Outstanding Wildlife Leaders (OWLs)

Outstanding Wildlife Leaders (OWLs)

What’s an OWL?

Lindsay Wildlife Experience’s OWLs program, formerly known as Interpretive Guide, is a year-round educational experience that provides teens ages 13–18 the opportunity to learn about animals and nature, explore career opportunities, meet other teens with similar interests, and action-forward steps to preserve the natural world that we know and love. We seek positive, responsible, enthusiastic teens with an interest in learning about native California wildlife and conservation who can interact with Lindsay visitors.

Outstanding Wildlife Leaders:

  • Work a 2.5 hour shift each week
  • Provide educational programming to guests of all ages.
  • Answer questions and provide information about live animal and natural history exhibits.
  • Care for Lindsay Wildlife’s collection of domestic Pet Education animals.
  • Learn to handle domestic mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates.
  • Attend a multitude of off-site outreaches & field trips
  • Assist with children’s activities in our interactive spaces.
  • Conduct programs for scout groups.
  • Are an integral part of Lindsay Wildlife’s mission of connecting people with wildlife.

Application Information

This is a unique opportunity for teens to learn valuable life skills in a professional setting.  The application process is competitive, and we have limited availability in the program. Application deadline is June 20th.

The application period for this program has ended.

The Program will run, September 2018 – August 2019. Program price is $600. For scholarship opportunities please indicate on your application. 

For more information, contact Shelby McCoy, Youth Programs Coordinator, by email at smccoy@lindsaywildlife.org


Keepers in Training

What’s a K.I.T?

Are you interested in animal care, research, and training? Then we are the perfect opportunity for you! Keepers in Training are a group of dedicated teens, ages 15-17, who have already completed one year of the Outstanding Wildlife Leader program. Teens are able to learn first hand what it takes to be an animal keeper during this year-long program.  To enhance and demonstrate their experience, KITs complete a project to apply their knowledge of animal behavior.

Basic Tasks

  • Diet preparation
  • Basic husbandry (cleaning, enrichment, diets) and handling:
  • Amphibians and reptiles (except for rattlesnake)
  • Small mammals
  • Assist with environmental enrichment and exercise of reptiles
  • Janitorial duties, including sweeping, mopping, general cleaning and maintenance


  • Must commit to 3 hours of service learning per week for one year.
  • All teen program participants should have a basic interest in animals, an ability to get along with others, and a professional demeanor.
  • Teens must take directions well and pay careful attention to procedures and established protocols.
  • They should follow instructions and carry out their responsibilities in a safe and careful manner in order to avoid injury to themselves, to employees, to visitors, and to the animals.
  • They must be physically able to perform cleaning, feeding, and general husbandry tasks for animals.
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds regularly.
  • Holiday work may be required.
  • Teens are required to work independently and as a team and with minimal supervision.
  • Participants must adjust to changes in daily routines.

Youth Programs Staff

Shelby McCoy, Youth Programs Coordinator

Shelby joined Lindsay Wildlife in May 2017. With a bachelors in animal science from the University of Nebraska, McCoy has interned as a Zoo Camp Assistant at the San Diego Zoo. Prior to coming to Lindsay, she worked as a Conservation Specialist at the Oakland Zoo.