Elephant Handler/Farm Hand

Organization: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium - International Conservation Center (AZA Member)
Location: Somerset - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Position Title: Elephant Handler/Farm Hand

Department: Mammals

Reporting: Area Supervisor/Elephant Operations Manager/

Location: International Conservation Center (ICC)


The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is seeking experienced elephant keepers that would be interested in joining a progressive elephant management team, utilizing both free and protected contact. The successful candidates primary job assignment will be at the zoo’s International Conservation Center just outside of Berlin, PA about 100 miles east of Pittsburgh. We will also require a moderate amount of time spent at the zoo’s facility in Pittsburgh to facilitate the development of a versatile and cohesive elephant management team.


• Assists the supervisory personnel in animal area preparation and operations staff in the maintenance of the facility;

• Assist with farm hand duties as assigned by the area supervisor in cooperation with the Farm Manager of the ICC

• Performs work in accordance with wildlife regulations;

• May make water tests and chemicals regulate temperatures, etc.;

• Responsible for the animal care and husbandry of elephants and additional species at the International Conservation Center.

• The duties will include but are not limited to: caring for animals, grooming, observing for disease, injuries, unusual behavior, pregnancy, etc.;

• Reports observations to assigned area supervisor;

• Requests, stores, prepares and distributes animal food and water in a timely manner, notifies supervisor of food materials or supplies to be ordered,

• Maintains and cleans in and around habitat and exhibit quarters, kitchen area, etc.; inspects animal exhibit and habitat perimeters for security;

• Assists in the implementation of the pest control program, observes exhibit and life support systems (e.g. filtration water systems, water circulation systems, etc.),

• Maintains appropriate environmental conditions; makes minor repairs and/or refers for permanent repairs; checks locks on cages;

• Assist veterinarian in animal examination and treatment;

• Performs prescribed medical procedures;

• May assist in research study procedures and in the collection of data and preparation of reports;

• Keeps feeding, breeding, health and animal inventory records in required formats; Prepares reports as requested or required;

• Catches animals and assists in transferring and transporting; may pick up and deliver animals as requested or required;

• Collects biological specimens and assist in chemical or physical restraint of animal environments;

• Answers questions and conducts tours for educational programs and the general public, Gives direction as needed and polices the grounds.

• Participates in training programs at the zoo or at remote locations; may assist in providing training to staff or volunteers as requested, and other related tasks and duties that are assigned or required.


• This position must have a bachelor’s degree in animal science, biology, chemistry, or related field and 3 years professional paid experience working with elephants;

• Or an associate’s degree in the related sciences and 5 years of professional experience working with elephants.

• In lieu of either degree, an additional two years may be substituted to equal a total of 7 years of professional elephant experience.

Working Conditions:

This position is required to work in all weather conditions in a farm setting. May be required to lift, carry, push and/or pull up to 50 pounds unassisted. Knowledge of personal computer and general office equipment required.

Submit resume to: Zoological Society of Pittsburgh

Human Resources Department

One Wild Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15206


Email: HR@pittsburghzoo.org