Become a docent at Turtle Back Zoo

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Turtle Back Zoo is recruiting volunteers for the 2019 docent class. Docents are volunteer educators who give educational talks, act as tour guides, and are stationed throughout the zoo to provide information to visitors about the zoo and its animal collection. This is a highly selective volunteer position and training is required.

“Our docents help every visitor have an enjoyable and memorable experience at our zoo. Whether walking through our zoo grounds or making presentations in schools or at community events, our docents are volunteer ambassadors who share their love and knowledge about animals and their habitats, and encourage the public to have respect for the environment,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said. “If you love animals, we encourage you to attend the training course and become a Turtle Back Zoo docent.”

New docents must be at least 18 years old and complete a seven-day course instructed by experienced TBZ staff. Applications are due by Saturday, Jan. 12, and applicants will be interviewed on Saturday, Jan. 19. Training will begin Sunday, Feb. 10, and continue on Sundays through the end of March. There is a non-refundable fee of $30 which covers training materials and handouts. The application for the class can be accessed at

Docents must commit to volunteer a designated number of hours/events on at least two selected days a month throughout the year. If interested, contact the zoo’s volunteer coordinator at or call 973-731-5800, ext. 306, for more information.