Officials with the Virginia Zoo say they recently dropped their Keeper Aide program, which allowed volunteers to help prepare meals and feed tigers, bears and other exotic animals. The volunteers also helped clean cages and move large animals between exhibits.
A spokesperson for the zoo says the change is made out of concern for safety and liability. Last week, a lion mauled and killed a 24-year-old intern at an exotic animal park in California.
Instead the facility is establishing a new program called the Behavior Enrichment and Animal Resource Squad.
The new program will allow volunteers to work with smaller less dangerous animals.