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Nashville Zoo

Contact Area Keeper

Contact Area Keeper 

Nashville Zoo

Description: Employee will perform a wide range of functions on the Contact Area Team at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. Primary responsibility is to feed, clean, and maintain assigned collection animals (domestic mammals, kangaroo, tortoises, and birds); clean animal exhibits, yards, night enclosures, and contiguous areas; perform light exhibit construction; operate zoo vehicles; maintain integrity of existing landscape. Additionally, employee will be responsible for educating the public on the Contact Areas animal collection and providing a friendly, safe atmosphere for children and their families.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Animal Husbandry

  • Prepare food and water for collection animals by cutting and measuring diet portions
  • Feed collection animals
  • Monitor assigned animals closely with regard to general appearance, diet consumption levels, condition of fecal matter, etc.
  • Perform daily record keeping on behavioral observations, diet consumption, health concerns, etc
  • Clean animal exhibits, yards, pools, night enclosures, and service areas
  • Participate in handling and restraint for medical procedures and animal transport
  • Assists Veterinarian staff in the treatment of collection animals
  • Provide exhibit security and take appropriate actions to prevent vandalism and maltreatment of animals and facilities by the public.


  • Clean and disinfect utensils, work tools, and containers
  • Maintain plant life in and around enclosures
  • Perform minor or routine maintenance of enclosures and report all other maintenance needs to supervisors
  • Operate a variety of light and medium equipment

Public Education

  • Participate in daily keeper talks designed to educate the public on Contact Area animal collection
  • Respond to questions from the public concerning the animals and exhibits
  • Model the Zoo’s image and code of professional ethics in words and actions at all times


General knowledge of:

  • Animal behavior
  • Care, feeding, and handling of exotic and domestic animals
  • Safety practices around exotic and domestic animals
  • Animal biology or zoology or other related field
  • Techniques for restraining and capturing exotic and domestic animals

Capable of:

  • Completely performing the responsibilities outlined in the “Duties and Responsibilities” section
  • Monitoring animal behavior and appearance
  • Operating motorized vehicles and equipment; applicant must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Taking and following work instructions
  • Working in a team oriented atmosphere
  • Effectively communicating with coworkers and supervisors
  • Interacting and communicating with the general public in an appropriate manner

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to work outside year-round under typical Tennessee weather conditions and temperatures for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to work in uneven terrain with exposure to varying weather conditions, dust, and allergens.
  • Must be able to move about on slippery surfaces, handle toxic and hazardous materials and work in cramped and confined spaces.
  • Must be able to lift and carry materials up to 75 pounds.


Must have a high school diploma and at least one year of work experience at a zoological facility or any equivalent combination of training and experience, which provides the required work skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Background Check: Applicants for this position are required to submit to a criminal background check and pass a drug test.

Special Note: Applicant may be required to work any combination of five days in the seven day work week including holidays. 



How to Apply

Nashville Zoo
3777 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, TN 37211

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