The Children's Zoo at Celebration Square, an AZA-accredited facility since 2009, is currently offering Animal Collections Internships for the 2013-2014 Winter semester.  The Zoo currently houses approximately 160 specimens representing over 50 species of animals.  Animal Collections Internships offer the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and understanding of what it takes to maintain a vibrant animal collection in a Zoological Park setting.  Internship positions are unpaid.


Characteristic Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Work with the Zoo's Keeper staff to gain hands-on experience working with various animals in the Zoo's collection.
  • Provide food, water, and appropriate enrichment.
  • Clean and disinfect enclosures.
  • Observe animal procedures.
  • Participate in educational programs.
  • Participate in Special Event assignments.
  • Complete daily paperwork.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements

Work may be outdoor and in all weather conditions.  Must have ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to and exceeding 50 pounds.  Must be able to bend, squat, lift, walk, run, work in tight spaces and/or unusual working conditions.  Must have ability to follow written and verbal instructions.  Must be able to adapt to quickly changing environment.  Must have ability to remain calm in potentially stressful situations. Internships run January through May.

Contact Information

Please submit resume and cover letter stating position to:

Children's Zoo at Celebration Square

ATTN: Animal Collection Department

1730 S. Washington Ave.

Saginaw, MI 48601

Fax: (989) 759-1328


No phone calls please

Oryctologus cuniculusFlemish Giant Rabbit


  • Leporidae


  • 6-9 years


  • Length: 16-22 inches

  • Weight: 10-30 pounds, males being larger


  • This breed originates from the Dutch/Flanders region in Europe


  • Grasslands and open woodlands


  • Wild: Succulent plant matter

  • Zoo: Purina rabbit chow, greens, produce, and hay


  • After a gestation of 28- 33 days, a litter of 4-8 kits are born inside the burrow or nest site.  One wild female rabbit may have up to 6 litters a year, but normally only 10-12 kits survive from each female every year.  Rabbits and hares exhibit induced ovulation (the female will not ovulate until she has mated), and postpartum estrus, increasing the likelihood to conceive.

Special adaptationsFlemish Giant Rabbit

  • Large ears help draw body heat away from the core, preventing over-heating during warm months

  • Large hind feet provide rabbits with a very powerful kick, which they can use as a defense mechanism, or to power large jumps when escaping predators

  • Rabbits, and many other lagomorphs, practice ‘coprophagy’ or the behavior of consuming fecal matter.  This benefits them by adding bacteria to the digestive tract to aid in the breakdown of plant matter.

  • Rabbits have eyes on the sides of their head, allowing them an almost 360° view


  • This large breed prefers cool temperatures, often lying stretched out in snow banks

  • Rabbits will “thump” with their back feet to communicate to other rabbits when danger is present

  • Rabbits live in large social units and dig an immense tunnel system, called a warren, if allowed

  • Lagomorphs possess a ‘peg tooth’ – a second pair of small incisors which lack a cutting edge found directly behind the large front incisors

  • Rabbits and hares are commonly thought to be rodents, but are in fact classified in a separate family

Conservation status

  • As a domestic breed, the Flemish Giant is not under threat

  • There are 3 species of wild rabbit and 6 species of hare under concern with IUCN


  1. CITES Appendices.  Accessed December 2012.
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.  Accessed December 2012. 
  3. Burnie, David and Don E. Wilson. Smithsonian Institution Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. New York, New York. DK Publishing, Inc. 2001
  4. Paddy Petterson, Katja Schulz. Eds. "Oryctolagus cuniculus (Linnaeus, 1758)". Encyclopedia of Life Accessed 24 Jan 2010.


Capra hircus Alpine Goat


  • Bovidae


  • 15-18 years

  • 20+ years not uncommon



·         Males: 34-40 inches at the shoulder

·         Females: At least 30 inches at the shoulder


·         Males: At least 170 pounds

·         Females: At least 135 pounds


  • Bred in the European Alps mountain range, especially France


  • Mountainous grasslands, shrub lands, and plateaus


  • Wild: Grasses, herbs, lichens, and other plant matter

  • Zoo: Mazuri goat chow and hay


Females reach sexual maturity between 3 and 15 months of age depending on breed.  Females (called a doe) come into heat once every 21 days for 2-48 hours.  The female will vigorously flap her tail, stand near a male if present, and become more vocal.  Gestation lasts about 150 days (about 4 ½ months).  Twins are typically born, single and triple births being the next common.  Multiple births exceeding 3 kids have occurred, but are less common.

