San Diego Zoo Safari Park - Escondido
Job Code
Animal Behavior
Average Hours per Week
Employment Status
With Benefits

Animal Trainer/Animal Behavior - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Job Description:

                                        THIS EMPLOYER
                              PARTICIPATES IN E-VERIFY

Deadline to apply:  Sunday, February 10th, 2013
Applications must be submitted online by 9:30pm Pacific Standard Time

(Union Position #231603) $19.62-$21.32 per hour.  With Benefits.

**San Diego Zoo Global is a smoke-free workplace**

Job Requirements:

                                   "Put Your Passion For Wildlife To Work"

Applicants must have knowledge of operant conditioning.  A minimum of three years of exotic animal training experience is required, experience with exotic cats, especially cheetahs is highly preferred. Desirable qualifications for this position include a Bachelor of Science in biology or other scientifically related field, knowledge of behavioral enrichment, as well as a broad base knowledge of birds, mammals and reptiles.  Additional desired qualifications for this position include excellent public speaking and presentation skills, the ability to communicate effectively with others (guests, co-workers and others departments) and the use of tools for facilities improvements/simple repairs.  Must be able to lift moderate to heavy objects (up to 50 lbs).Valid California driver license required.  Applicant must be at least 18 years of age.  Applicant must be available any of the seven days of the week, including evenings and weekends.  Scheduled hours will be approximately 32-40 hours/wk with occasional overtime 

One of the essential functions of this position is the ability to drive a SDZ Global vehicle.  If you are offered employment in this position, you will be asked to authorize SDZ Global to access your current driving report through the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice Program.  Your hiring for this position will be contingent on SDZ Global receiving an acceptable driving report for you.  In addition, your continued employment in the position will depend on you maintaining an acceptable driving record.  You may obtain a list of conditions that disqualify a person from driving an SDZ Global vehicle from a Human Resources Representative.  (Post 1/30/2013 - 2/3/13 Internal     2/4/13 - 2/10/13 External) 

Job Requirements:


The Animal Trainer performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects San Diego Zoo Global’s mission and vision of connecting people, wildlife and conservation and pursues green/conservation practices when feasible. Under general supervision, performs a wide variety of functions in the training, handling and care of exhibit animals used for public appearances and contact, such as educational programs, and performs related work as required. This position reports to a Supervisor or Manager.
An Animal Trainer performs a wide variety of moderately difficult tasks involved in preparing wild animals for public contact and presentations. 
·        Trains animals in new behaviors and reinforces trained behaviors
·        Transports animals to exhibit or performances
·        Assists handlers at performance
·        Sets up props, stages or other performance areas
·        Grooms animals for public appearance and health maintenance
·        Controls animals to ensure public safety
·        Prepares animal feed
·        Feeds animals
·        Administers prescribed medication and nutritional supplements
·        Assists medical staff in treatment of assigned animals
·        Keeps feeding, medication and other records regarding animal care
·        Conducts special tours
·        Makes informational presentations to the public
·        Answers questions and provides information to the public regarding assigned animals
  • Gentles and trains a wide variety of exhibit animals so that they may be used in public appearances, sea lion shows, animal walk-around programs, wildlife workshops, school assemblies, etc
  • Observes assigned animals with regard to general appearance, health, feeding habits, etc.
  • Cleans and performs minor maintenance to animal compounds and exhibit areas 
  • May operate light and medium duty motorized equipment, such as trucks, skiploaders, water trucks and forklifts

Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.

Education, training and experience, which would clearly demonstrate the knowledge and skills outlined. An example would be two or more years experience as an animal handler at San Diego Zoo Global or a comparable organization; valid California driver license may be required.
Knowledge of:
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal behavior modification
  • Care, feeding and handling of wild animals
  • Safety practices around wild animals
  • San Diego Zoo Global policies, procedures and regulations regarding the care,  handling and training of exhibit animals
Ability to:
  • Train and control wild animals
  • Discriminate differences in animal vocalizations, and monitor animal behavior
  • Keep simple records
  • Communicate and work effectively with others
  • Deal tactfully and courteously with the others
  • Respond to cautions from co-workers
  •  Monitor animal behavior and appearance
  • Operate motorized equipment and vehicles
  • Competently perform the essential functions outlined above

Frequent exposure to predictable and controllable hazards associated with close contact with a wide variety of exhibit animals, including large animals; exposure to varying weather conditions, dust, and allergens; handle hazardous materials; work in cramped or confined spaces. 


This position has been identified as one requiring at least occasional lifting in excess of 50 pounds; frequently move moderate to heavy objects; standing, bending, squatting, twisting and reaching; work in uneven terrain and move around on slippery surfaces; may work from elevated positions.