WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange is once again looking for energetic and enthusiastic people to join its Docent Program.

Docents are volunteer educators who are among the most visible members of the Turtle Back Zoo community. Their main function is to provide zoo guests with quality, educational and enriching experiences while they are there.

Turtle Back Zoo docents act as guides, give educational talks, staff special events and are stationed throughout the zoo to provide information to visitors about the zoo and its animal collection. Volunteers do not need a background in biology or zoology, just a love of zoos and an interest in public service.

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While a love of animals draws many volunteers to Turtle Back Zoo, volunteers are not directly involved with the handling and care of the Zoo's animals.

Docent volunteer requirements are as follows:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Submit an application found at http://turtlebackzoo.com/discover/docents-volunteers/ by Jan. 10, 2020
  • Complete an interview held on Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • Complete a 7-day training course held on Sundays, beginning February 9th and running through the end of March, on Zoo grounds
  • Pay a one-time fee of $30 to cover training materials
  • Commit to volunteer a designated number of hours/events on at least two selected days a month throughout the year

Those interested on contacting the zoo’s Volunteer Coordinator at tbzdocents@yahoo.com or 973-731-5800 ext. 306.