Special adaptationsAlpine Goat

  • Goats have horizontal slit pupils which increase their peripheral depth perception

  • Alpines have excellent balance, which aid them in climbing along their rocky native lands

  • Goats are able to climb nearly vertical cliff faces

  • Alpines are one of the hardiest and easily adaptable breeds, making them a favorite amongst goat breeders


  • Goats are thought to be one of the first animals domesticated by man

  • Fossil remains of goats have been carbon dated to between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago

  • Goats are one of the most common farm animals

  • The alpine breed are excellent milk-producing goats

  • Their playful nature can be seen as Bandit and Buttons, our 2 Alpine goats, chase each other around their yard and butt heads – a common form of play and dominance displayed in goats

  • The Alpine breed has no determined color and can be found in white, bay, brown, fawn, red, saffron, and caramel.

  • Males typically have a pronounced beard as well as a patch of raised hair along their neck

  • Goats are highly curious and easily trainable

  • Males and females of this breed can produce horns

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not Evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • As a breed of domestic animal, the alpine goat is not threatened in the wild


  1.  CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012.

Alpine Goats


Equus asinus Domestic Donkey


  • Equidae


  • 30 or more years


  • Height: Over 36” but under 48” at the withers (shoulder)

  • Weight: 300-600 pounds


  • Donkeys are domesticated descendents of the African Wild Ass


  • Donkeys evolved in a desert habitat but have been domesticated for over 2000 years


  • Wild: Grasses and other plant matter

  • Zoo: Hay


  • Females mature at around 3 years of age.  They will go into heat cycles every 18-21 days.  Gestation lasts between 11 and 13 months after which a single foal is born.  Foals are walking within 30 minutes of birth and will be weaned at 5 or 6 months old. 

Special adaptations

  • Donkeys have larger ears than horses, which help to cool them – an adaptation to living in warm weather

  • Donkeys have very powerful bites and kicks which they will use in defense

  • Donkeys have loud vocalizations which help them to keep in contact with each other, even over long distances


  • Dun (gray) is the most common color of donkeys, although other colors and patterns are present in domestic breeds.

  • Donkeys were historically used as pack animals to carry heavy loads over long distances.  They were more desirable than horses since they are smaller in size, hardier, and can subsist on poorer quality of food while still being able to carry substantial weight.

  • Modern uses for donkeys include transport and being kept as pets.

  • Captive donkeys are commonly under threat of being overweight, since the quality of food likely to be fed is higher than the food they would have encountered in the wild (more calories per food item), along with decreased levels of activity.

Conservation status

  • The domestic donkey is not listed as being threatened, however there are wild Equids which are in dire need of protection:

    • African Wild Ass

    • Asiatic Wild Ass (Onager or Kulan)

    • Przewalski's Horse (Mongolian Wild Horse)


  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012.

Domestic & Miniature Donkeys

Ara ararauna Blue and Gold Macaw


  • Psittacidae


  • 35-60 years


  • Length

    • 33-34 inch body

    • 20 inch tail

    • 40-45 inch wingspan

  • Weight

    • Over 2 pounds


  • Mid to Northern South America and Southern Central America

HabitatBlue and Gold Macaws

  • Forests in tropical or sub-tropical regions along swamps or rivers


  • Wild

    • Fruits, seeds, berries, and nuts

  • Zoo

    • Mazuri brand parrot chow and fresh produce


                It is believed that Blue and Gold Macaws do not reach sexual maturity until 3-4 years.  These birds form solid pair bonds and are thought to mate for life.  1-2 eggs are laid in a nest made in a hollow cavity of a tree trunk.  Females are believed to solely incubate the eggs, but both parents will aggressively defend the eggs from predators or intruders.  After an incubation period of 25 days the chicks hatch.  Chicks are hatched blind and featherless.  Chicks will become fully feathered around 10 weeks old.  Parents care for the young until they become independent.

Special adaptations

  • The Blue and Gold macaws beautiful plumage actually helps camouflage it against the brilliant colors found in its home
  • Macaws have a patch on their faces that lack feathers, which can act as a heat dissipater and for communication amongst other macaws


  • Strong pair bonds are formed and reinforced with mutual grooming and displays of affection

  • Our pair of Blue and Gold macaws are often seen interlocking beaks – a form of affection

  • These birds are reported to be wary of humans in the wild, tending to avoid populated areas

Blue and Gold Macaws kissing

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Common in the pet trade, illegal capture and exportation of these and other tropical parrots is still a major problem with wild populations today

    • Approximately 70-80% of animals illegally transported over borders for the pet trade die either en route or shortly after arrival.  The United States is one of the top destinations for these birds and other illegally transported animals. 
  • Deforestation is a common threat to these animals, destroying nesting and feeding sites, often killing nest-bound young in the process


  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012.
  3. World Parrot Trust. Accessed December 2012.
  4. Audobon. Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide. New York, New York. DK Publishing. 2007.
  5. Ara ararauna (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012.