Photo Credit: Jamie Pham

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), seeking to increase its number of volunteers, will present is docent training program at an information meeting on July 18 at 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.  Volunteers contributed more than 76,000 hours last year to the Zoo.  Many volunteers, who range in age from 15 to 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.

They 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 a.m. to 3 p.m., 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.

Various duties, as well as individual opportunities, are 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

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 and general information is available by calling (323) 644-4703 or emailing