Keeper / Sea Lion Trainer

Organization: Tulsa Zoo Management Inc. (AZA Member)
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Tulsa Zoo Management Inc. is seeking a new team member for the position of full time keeper/sea lion trainer. The new Helmerich Sea Lion Cove area opened spring of 2012 and features a new sea lion exhibit, holding and life support building. This qualified individual must work well as a member of a team as well as individually with minimal supervision. The individual should have a desire to daily interact and educate our visitors.


• Maintain, train and document husbandry and presentation behaviors for sea lion collection or other animals as assigned.

• Present daily animal presentations and behind the scenes tours educating the public with approved institutional information.

• Show good judgment and observational skills in potentially stressful situations.

• Participate in all areas of marine mammal husbandry and programming.

• Maintain cleanliness of exhibit and surrounding areas according to established protocols.

• Perform regular scuba or hookah diving while using power scrubbers underwater as part of the maintenance of the exhibit.

• Prepare food and food records according to organizational guidelines and USDA standards.

• Prepare, implement and document environmental enrichment.

• Communicate to supervisor any health, behavioral or water quality concerns in an immediate manner.

• Abide by all zoo policies and procedures as described in the Zoo Employee Manual.

• Maintain consistent professional attitude, motivation and ability to accept criticism.

• Assist in other areas and related responsibilities within the zoo as assigned by supervisor to accomplish departmental objectives.


• A Bachelor’s degree in biology, zoology, psychology with preference given to applicants with 1-3 years paid experience with marine mammals (ideally pinnipeds).

• Excellent public speaking skills and ability to deliver high energy educational presentations, animal encounters and tours.

• Knowledge and use of advanced operant conditioning technique as it applies to marine mammals specifically pinnipeds.

• Ability to notice precursors of animal aggression and specific training techniques to reduce it.

• Working knowledge of water chemistry and life support systems as they relate to marine mammal exhibits.

• Physical requirements include SCUBA certification, ability to lift 50lbs, walk on uneven surfaces and work in all weather conditions.

• Must be able to work overtime, weekends and holidays.

• Understands the physical and health related risks inherent to working with zoo animals.

Please e-mail cover letter, resume, list of three references and contact information to Marcie Tarvid at or mail to 5701 E. 36th St. North, Tulsa, OK 74115. No phone calls please.