Program: Animal Training Job Shadow

  • 13 and Up
  • $250.00
  • 3 Hours 30 Minutes
    (Start times vary)
Reserve Now!

Animal Training Job Shadow

Many have dreamed about a career as a marine mammal trainer. This is not surprising news, anyone who has the chance to view these animals in zoos and aquariums instantly falls in love! Being a marine mammal trainer is a rewarding career, filled with plenty of hard work, but countless rewards. See for yourself exactly what it takes in our Job Shadow Program!

As trainers, we spend a majority of our day training and building relationships with the animals under our care. We also put in a lot of work caring for the animals! Animal trainers have an extensive list of daily responsibilities including:

·         Preparing fresh fish

·         Cleaning animal areas

·         Completing pool work

·         Providing animals with environmental enrichment

·         Filling out animal care and behavioral records

·         Presenting shows and educational programs

·         The list goes on and on!

If you have ever considered animal training as a career, we invite you to join us for an unforgettable experience! Opportunities to work alongside our trainers and receive one-on-one interaction time with our animals are available at our Milwaukee County Zoo and Hersheypark* locations. This 3.5-hour program is available Labor Day through Memorial Day.

Job shadows are available to anyone ages 13 or older. Individuals who are 18 years or older and looking for animal care experience may be interested in our intern and volunteer programs.

Availability: Daily Fall, Winter and Spring.

Private program for 1-2 participants.

This program is available at our Milwaukee and Hersheypark Locations.  Reservations for our Hersheypark location MUST be made over the phone.

  • Guests must be at least 13 years of age or older.
  • Participants must sign a liability release and all participation sheets before beginning the program. 
  • Participants must speak and understand English without the use of an interpreter.
  • Participants under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any type of controlled substance, will forfeit their right to participate in the interactive program.
  • Participants will be meeting the seals and sea lions from the safety of dry docks and poolside areas.  Although feeding and playing with the animals are part of the program, participants will not be entering the water or touching the animals.
  • Being in good general health is recommended for all participants’ safety and ensures a healthy environment for the animals.
  • Participants should remove jewelry and sunglasses prior to the start of the program.  Prescription lenses worn for vision correction are acceptable.
  • Weather appropriate clothing and footwear is recommended for safety. Dark colored shorts, running pants, fleece or snow pants are suggested depending on weather conditions.
  • Participants will have contact with disinfecting agents such as bleach and comet.  Participants should understand that these cleaning agents may damage or discolor clothing.
  • Photos will be taken during the interactive portion of your program.  Photo packages will be made available and any packages purchased will be kept on file for 60 days.  Personal cameras, camera phones, and video recorders are not allowed. 
  • Participants are expected to follow all instructions given by the Educators and Animal Care Staff.  Oceans of Fun reserves the right to remove any disruptive individuals at any time during the program.
  • Though this is an individual program, a maximum of two participants may be in the same program.
  • This is a private program and observers are not allowed.  
  • Participants requiring assistance or with special needs must be discussed prior to the program.  This is to ensure the safety of all program participants and our animals.
  • In the best interest of our future guests, pregnant women will not be admitted. 

Pick-Up and Drop-Off

  • The Animal Training Job Shadow program begins at 8:30 am and concludes at 12:00 pm. All program participants will meet at the Milwaukee County Zoo Walk-In Gate (located on Bluemound Rd.) for orientation at 8:30 am. If you are driving yourself to and from the program, please find street parking in the neighborhood prior to orientation. Following the program, participants will either be escorted to the Milwaukee County Zoo Walk-In Gate for pick up at 12:00 pm or will be allowed to enjoy an afternoon at the zoo.
  • Any participant under the age of 16 MUST be dropped off and picked up by a parent or guardian promptly at the end of the program.
  • There is a late fee for pick up if you are more than 15 minutes late. You will be charged an additional $5.00 for every 15 minutes you are late for pick up.

What do I need to do to check in for my program? (+ show)

All interactive programs require liability and participation forms on file prior to the start of the program. These forms vary by program and may be completed online or in person during program check-in.

Summer Camp Check-In
Check-in for all summer camp programs will occur in the US Bank Gathering Place. Please look for the Ocean Connections sign for registration. Please allow extra time for check-in on the first day of camp to review important information. Camp participants do not check-in at the Sea Lion Shoppe.

Other Programs
Check-in for all other interactive programs will occur at the Sea Lion Shoppe which is located on the northeast side of the zoo near Monkey Island. Program check-in begins 30 minutes prior to the program start time. Please allow extra time to enter and navigate the zoo to reach our Sea Lion Shoppe at least 30 minutes before your program is scheduled to begin. This will allow ample time to check in all participants, ensure paperwork is complete and provide an orientation to participants and families.

We strongly encourage participants to visit the restroom prior to the start of their program.

Will participants be able to touch the animals? (+ show)

Some classes or camps may include an animal that participants can touch or see up close at the discretion of a trainer. All interactive programs include some level of animal interaction; however, Aquatic Adventure is the only program that includes petting.

When can I pick up my pre-paid merchandise? (+ show)

Pre-paid merchandise will be available for pick up on the first day of your program. Merchandise will be distributed at our Sea Lion Shoppe located north of Monkey Island, just outside of the Ocean Connections show stadium.

