Wildlife Show Trainer

Organization: Denver Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Job or Internship: Job

At Denver Zoo, our mission is to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. We are a respected leader in animal care and exhibition, conservation programs, scientific study, environmental education and public service.


This position advances the mission of Denver Zoo by assisting in the daily operations of the Wildlife Theater collection of live animals including animal care and husbandry, animal training, and animal presentations.

Essential Functions:

• Program Area Support: Works as a team to develop, implement, manage, and evaluate all aspects of animal care, including husbandry, training, and enrichment for the Wildlife Theater collection of animals

• Animal Care and Husbandry: Prepares diets, feeds animals, monitors animal weight, and administers medications; cleans enclosures and observes animals; evaluates and manages appropriate animal nutrition through collaboration with animal staff; coordinates animal medical care and works with veterinarians and nutritionists for medical procedures and issues

• Maintenance of Physical Spaces: Maintains physical spaces of animal housing areas and non-animal spaces of Conoco Wildlife Theater including public areas and behind-the-scenes keeper areas; meets OSHA and USDA requirements; maintain supplies for the area including food, enrichment items, and protective clothing

• Wildlife Show Presentations: Presents scripted, entertaining and informative wildlife shows in the summer; works as a team to create, edit and revise show script, behind-the-scenes logistics, show themes, graphics, and goals

• Wildlife Show Space: Prepares, maintains, and repairs the show stage, props, music, and costumes including necessary purchasing or construction of items

• Record-keeping: Supports all aspects of record keeping, calendars, and protocols regarding animal husbandry, training, enrichment, and animal usage

• Animal Training and Enrichment: Effectively and efficiently train a variety of animals for husbandry and program purposes using operant conditioning techniques and positive reinforcement; provides enrichment opportunities to keep animals stimulated; communicate progress with the Lead Trainer

• Animal Programs: Conduct animal demonstrations for on-site classes and programs, off-site outreach, events, media appearances, and other educational programs; lead area tours of the Wildlife Show collection; work effectively with other Education staff to determine animal usage in various education programs

• Staff Animal Handling Training: Train seasonal Wildlife Theater staff and non-animal EVSD staff on how to properly handle animals when necessary

• Team Support: Assists with the hiring of seasonal staff; works as a team to foster a positive, productive atmosphere; actively participates in team meetings; helps supervise and train new staff and volunteers in Wildlife Theater

• Communication: Works proactively to problem-solve with Lead Trainer, EVSD staff and teams, cross-department zoo staff, and volunteers through emails, meetings, and phone calls

Additional Responsibilities:

• Participates in animal information meetings and area safety tours

• Assists Marketing Department by making media appearances and presenting seasonal animal programs as needed

• Assist the Animal Department on all animal escape and emergency procedures

• Assist Lead Trainer in making budgetary decisions for the area

• Supports a variety of other education programs, including classes, workshops, outreach, and other science programs

• Participates in and provides support for EVSD activities including: special events, Free Days, professional development opportunities, volunteer hiring and training

• Serves on committees and projects as requested

• Represents the Denver Zoo to the community in a professional and positive manner

• Complies with all zoo policies

• Able to work long hours and varying days during critical periods

• Performs various tasks as assigned.


• Four-year degree in Biology or Zoology; or Associates degree and commensurate experience

• Two or more years of full time animal care and handling experience at an AZA accredited institution

• One or more years of applied animal training experience

• One or more years of show and presentation experience

• Strong public presentation skills

• Ability to handle multiple assignments simultaneously

• Enjoy working with children and the public

• Strong interest in conservation and environmental education

• Outstanding written and oral communications

• Demonstrated ability to solve complex problems efficiently and the ability to make quick decisions during animal emergencies

• Outstanding diplomatic skills

• Ability to function and provide leadership in a multi-task environment, both independently and in a team

• Strong organizational skills

• Ability to lift up to 50 pounds, with occasional heavier lifting

***Each applicant must submit a video of themselves presenting a program to the public (or create one presenting their favorite animal) via DVD/flash drive or post on Youtube.com. Please include the date of the event, description of the setting and the number of people in attendance. If you are submitting the video via Youtube.com, please include the url information in your application materials. If sending a DVD/flash drive, please send to:

Wildlife Show Lead Trainer

Denver Zoo

2300 Steele St

Denver, CO 80205

This is a regular full-time position with excellent benefits including complete medical/dental/vision coverage, 403(b) retirement plan and a generous vacation package.

Please apply through our website at www.denverzoo.org

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer