ZOO KEEPER- NATURAL ENCOUNTERS




Organization: Houston Zoo, Inc. (AZA Member)
Location: Houston, Texas, Country
Job or Internship: Job

The Houston Zoo is seeking a qualified applicant to work in the Natural Encounters department. Duties

include the daily husbandry routine of a diverse collection of reptiles, birds and mammals, with

interpretation and guest experience being the focus. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to; all

aspects of the daily care of assigned animals, cleaning of animal areas, preparation and feeding of

appropriate diets, behavioral observation, and administration of medicine/treatments as directed.

A successful candidate for this position is motivated, energetic, and a team oriented individual with

good problem solving, written/oral communication, and organizational/interpersonal skills. This

candidate will have solid knowledge in operant conditioning, implementation of animal training and

enrichment programs, as well as, being comfortable with public speaking.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

· Observes and evaluates animal condition, behavior and responses and communicates

observations orally and on written reports.

· Prepares and feeds appropriate diets, noting conformance of foods provided to diets prescribed

for each animal.

· Administers prescribed medications and dietary supplements and monitors food and medicine

consumption.

· Checks on integrity of enclosures and structures, ensuring safety and welfare of animals, Zoo

visitors, and staff in accordance with established guidelines.

· Maintains live plants within enclosures ensuring neat, attractive exhibits.

· Performs minor repairs and preventative maintenance as necessary.

· Maintains clean and organized exhibits, equipment, and keeper areas.

· Improves the quality of life of the animal collection by providing environmental and behavioral

enrichment opportunities.

· Trains selected animals through operant conditioning for purposes of gaining cooperation for

veterinary treatment and/or public demonstrations.

· Installs exhibit furnishings, props, and decorations safely, attractively and in a manner consistent

with Zoo guidelines.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:

EXPERIENCE:

One year of experience in animal care in a zoo or under the direction of a licensed veterinarian is

required. Education may be substituted for experience at the rate of six months of experience per 15

hours of college level credit.

In certain positions, specific training and work experience in zoological, aqua cultural, ecological and

biological areas such as in schools, aquariums, nature centers, agricultural operations, animal

merchandizing and conservation centers may be substituted for direct exotic animal care in a zoological

facility.

KNOWLEDGE:

Two years of college level education (60 semester credit hours) in zoology, biology, animal husbandry

or a related field is desired, of which 24 semester hours must be credit hours in life sciences or physical

sciences.

A certificate of completion from an acceptable animal care program of no less that 30 semester hours

may be substituted for 30 hours of college.

The successful candidate for this position should be motivated, energetic and a team oriented individual

with good problem solving, written and oral communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. The

candidate should have knowledge in operant conditioning, implementation of animal training and

enrichment programs, and public speaking.

SUPERVISION:

May serve as a lead person for zoo keeper apprentices or volunteers.

SKILLS:

PHYSICAL EFFORT:

This position involves considerable physical exertion, such as regularly climbing of ladders, lifting of

heavy objects (up to 50 pounds) on a highly frequent basis and/or assuming awkward positions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

There are routine exposures to significant levels of heat, cold, moisture and air pollution. The position

may involve exposure to chemical substances and physical trauma of a minor nature such as cuts,

bruises and minor burns.

PHYSICAL SKILL:

Requires the ability to make closely coordinated eye/hand movements within very fine tolerance and/or

calibration demands; or the ability to make rapid closely coordinated eye/hand movements on a

patterned response space within somewhat fine tolerance demands; or the ability to make coordinated

eye/hand movements within fine tolerances with large equipment as an extension of the worker.

PUBLIC CONTACT:

Requires heavy public contact requiring considerable interpersonal skill, extensive interaction with the

public and with donors, members and the press requiring a high degree of appreciation of customer

service.

Applicants can visit www.houstonzoo.org/careers to download an application

E-mail resume and completed application to careers@houstonzoo.org

Houston Zoo is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer