Animal Care – Birds & Mammals

Why do we need you?

We are involved in maintaining and developing exhibits within the site at Washington in order to enhance the visitor experience.  This involves caring for our large collection of rare and endangered species of waterfowl from around the world as well as wetland mammals.

The role would suit someone looking to gain or build upon animal care experience, or willing to get stuck in to outdoors work with animals. We have one of the largest animal collections in the North East, with 48 species, 15 of which are of Conservation Concern, including the current flock of 60 breeding Chilean Flamingos and a pair of Asian Short-clawed Otters. Previous volunteers have gone on to work in animal conservation work around the world.

Who will be responsible for your role?

Senior Keeper

Where will you be based?

Washington grounds

How much time will it take?

1 or more days per week 10am – 4pm Saturday / Sunday

(Seasonal) with a commitment to a minimum of a 6 month period in order to get the most benefit from your volunteering experience.

What will you be doing?

  • Daily feed preparation, routines and creating animal enrichment
  • Assisting in day to day cleaning and maintenance to ensure high standards of welfare for our animals.
  • Help with vegetation management in and around exhibits to keep them attractive and to meet welfare standards. This will include weeding.
  • Pond maintenance
  • Maintaining and improving exhibit fence lines
  • Assisting with animal handling and annual health checks
  • During breeding season; checking nest boxes, incubators and assisting in the animal rearing facilities
  • Occasional tasks may include: Building nest boxes, feeders and animal shelters, constructing enclosures and ponds, or assisting with large collection team projects.
  • A variety of seasonal duties including putting out and bringing in nest boxes, winter shelter preparation and bedding changing
  • Small amount of record keeping and animal health and welfare reporting
  • Optional: Conducting public feed talks for the Otters and Flamingos alongside occasional guided tours.

Who are we looking for?

  • Some practical experience in animal care would be desirable
  • Able to follow instructions and safely complete activities alone or as part of a team
  • Good people skills
  • Public speaking skills desirable
  • Physical fitness and the ability to lift heavy loads
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather
  • Driving licence is desirable

How will you benefit?

  • Working in the fresh air with friendly, like-minded people
  • Exercise and all-round fitness
  • You will be able to become part of the collections team at an exciting time with potential upcoming developments
  • Training in use of tools, animal handling and safe working practices on site
  • You will be involved in the workings of this centre and will therefore be able to take up any opportunities that become available
  • This is an excellent opportunity to work within an internationally important wetland site
  • Suitable uniform is provided to all regular volunteers
  • Discount is available in the cafe and shop for all volunteers on the day they volunteer

How to Apply

For more information and to apply, please visit:

Please mention when applying for this job!

Key Information




Permanent, Temporary


Part Time


Entry Level, Graduate


Biodiversity, Countryside & Land Management, Ecology, Nature & Wildlife, Workshop & Practical Skills


WWT Washington, United Kingdom

Application Deadline:

6th September 2019 at 11:45pm

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