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Jobs at Woodland Park Zoo



Woodland Park Zoo is currently not accepting veterinary student applications for 2014 and 2015.


About the externship


Dr. Kelly Helmick


Associate Veterinarian

Clinical Experience (to be gained during program)

Students will receive hands-on exposure to clinical techniques, surgery, anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, quarantine, preventive medicine, nutrition, and laboratory methods for a variety of exotic terrestrial and aquatic mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians, as available based on caseload.


A brief study or paper conducted during the externship will be required.  Students may assist in research projects in progress or submit a proposal for a small project to be completed during their course of study. 

Allied Institutions

Woodland Park Zoo maintains a working relationship with the Seattle Aquarium, PAWS wildlife rehabilitation facility, a board-certified zoo pathologist, the University of Washington, and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  Interested students should indicate if they desire additional experience at these allied institutions at the time of application.  Work experience in these allied institutions is NOT a guaranteed component of the zoo’s study program. 


The student will have a wide range of responsibilities, based upon skill level and caseload.  Minimally, each student will be expected to participate in medical procedures, assist in administering animal treatments, care for quarantined and hospitalized animals, and rotate through commissary and keeper areas.  Students are expected to work a standard 40-hour work week and be available for after-hours procedures or treatments as needed.


Course of study in 4 weeks.  International students may request a longer duration of study by contacting the program coordinator directly. Students should request dates that do not overlap with Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s holidays or the AAZV conference due to reduced staffing and caseload.

Application Requests

Completed application form, letter of intent, Curriculum Vitae, veterinary school transcript, and two (2) letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the student’s clinical experience.  Applications are submitted electronically. The official application form is posted to this webpage annually from Sept. 1 - Oct. 30.

Class Standing

Fourth-year veterinary students.




A small, furnished apartment with kitchen and laundry facilities is available on zoo grounds.  Parking on zoo grounds is also available.


None provided.  The City of Seattle maintains a public transportation system, with a bus stop outside the zoo’s front gate. 


None provided.



TB test/ Vaccinations

Proof of negative skin tuberculin test obtained within 6 months of start date is required.  Tetanus toxoid, rabies prophylaxis, and hepatitis A&B vaccinations are recommended but not required.


Located on beautiful Puget Sound, the city of Seattle is separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, contains numerous urban parks, freshwater lakes, museums, restaurants, and is a short drive from several national parks, including Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier.  To learn more about the City of Seattle and see links for local attractions and recreational opportunities, please visit or