Keeper, Carnivores

Organization: Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Brookfield, IL, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Among its historical firsts are indoor multispecies exhibits, zoo nutrition residencies, methods for animal husbandry, and medical care that includes successful brain surgery for a gorilla. In building its legacy of animal care and compassion, the Society has launched two new centers: the Center for Conservation Leadership and the Center for the Science of Animal Welfare (CSAW). These innovative learning and research hubs will integrate a wide variety of disciplines, changing the way animal conservation issues are considered and advancing the science of “animal-directed” care around the world.

As one of the top zoos with over 450 species of animals, Keepers receive valuable hands-on zookeeping experience while providing high-quality care for the welfare of the collection. You will demonstrate your practical understanding of animal behavior, ability to work with live animals safely, and attention to details while closely observing assigned animals, perceiving and acting upon any relevant changes in animal behaviors and conditions, carefully observing the condition of and cleaning assigned areas and animal enclosures, and maintaining animal record documentation as assigned. Your friendly demeanor, good interpersonal skills and outstanding communication skills will contribute to creating an extraordinary guest experience as Keepers may work in public areas and may interact with guests. Your ability to performing assigned routines and specialized procedures with consistency and accuracy will be utilized as you train, educate and direct the basic work of seasonal keepers and interns.

This position is working with a variety of large and small Carnivores.

As Brookfield Zoo is open 365 days a year, this full-time position does require the ability to work rotating shifts that include weekends, holidays, and evenings. The hourly rate for this union position is $22.92/hr.

The requirements for this position include:

•Bachelor's degree in relevant biological field or equivalent combination of training and/or experience required.

•Successful completion of Assistant Keeper probationary period or equivalent combination of training and/or experience in a zoo or aquarium required.

•Diverse experience caring for and exhibiting a wide variety of large and small carnivores in a zoo setting preferred; understanding of zoo-based conservation and breeding programs is desirable.

•Incumbent must possess an understanding of practical principles of animal behavior and the ability to work with live animals safely. Ability to perceive and act upon relevant changes in animal behaviors and conditions.

•Incumbent must demonstrate the ability to increase knowledge of natural history, zoology, and general animal husbandry of the species and individual animals in area(s) of experience.

•Incumbent must demonstrate the ability to develop proficiency, in performing assigned routines and specialized procedures as directed. Must possess a record of consistency and accuracy in performing job duties. Ability to work in a fast-paced and ever-changing work environment preferred

•Good decision-making skills. Must be alert and make sound, independent judgments. Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently. Must be reliable. Ability to work with minimal supervision.

•Solid interpersonal skills required. Demonstrated ability to take initiative in identifying and solving problems, recommending ideas and viable suggestions to improve operations.

•Must learn and integrate information, knowledge, and direction quickly, and complete tasks as needed.

•Incumbent must possess a general knowledge of Chicago Zoological Society, or must acquire general knowledge, gain an understanding of the Society’s mission, and become familiar with and follow policies and procedures.

•Demonstrated ability to train, educate, and direct the basic work of seasonal employees and interns.

•Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. Multilingual ability and Spanish fluency a plus.

•Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer - M/F/V/D.

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center at to obtain more details about position #1188 and to apply by submitting your profile.