Caring for chimpanzees is a lot of work. Our small staff is supported by a large team of dedicated volunteers who give freely of their time and energy to help provide the chimpanzees with the happy life they deserve.
Our most consistent need is for volunteers to work on-site in the chimp house, helping with the wide range of tasks required to maintain a clean, safe, and enriching home for the chimps. Our chimp house volunteer program is divided into three levels. Prospective volunteers can apply to begin at either Level I or Level II; long-term Level II volunteers with an excellent record may apply to move to Level III, though acceptance into Level III training is not guaranteed.
Level I Chimp House Volunteers
Tasks: include washing produce, doing laundry, preparing enrichment and meals, and doing other kitchen tasks as needed. Requirements: include one afternoon shift per month for a minimum of six months, an annual TB test, and a seasonal flu shot (or face mask). Limitations: Level I volunteers do not interact with the chimpanzees.
Level II Chimp House Volunteers
Tasks: In addition to Level I tasks, Level II volunteers assist in cleaning enclosures. Requirements: include one morning shift per month for a minimum of six months, annual TB test, seasonal flu shot (or face mask), and safety and chimpanzee identification training. Limitations: Level II volunteers do not interact with the chimpanzees.
Level III Chimp House Volunteers
Tasks: In addition to Level I & II tasks, Level III volunteers serve meals and engage in protected physical and non-physical interactions with the chimpanzees. Requirements: Three 5-hour shifts per month for a minimum of one year, annual TB test, seasonal flu shot, 25 hours of safety and husbandry training spanning two to six months. Limitations: Volunteers begin Level III training by invitation only; positions are extremely limited.
If you can’t make the long-term, monthly commitment required for chimp house volunteering, there are other ways to volunteer! Help us plan fundraising events, build climbing structures for the chimps, or lend your professional skills – see the General Application below for more info.
General Application (for positions not in the chimp house)
Questions? Email our Volunteer Coordinator at Elizabeth@ChimpsNW.org.
Please note: Our need for volunteers varies. If we do not currently need volunteers in the area you’re interested in, we’d be happy to keep your application on file for the future!