“Upkeep that is valued for animals and visitors”

Friends of Zoo Idaho (FOZI) is a dedicated group of volunteers that care about the zoo, its inhabitants, and visitors. FOZI members work on various projects to assist in the maintenance of the zoo so that the animals and visitors are safe.

Under the auspices of the Zoo Idaho Zoological Society (ZIZS), FOZI operates as a suborganization working exclusively with the zoo director and staff to provide quality workmanship in all assigned projects. FOZI‘s main purpose will be to provide an additional workforce to repair, clean, paint, power-wash, prepare exhibits, assist zookeepers and maintenance personnel, and perform duties as assigned.

All work will be under the direct supervision of the Zoo Director and assigned paid staff. Projects will be carefully reviewed and assigned to capable and trained volunteers. No project will be given to volunteers unable to physically perform tasks; or they feel uncomfortable with the task; or they are not fully trained.

FOZI will create its own leadership model and conduct training in safety with tools and machinery, painting/staining, landscaping, gardening, and other areas in the zoo that need volunteer work.

Annual waivers will be required and zoo training sessions will be needed each year.

FOZI saves the City of Pocatello considerable amount of capital by supplementing the workforce at the zoo.

Mission Statement

FOZI is an all-volunteer subgroup of Zoo Idaho Zoological Society dedicated to providing quality services and products for the zoo. FOZI was organized to assist management with maintaining a safe visitor experience, providing for the animals, reducing costs, creating a volunteer learning platform, and most importantly – to have fun.

The zoo provides a unique opportunity to learn about native wildlife through exhibits, classes, summer camps, and outreaches.

Throughout the year Zoo Idaho and Zoo Idaho Zoological Society present a variety of events to raise money to support zoo exhibit construction and maintenance and zoo programs. We are looking for sponsors to help us make each event a success! We are looking for both monetary sponsorships and volunteering sponsorships.

Vision Statement

FOZI endeavors to promote zoo and animal stewardship by allowing volunteer members hands on experiences with various projects within the zoo. Safety for animals and humans – both in harmony for continued operations and memorable visitations.


  • Sober. FOZI has a zero tolerance policy for drug and/or alcohol use. The use of alcohol or drugs is not permitted on Zoo grounds. Any individual determined to have used alcohol or drugs while on Zoo grounds or be under the influence while on Zoo grounds will be terminated immediately and not allowed to return and/ or participate in any FOZI assignment.
  • Eighteen years of age, unless accompanied by their parent or guardian. Younger children are allowed to work, under certain conditions, usually warranted by the difficulty of the project and the acting FOZI leader judgment at the time.
  • Team player. We cannot allow separate work actions – reckless behavior with tools, improperly working in a project, wandering off – working alone without permission or supervision. FOZI is a close-knit zoo group that works as a team or several teams – all for the same reason: to safely produce quality work and services.


  • No pets allowed.
  • No smoking tobacco products on the property of the zoo. Volunteers need to step away to a designated area if they have to partake in this smoking or chewing habit.
  • Cell phones are allowed – but constant texting/twittering/phone calls/gaming/whatever is a distraction to you, the animals, and others and it presents an unsafe situation. It is suggested that members put the phone on ‘airplane mode’ and receive calls in a discrete manor.
  • FOZI designated Field Directors/Crew Leaders have the final say on projects, disciplinary issues, and up to and including – removal (if necessary) of members from the worksite.

Code of Conduct and Ethics

  • FOZI does not discriminate against race, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, handicap or disability or physical size. We welcome everyone that abides by our rules and regulations and code of ethics.
  • FOZI organization does not condone or tolerate any form of harassment rendered on any of its members, guests or citizens; this includes: off-colored jokes, weight assessments, sexual preferences, and general mean-spirited dialog. FOZI will not endure any kind of physical or verbal confrontations with its members or the public. Immediate disciplinary action will be administered, including removing the member from the project; or with the assistance of legal authority.
  • All members of FOZI are expected to act in a professional and courteous manner to other members and citizens.
  • All FOZI members are expected to arrive at the designated zoo area fully attired and equipped for outdoor zoo work.
  • All FOZI members behavior is to be moderated and language safeguarded at all times. No unruly behavior or foul language spoken. Remember, FOZI is in the public eye in this zoo setting.
  • FOZI does not allow any kind of bullying at events.
  • FOZI members will avoid conversations on religion, politics, gossip which generally leads to heated discussions or arguments.

What to Bring?

Obviously we will be working outside within the zoo. Comfortable work clothes is recommended and attire yourself for the weather of the day.

  1. Shirt – Long sleeve or t-shirt
  2. Trousers – better if on knees for work projects
  3. Head covering – FOZI ball caps will be earned and awarded
  4. Work shoes/boots – no open toed shoes/crocs/sandals et al
  5. Eye protection – sunglasses
  6. Work gloves
  1. Day pack
  2. Water bottle
  3. Snacks
  4. Sun block
  5. Handi-wipes or hand gel

Typical Work Session

3:00 PMAssemble volunteers conduct introductions, review rules for working at the zoo, safety talk, today’s SOW, record attendance
3:30 PMMove to worksite in zoo, retrieve/transport tools and/or volunteers, walk

Break into crews – some OJT if needed – begin work on assigned project

Volunteers take breaks as needed – all should have water and snacks

Later arrivals – find Directors – get assigned to crews

Work each project until completion – if not finished – clean up area for visitors
5:30 PMStart to wrap up work session, finish loose ends, gather all tools, proceed to gathering point, clean tools/store, status reports due, announce next work session and projects
6:00 PMDepart zoo complex

Benefits – Perks

Volunteering your time and energy for the zoo has some benefits and perks.

  • Free training
  • Enhance personal skill sets
  • Network with other volunteers/groups
  • Resume builder
  • Satisfying work
  • Work outside around animals and visitors
  • Helps City with lowering maintenance costs
  • Recognition with visitors
  • Patch/decal upon joining club
  • Earn t-shirt and ball cap
  • Become a member of Zoo Idaho Zoological Society
  • Additional training during winter months
  • Get-togethers

Note: T-shirts are awarded after 6 hours of volunteer work. Ball caps are earned after 9 hours. A yearly membership to ZIZS is earned after 9 hours work for a single member and 15 hours work for a family. ZIZS members are allowed free entrance to the zoo (certain conditions apply).

Upcoming Events

Sign up for your next volunteer opportunity

Apply Now

Become a Friends of Zoo Idaho Volunteer

Annual Waiver

Submit a waiver each year you volunteer


Friends of Zoo Idaho
Attn: Bob Johnson, FOZI Coordinator
3101 Avenue of the Chiefs
Pocatello, ID 83204