Zoo Jobs: Search for Jobs

San Diego Zoo
Animal Care
With Benefits


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

Deadline to apply: Thursday, August 15, 2013
by 9:30 PM Pacific Time.

(Union Position) $19.82 - $21.52 per hour.
" Put Your Passion for Wildlife to Work"

Responsibilities for this position will be to work mostly with a collection of elephants in a protected contact management system at the San Diego Zoo’s Elephant Odyssey Exhibit.   The keeper will work closely with senior keepers, lead keeper and Animal Care Supervisor to develop the skills necessary to become an integral member of a progressive elephant husbandry and training program. 

Qualifications should include bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in biology or scientifically related field from a recognized institution.  An example of experience would be at least  2 years  working in a zoological facility in a protected contact elephant program.  Substantial knowledge of positive reinforcement operant conditioning as it relates to animal/elephant husbandry is essential. Selected applicant is expected to be a team player and have good communication skills. Ability to speak to our guests about the organization, the program and animals on wireless microphone is highly desirable. 

Applicants must be available to work any of the seven days of the week, including, weekends, holidays, nights, and any shifts.  A valid CA driver license is required.  (Extended 8/8/13) 

One essential function for this position is the ability to drive a SDZ Global vehicle.  If you are offered employment, 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 report from you.  You may obtain a list of conditions that disqualify a person from driving an SDZ Global vehicle from a Human Resources Representative. 




The Keeper performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects San Diego Zoo Global’s mission and vision of connecting people to wildlife and conservation, and pursues green/conservation practices when feasible. The Keeper, under general supervision, feeds and provides for the general care and welfare of assigned exhibit animals (mammals, reptiles or birds). This position reports to a Lead or Supervisor.
This class is distinguished from the Senior Keeper class in that the Keeper works under supervision.  The Keeper performs a wide range of semi-routine functions at either the Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  This class also consistently demonstrates the desire and ability to engage in positive relationships with internal and external customers.


  • Prepares food and water for exhibit animals
  • 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
  • Provides species-appropriate enrichment to assigned animals
  • 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
  • Participates in and supports animal training programs
  • 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
  • Adheres to all Organization and department policies and practices
  • Practices the GRRREAT Customer Service Standards


  • Prepares food and water for exhibit animals by cutting, measuring portions and adding nutrient or supplements
  • 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
  • Provides care to neonates utilizing assisted rearing protocol
  • Cleans exhibit enclosures and contiguous areas
  • Performs minor or routine maintenance on exhibit enclosures and reports other maintenance needs
  • May participate in either formal or informal presentations with guests including keeper talks, animal-feeding demonstrations, and behind the scenes tours
  • May maintain plant life within or around exhibit areas
  • May assist in installing, repairing and maintaining irrigation systems in exhibit areas
  • Operates light and medium equipment such as dump trucks, skiploaders, forklifts, water trucks and other vehicles



Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.


Education, training and/or experience which would clearly demonstrate the essential functions, knowledge and skills outlined.  Examples would be 12 to 16 college credit hours in zoology, animal biology or animal husbandry; or, one to two years of work experience in a Zoo or similar environment where appropriate knowledge and skills in animal care could be acquired; valid California driver license.
Knowledge of:

  • Animal behavior
  • Animal biology and zoology
  • Care, feeding and handling of wild animals
  • Safety practices around wild animals
  • Techniques for restraining or capturing wild animals
  • Public Speaking

 Ability to: 

  • Respond to cautions from co-workers
  • Monitor animal behavior and appearance
  • Operate motorized equipment and vehicles
  • Use computer programs  (Word processing, spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and Internet)
  • 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
  • Adhere to the organization’s policies, procedures and regulations
  • Competently perform the essential functions outlined above



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.


This position has been identified as one requiring lifting in excess of 50 pounds; frequently move moderate to heavy objects; standing, bending, squatting, twisting, reaching, etc; may work from elevated positions.

Job Search Email a Friend
© 2014 Findly, All Rights Reserved Powered by Findly