San Diego Zoo
Animal Care
With Benefits

**San Diego Zoo Global is a smoke-free workplace**
Deadline to apply:  Tuesday,  May 7,  2013 by 9:30pm Pacific Standard Time.

(Union Position) $22.08 - $24.25 per hour

" Put Your Passion for Wildlife to Work"
Essential job functions for this position include the day-to-day management of animals, feeding and providing for the general care and welfare of assigned exhibit animals, cleaning exhibit enclosures and contiguous areas, providing exhibit security and performing related work as required. This position will be assigned to work with our great ape collection (bonobos, gorillas and orangutans). The ideal candidate will have  at least 3 years of experience working with great apes at an AZA accredited facility.  Bonobo and/or chimpanzee experience is highly desirable. We are seeking a senior keeper that has experience with managing multiple ape groups and is capable of conducting fission/fusion management in a captive environment. Working knowledge of great ape ecology & behavior is essential. Candidates should also possess experience with operant conditioning training with non-human primates. S/he should also understand the importance of enrichment. The selected candidate will be expected to adhere to primate safety policies at all times. Guest interactions/public presentations are necessary. Frequent requirements to move moderate to heavy objects and work on uneven terrain with exposure to varying weather conditions, dust and allergens are components of the position. Selected candidate will also be required to move about on slippery surfaces, handle toxic and/or hazardous materials and possible exposure to zoonotic diseases. May work from elevated positions and/or in confined or cramped spaces. The qualified candidate is expected to be a team player and have good communication skills.   A degree or equivalent experience in biology or a scientifically related field from a recognized institution is desired.  Interested applicants must be available any of the seven days of the week for day or evening shifts. Scheduled hours will be approximately 40 hours per week. Valid California driver license is required. (Extended 4/23/13)  
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. 



The Senior Keeper performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects the San Diego Zoo Global’s mission and vision of connecting people to wildlife, conservation and pursues green/conservation practices when feasible.  The Senior Keeper under minimal direction feeds and provides for the general care and welfare of assigned exhibit animals (mammals, reptiles or birds); cleans exhibit enclosures and contiguous areas. This position reports to the Lead Keeper.
This class is distinguished from the Lead Keeper class in that the Senior Keeper does not have lead or supervisory responsibilities; may serve as a lead person on occasional group assignments.  The Senior Keeper performs a wide range of semi-routine functions at either the Zoo or Safari Park.  This class also consistently demonstrates the desire and ability to engage in positive relationships with internal and external customers. Supports and mentors non-senior staff but does not exercise supervisory responsibilities.


  • Prepares food and water for exhibit animals
  • Provides exhibit security
  • Loads and unloads food from trucks
  • Feeds exhibit animals
  • Administers prescribed medication and keeps feeding records
  • Observes assigned animals
  • Reports abnormal conditions to superiors
  • Cleans exhibit areas, pools, animal sleeping areas and service areas
  • Cleans and disinfects utensils, work tools and containers
  • May maintain plant life within or around exhibit areas
  • Maintains appropriate health and behavior records on assigned animals
  • Responds to questions from the public concerning exhibits
  • Provides exhibit security
  • Participates in capturing, incapacitating and moving animals
  • Assists medical staff in treating animals
  • Performs minor or routine maintenance on exhibit enclosures
  • Reports maintenance needs
  • Operates a variety of light and medium equipment 
  • Model for punctuality and professionalism
  • Exemplifies the highest standard of work ethics
  • Performs consistently above Organization performance standards
  • Practices the GRRREAT Customer Service Standards


  • Prepares food and water for exhibit animals by cutting, measuring portions and adding nutrients or supplements
  • Operates light and medium equipment such as dump trucks, skip loaders, fork lifts, water trucks and other vehicles
  • Observes assigned animals closely with regard to general appearance, diet consumption levels, condition of fecal matter, etc
  • Provides exhibit security and takes appropriate action to prevent vandalism or maltreatment of animals by the public
  • May assist in installing, repairing and maintaining irrigation systems in exhibit areas
  • Assists with procedures on a limited basis at the lead’s/supervisor’s/manager’s discretion


Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.


Education, training and/or experience which would clearly demonstrate the knowledge and skills outlined. An example of which would be three years of experience as a keeper in a comparable zoological garden; valid California driver license.
Knowledge of:
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal biology; zoology
  • Care, feeding and handling of wild animals
  • Safety practices around wild animals
  • Techniques for restraining or capturing wild animals
  • Zoological Organization policies, procedures and regulations
Ability to:
  • Operate motorized equipment and vehicles
  • Communicate and work effectively with others
  • Work in a team environmentand motivate others
  • Multi-task and prioritize
  • Understand and follow directions effectively
  • Deal tactfully and courteously with others
  • Competently perform the representative duties outlined above
  • Perform each Essential job function at a high level


Frequent exposure to close contact with a wide variety of exhibit animals, mammals, reptiles, or birds; work in uneven terrain with exposure to varying weather conditions, dust, and allergens; move about on slippery surfaces; handle toxic and/or hazardous materials; and work in confined or cramped spaces.  May work from elevated positions.


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, reaching, etc

Job Search Like Us On Facebook
© 2015 Findly, All Rights Reserved Powered by Findly