the internship falls on the week of Reading day.
In order to get the most value and experience from your internship, interns should be available a minimum of 2 days a week (Sunday – Saturday) for at least 6 hours. Interns may work 8 hours each day if they prefer. Hours can be between 8:00am – 5:00pm (Weekday hours must start at 8:00am). Days and times are negotiable; please inform us during your interview.
· Fall: 15 weeks (Thanksgiving break excused)
· Spring: 15 weeks (Spring break excused)
Internships are available for class credit; it is up to the intern to get this approved with the school.
You will work directly with animals under staff supervision/ training.
1. Interns will learn daily husbandry routines for the zoo’s ambassador collection.
a. Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates
2. Interns will learn to present Bear Hollow’s standard edZOOcation programs.
3. Interns will learn to handle, transport, and present the zoo’s ambassador collection.
4. Interns will learn on record keeping for zoo and animal management.
5. Interns will learn to prepare and deliver appropriate enrichment for the zoo’s collection.
6. Interns may assist in training or maintain trained behaviors for the collection animals including handling, crating, shifting, and presenting.
7. Interns will be invited to attend and/or assist in onsite veterinary exams.
8. Interns are required to develop a “Legacy project” that is designed to benefit the zoo in some way before the end of their internship. This can be in the form of improving an animals’ habitat, developing a new enrichment device, or enhance the visitors’ experience.
· 18 years old
· Must commit to a semester
· Able to commit to two days a week for a minimum of 6 hours each day.
o You must commit to a regular weekly shifts
§ Regardless of school, study group, football games, undesirable weather.
§ Exceptions may be made by prior approval of the Program Specialist
o This is a minimum requirement. You are able to work as often as you’d like.
o Excused absences are only granted by prior approval of the Program Specialist and doctor’s notes.
· Completing the semester and legacy project is solely the responsibility of the intern.
· Not maintaining 3 shifts (“No Call/ No Show”) in a semester without prior approval will result in the intern being dropped from program. They cannot apply again until the next semester.
o Make up shifts are allowed on any day that Program Specialist approves.
· Inappropriate animal care by an intern will result in Written Counseling. Three Written Counselings within a semester will result in loss of all animal care privileges.
· Extremely inappropriate animal care by an intern may result in dismissal from the volunteer program.
· Interns who are in good standing and have completed one full semester are allowed to stay on as an animal care volunteer and help with an animal care routine. They must complete a minimum 1 shift/ week for a total of 3 shifts per month. (Start time at 8:00 am with all routine work complete by Noon; Only exceptions are “Diet Prep” and “PM Feeds” routines)
· Not maintaining these three shifts, without prior approval, will result in the volunteer/intern being dropped from the animal care program.
Application Process and Training
Wildlife Education interns must turn in a Wildlife Education Intern application.
Applicants will then be selected for an interview based upon application.
If selected for the internship, interns will be told when to sign up to start their training. Due to staff limitations, the number of interns will vary and will be set up based on staff availability.
Training may take 3-6 sessions of working routine(s) with a staff member. You must complete at least 3 training session in a row. Skipped/missed sessions will result in your training starting over.
The final session will be a verbal practical where you will “train” the staff on how to properly perform the routine in your area.
Dress Code and Safety:
Interns must be in proper uniform to work. Staff will not allow you to sign out keys if interns are not in proper uniform.
- Closed toe shoes
- Appropriate length shorts (fingertip rule), pants, or jeans
- No holes in clothes
- No profanity/ inappropriate logos
- Face covering
Not all animals are to be touched and some may have protected contact. Please follow all rules of Bear Hollow and instructions of Bear Hollow Staff.
Due to changing circumstances, zoo management may change requirements and guidelines and/or animal care routines when necessary.
Zoonotic Disease Preventive Procedures
Bear Hollow aims to minimize the risk of zoonotic disease transmission for staff and volunteers working with mammals. Although the present risk of disease is limited because of management practices and health screening programs, the potential of exposure does exist as we recognize new diseases.
Face mask wearing policy*
Due to the potential risk transferring a virus from human to mammals, all staff and guests should wear a facemask when working and or interacting within 6 feet of mammals and preparing diets. Staff/Interns who are ill should report symptoms, stay home or swap routines accordingly.
COVID- 19: Some animals in our collection have been shown to be more susceptible to coronavirus. ALL staff/interns are required to wear face coverings to protect the animals, zoo staff, guests and you!
· As recommended by the CDC, if you feel sick, please stay home. Notify zoo staff of your absence.
*These policies are subject to change based on the recommendations from USDA, DNR, AZA, and/or ZAPH and will be updated accordingly.
As an intern at the Bear Hollow Zoo, you are representing the Zoo and Memorial Park. Any and all behavior should be consistent with our mission statement. Please be courteous and respectful to the guest, your coworkers, and the animals.
If you have any questions about the internship please feel free to contact the Zoo Coordinator or Programs Specialist.
Zoo Coordinator: Kelly Garrison 706-340-0553 Kelly.Garrison@accgov.com
Program Specialist: Megan Hong 706-613-3580 Megan.Hong@accgov.com
Wondering if you should register to volunteer? Based on the CDC guidelines, we are asking you the following questions:
- Do you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19? Symptoms can include a cough or shortness of breath or at least two of the following: Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, New loss of taste or smell. See the CDC’s symptom information.