Animal Encounters

Fun Animal Encounters

From a hairy tarantula to a talking African gray parrot, you never know what you’ll bump into in Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari at the Tennessee Aquarium!




Your gifts support educational programs as well as conservation and research efforts in the region.

Animal encounter with bunny

Outreach Volunteer

Go on the road with colorful costumes or live animals. Outreach volunteers travel to area schools and present programs to students in kindergarten through grade 12. Outreach programs are designed with schools, community groups and libraries in mind. You'll teach unforgettable programs to kids of all ages.

Outreach volunteers should:
  • Have good oral communication and public speaking skills
  • Be dependable
  • Be comfortable working with animals (including snakes) although some programs do not use live animals
  • Have a valid drivers license and a good driving record
  • Have a reliable mode of transportation for traveling to the program site (compensation is paid for mileage to and from programs)
  • Be at least 18 years old     

  • Attend a 1½ hour training class for each program you teach. You will be contacted to set up a training class after submission of your application.

  • Most programs are during school hours
  • Each program lasts about 45 minutes to an hour and more than one program may be scheduled
For more information about the Aquarium's outreach program contact Bill Haley at 423-785-4056 or e-mail

If you are interested in becoming an outreach volunteer please please call Julie Piper at 423-785-3057 or 800-262-0695 ext. 3057 or by e-mail You may also print and complete the volunteer application and send to us. We will contact you to set up an interview.