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Animal Lovers Sought For Rewarding Docent Opportunities At The Los Angeles Zoo

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.6 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.
The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.6 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.

Do you love animals?  Working with children?  Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity?  Check out the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) docent training program at an information meeting on Saturday, July 18, 2015, 10 am to noon, at the Los Angeles Zoo’s Witherbee Auditorium.  GLAZA’s docent program, open to ages 18 and up, provides comprehensive training, with no previous experience necessary.  GLAZA’s volunteers, topping 600 people, contributed more than 76,000 hours last year to the Zoo.  Many volunteers, who range in age from 15to 95 (!), have provided over 46 years of service.

“All you need is willingness to learn and commitment to the welfare of our animals,” says Kirin Daugharty, manager of volunteers, adding, “Docents are an essential part of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, creating a better environment for our animals and our visitors.”

GLAZA offers a comprehensive program for adult docents, who serve as volunteer teachers, sharing their knowledge of the Zoo and its flora and fauna with adults and children through touring, use of educational activities, and numerous educational programs and classes.  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 Mondays 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’ duties are as varied as those performing them, with individual opportunities discussed and developed throughout the training course.  Docents must be high school graduate 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 21 at http://www.lazoo.org/support/volunteer/docent/ .

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.6 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; an Indian Rhino Encounter direct-contact opportunity; 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.

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 18 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 http://www.lazoo.org/support/volunteer/docent/ and general information is available by calling (323) 644-4703 or emailing volunteers@lazoo.org.

 

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