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Virginia Zoo

Zoo Keeper - Asia Team, with focus on orangutans

Virginia Zoo currently has a vacancy for a full-time Zoo Keeper with the Asia team. This position will act as an integral team member on the Asia team within the Animal Services department, where they are responsible for all aspects of animal care within the Asia section of the zoo. Based on current level of great ape experience, the candidate that takes this position may serve as a primary with the zoo’s orangutans but will also work with the other animals in this section including siamangs, Malayan tigers, Malayan tapirs, moon bears, sun bears, binturong, white-cheeked gibbons, Asian small clawed otters, red pandas, and sarus cranes. This position works within a smaller team comprised of a Lead Asia Zoo Keeper, three other Asia Keepers, and several cross-trained Rover Zoo Keepers working in the area, as well as interns and animal husbandry volunteers assigned to this section. Responsibilities include all daily husbandry of the animals, as well as maintenance and furnishing of habitats, implementing strong enrichment and operant conditioning programs, behavioral observations and welfare assessments, record keeping, following breeding recommendations, and public interactions such as keeper chats and behind the scenes tours. Applicants must be able to work in a team environment and work in a variety of weather conditions. This position is supervised by the Lead Asia Keeper and the Zoological Manager over this section. Previous experience working with great apes or other primates is preferred.


Essential functions include, but are not limited to:


  • Provides experienced husbandry care for the Asia animal collection at the Virginia Zoo. Works closely and collaboratively as a team with the Lead Asia Zoo Keeper, other Asia Zoo Keepers, and other staff assigned to the area.

  • Implements daily behavioral training and enrichment programs for the Asia animal collection. Assesses welfare and conducts behavioral observations.

  • Assists veterinary staff with physical examinations and works with veterinary and animal management staff in ensuring that the animals’ health and medical needs are met.

  • Ensures that exhibits and animal areas meet species-appropriate needs. Undertakes daily cleaning and maintaining of exhibits and exhibit areas, service areas and animal holding areas, utilizing various tools, instruments, disinfectants; with the ability to do so safely and to supervise interns and volunteers to do the same. Contributes to exhibit design and modification when needed.

  • Supports area administrative duties by updating daily animal records, attending meetings, and assisting with the training of interns and volunteers.

  • Educates the public by conducting behind-the-scenes tours, keeper chats, providing information, and giving presentations or participating in media interviews when required.

  • Diligently adheres to all safety protocols and area standard operating procedures. Follows work instructions, directions, and organizational policies clearly and effectively.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Experience Required

Qualified candidates should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college/university program and a minimum of 1 year of professional work experience in AZA accredited facilities. Candidates are expected to have a broad foundation of knowledge, skills and experience with the husbandry management of zoo animals, particularly with species found in the Asia section of the Virginia Zoo, along with a good understanding of behavioral management and preventative health care. Preference will be given to candidates with specific experience with species found in the Asia section at the Virginia Zoo, particularly with great apes or other primates.


Physical Demands
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk and stand; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and talk or hear. The employee must be able to regularly lift and/or or move up to 50 pounds.



The departmental hiring rate for this position is $29,391 annually. The complete salary range can be viewed on the job listing on the City of Norfolk job listings web page.



How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted through the City of Norfolk: No phone calls or in-person inquiries to the zoo please. The posting for this position and application instructions can be found under Job Listings on the City of Norfolk website.



How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted through the City of Norfolk: No phone calls or in-person inquiries to the zoo please.

Virginia Zoo
3500 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23504

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