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Zoo Keeper – Carnivore Focus

Come join us at the Reid Park Zoological Society!

Reid Park Zoological Society is seeking a Zoo Keeper. Bachelor’s degree in a biological science, animal or zoology related plus one year paid exotic animal care experience with dangerous animals. Alternatively, an Associate’s degree with three year’s paid exotic animal care. Either may include paid intern experience. This position is open until filled.

The Society is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create inspiring memories for all by connecting people and animals to ensure the protection of wild animals and wild places.  We provide educational and fun experiences for visitors of all ages. Reid Park Zoo is the largest attended cultural attraction in Southern Arizona with approximately 500,000 visitors annually.  Be a part of a vibrant, growing organization as Reid Park Zoo implements an exciting master plan that will be investing over $60M in new exhibits over the next ten years.

No phone calls or visits please.  This position is open until filled.  We are an Equal Opportunities Employer.  We are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff by creating an inclusive environment.

Overview:       This Zoo Keeper position oversees care of dangerous and non-dangerous animals and habitats.  The Keeper will provide high quality care and outstanding welfare opportunities for the animals in their area as well as assist with habitat and night house maintenance.  Animal care includes behavioral observations, positive reinforcement training, preparing and providing enrichment, cleaning, engaging with welfare committee as well as the supervisory and vet teams.  The Keeper will be responsible for daily record-keeping including daily reports, medication logs, welfare tracking, enrichment records, animal training records and area notes.  The Keeper may work in a variety of animal areas and may be a swing or primary keeper of an area.  Work assignments are subject to the hazards inherent in caring for wild animals in captivity.

Reports To:    Animal Care Supervisor


Animal Care

  • Daily cleaning associated with animal night house, habitat, and visitor viewing area.
  • Currently the team cares for lions, jaguar, grizzly bear, Andean bears, anteaters, tapirs, gibbon, and ring-tailed lemurs. Animal species may change over time as the zoo expands.
  • Husbandry care for the animals in the area (feeding, medicating, training, enriching and care specific to the species).
  • Potentially dangerous carnivores have a 2-key 2-lock procedure with two keepers working together side by side for shifting and feeding these animals.
  • Completes reports including but not limited to daily animal reports, enrichment logs, water quality logs, training logs, medication logs, animal incident reports, etc.
  • Develops & implements enrichment activities for animals following AZA guidelines and per department practices and protocols.
  • Trains utilizing positive reinforcement to aid in animal management & promote visitor education.
  • Monitor animal welfare and report concerns to the supervisor.
  • Follows all animal care protocols and policies.
  • Assist in the training of new staff and mentoring volunteers.
  • Completes all trainings as required. These may include but are not limited to job specific training, safety, zoonotic disease, blood borne pathogens, animal enrichment, animal training, conservation, Species Survival Plan, active shooter, DEI, radio protocol, CPR/ First Aid, hand tool usage and heavy equipment operation such as skid steer/ fork lift truck.
  • If working with large and/ or dangerous animals, works in a protected, positive reinforcement management style.
  • Be able to perform those tasks that are essential to the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Please note that this document is not an exhaustive list. It is intended to give a reasonable idea of what might be required.


  • Participates in formal presentations e.g. Keeper talks, special events, behind-the-scenes tours etc.
  • Answers visitor questions concerning animals, conservation, zoo operations, etc.
  • Participates in AZA groups including SSP and TAGs

Health & Safety

  • Assists in the capture and/or physical/ chemical restraint & transportation of animals.
  • Participates in emergency drills. These may include but are not limited to dangerous animal escape, fire, medical or weather emergencies.
  • Willing to maintain proficiency with darting equipment & firearms if you choose to try out for Safety Team and are subsequently selected. Willingness to serve on the Safety Committee.
  • Responds to animal emergencies following approved protocols.
  • Stays current on required vaccinations.
  • Administrative Functions

          Perform duties in accordance with RPZS policies such as completing expense reports and                             purchasing or cash handling procedures.
Provide excellent customer service as a component of all job duties.
Complete all animal records in variety of software programs including Zoo Monitor, ZIMS, etc.

  • Other Duties as Assigned

Preferred Qualifications, Skills and Abilities

  • Bachelor’s degree in biological science, animal or zoology related plus one year paid exotic dangerous animal care experience OR Associate’s degree with three year’s paid exotic dangerous animal care.
  • Work experience within an AZA accredited facility preferred.
  • Willing to undertake an annual TB skin test (AZA requirement).
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Regular physical attendance at work.
  • Must be able to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Work assignments are subject to the hazards inherent in caring for exotic & dangerous animals in a zoological institution.
  • Demonstrated critical analysis, customer service, problem solving, conflict resolution, decision making, leadership, team building, time management, and motivational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to tactfully handle stressful situations, negotiate and resolve conflicts, maintain confidentiality and to respect and observe organizational protocol.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all levels of RPZS and coworkers as well as diverse volunteers, guests, donors, community partners, vendors and others.
  • Able to work a flexible work schedule and adjust as required. Weekend, special events and some holiday work are required.
  • Please note that this document is not an exhaustive list. It is intended to give a reasonable idea of what might be required.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is the policy of Reid Park Zoological Society to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact the Human Resources Dept.