Cadet Keepers

Cadet Keepers

A day in the life of a Zookeeper.

Do you want a career working with animals when you’re older? Do you love animals and conservation but you’re not sure where to start? Cadet Keepers is what you are looking for!

About the program

Designed specifically for young adults aged 12 - 17 years old, Cadet Keepers is a hands-on program designed for those who aspire for a future working with flora and fauna, or wish to be employed in an industry that contributes to the protection of the natural world.

With our dedicated and knowledgeable staff, program participants will gain experience in completing the daily husbandry routines and responsibilities of a Taronga Keeper as well as learn about how to help secure a future for them. 

What to expect

  • Meet and greet with our Zoo Keepers and Educators
  • Participate in daily husbandry activities including various animal feeds
  • Developing and providing animal enrichment items
  • Animal encounters
  • Behind-the-scene access to Taronga Zoo


  • $190 per child: includes Zoo entry for child program, program t-shirt, completion certificate, exclusive future pathways resources and discounts for youth volunteer programs such as Youth at the Zoo (YATZ) plus one (1) adult zoo admission on the date of child participating in the program.

What to bring

We will provide participants with their own t-shirt but they will need to bring a packed lunch and refillable water bottle for the day.

You will also need to ensure that your Cadet Keeper has practical clothes, closed toe shoes and all-weather appropriate items e.g. hat, sunglasses, rain jacket etc.  

To capture the experience throughout the day, we encourage program participants to bring their own camera or photo device.

Available dates

Bookings are open. 

12 people maximum per booking. NOTE: availability updated Monday to Friday
Saturday 8 June 20244 spaces available
Saturday 6 July 20242 spaces available
Saturday 20 July 20243 spaces available
Saturday 10 August 2024Available


Booking conditions

Please ensure you read and understand the conditions prior to booking. For more information please email

    The Cadet Keepers Program:

    • Requires a moderate level of fitness and good mobility
    • Understanding that your child will be participating and interacting with other unvaccinated young people and guests throughout the day
    • Is for children aged between 12 to 17 years of age
    • Is an all-weather experience and will ordinarily proceed in the event of inclement weather
    • May include entering an environment housing animals which involves a degree of unpredictability and therefore risk of injury occurring
    • Is at my own risk and without any liability attached to the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, including any injury to the child/children or damage to their property
    • Requires the child/children to take direction from Keeper for a Day Hosts regarding photographs and video taken on any device, and understand that some photos may be restricted from social media platforms
    • Requires the child/children to take direction from Keeper for a Day Hosts to comply with Taronga’s COVID-19 Safety Plan
    • Must not be attended by a child/children if they feel unwell or have flu like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, shortness of breath) and acknowledge that they will be excluded from the program and Taronga Zoo if they attend when unwell or with flu like symptoms
    • Bookings are non-refundable but can be rescheduled or transferred in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of Taronga
    • Program activities and schedules are subject to change without notice
    • Taronga reserves the right to cancel the Cadet Keepers Program at any time due to unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters or in the event of severe weather. In the unlikely event that this situation occurs, Taronga will contact me as soon as practicable to notify me and reschedule my booking
    • Taronga cannot guarantee a nut-free environment (please contact us for further information)
    • If the program participant has a known allergy that causes an anaphylactic reaction upon exposure to that allergen, that participant must disclose this information to Taronga prior to attending Keeper for a Day.  The participant is required to supply and carry an EpiPen throughout the duration of the program.  A medical action plan also needs to be provided to ensure Taronga staff have clear instructions in response management.

    Note: One (1) adult zoo admission can only be redeemed on the date the child is participating on the Cadet Keepers program. This cannot be redeemed before or after this date.