Can we get our picture taken with a seal or sea lion? (+ show)

Ocean Connections offers a photo session following most Seal and Sea Lion Shows. For more information please visit our Photo Program page.

Photos are taken during every interactive program and will be available for review and purchase following the program. We offer a variety of photo packages including digital photos and/or a USB photo option so that you may take your memories of your time with us home with you.

Do you offer birthday parties and special events? (+ show)

Yes. We offer group programs perfect for scout troops, community groups, family outings, special occasions and birthday parties. All Private Parties can be tailored to fit age groups 5 years and older making them a truly unique experience. For more information please visit our Private Parties page.

What if it's raining on the day of the program? (+ show)

All interactive programs run rain or shine. Participants should come dressed for all weather conditions. (i.e., rain poncho, closed-toed shoes, boots, hat, gloves, etc.) Umbrellas will not be allowed in animal areas or utilized during interaction times.

In the event of severe weather, accommodations may be made to postpone or reschedule your program. Ocean Connections will make these determinations and contact you with as much notice as possible.

What is your cancellation/refund policy? (+ show)

If you cancel: If you reschedule 14 days before the program is scheduled, we will try to reschedule your program for another available date within the season, or you may offer your program session to a friend of the same age. Please alert us of any participant changes. All changes will need to be verified by Ocean Connections staff.

If you need to reschedule with less than 14 days before your scheduled program, you may reschedule for a rescheduling fee.

Underwater Journey Summer Camp reservations will be charged a $50.00 rescheduling fee per reservation based on availability. All other program reservations will be charged a $25.00 rescheduling fee per reservation based on availability.

Please access your Ocean Connections account to reschedule your programs.We do not issue refunds if you cancel.

If we cancel: Ocean Connections reserves the right to cancel programs based on weather restrictions or animal needs. We will attempt to reschedule a cancelled program. If we are unable to do so, or if we cannot accommodate you in another session, you will receive a refund.

What if I am running late for my program? (+ show)

Program start times are not flexible. Due to animal and show schedules and in respect of other program participants, all programs will begin promptly at their start time. If you arrive late, please check in at the Sea Lion Shoppe where we will ensure all paperwork is complete. We will then allow you to join the program already in progress.

What if I miss my program? (+ show)

It’s important that you check your confirmation immediately. If you arrive on a day other than the date on your confirmation, we will not be able to accommodate you. Interactive programs have limited availability. If there is availability for a future program/camp, you may register again and pay the program fee.

If you miss a program due to a medical issue, you must provide a doctor’s note confirming care within two weeks of your missed program in order to reschedule your program without penalty. All rescheduled programs are subject to program availability.

We do not issue refunds if you miss your program.

Can I take pictures during my program? (+ show)

Program participants will not be allowed to bring cameras into their program. It is important that you give the animals and training staff your complete focus and attention to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Our staff will take photos during the interactive program that will be available for review and purchase following each program.

As an Observer, you will have the opportunity to take still photographs from our designated area, but we ask that you remain seated to help minimize distraction for our animals. Videotaping during programs is prohibited. For more information please visit our Observer Program page.

What is included in the Observer Program? (+ show)
As an observer, you join the interactive program as a spectator. You will have the opportunity to view the entire length of the interactive program including educational and behind the scene portions as well as animal interactions. As an Observer, you will have the opportunity to take still photographs from our designated area, but we ask that you remain seated to help minimize distractions for our animals. Videotaping during programs is prohibited. For more information please visit our Observer Program page.
My child requires medication. What should I do? (+ show)

If your child requires any medication (prescription or non-prescription) while attending a program, you must fill out and sign a medication form for each day your child attends.

Are there any exceptions to the age requirement? (+ show)

Children must be the required age by the date of the session. Exceptions for children with special needs should be arranged by calling Ocean Connections 414-453-5527 ext 1 prior to registering.

My child has special needs. May they participate in your programs? (+ show)

Please contact Ocean Connections to discuss any special needs with our training staff. We need to be notified in advance of programs due to the safety considerations while working with animals. We want to ensure that we set both animals and participants up for successful interactions. We have the ability to tailor programs to accommodate a variety of special needs and would be happy to work with you.

What is your policy on cell phones/pagers in the programs? (+ show)

In order for everyone to enjoy the program, we request that you silence your cell phone and/or pager when participating in an interactive program.

How do I get in touch with my child while he or she is attending a program? (+ show)

Contact Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1 to get in touch with your child in case of an emergency.

What if I need to pick up my child earlier than dismissal time? (+ show)

Inform the staff when your child is dropped off for class or camp. If you need an early pick up after you drop off your child, call Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1.

What if my child is sick or will be absent from their program? (+ show)

Contact Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1 to notify us of the participant’s absence. If you miss a program due to a medical issue, you must provide a doctor’s note within two weeks of your missed program confirming care to reschedule your program without penalty. All rescheduled programs are subject to program availability.

What if I have other questions? (+ show)

If you have any questions regarding the Ocean Connections interactive programs or your registration, please contact Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1 or contact us here.

Reserve Now!