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Palm Beach Zoo


The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is currently seeking a full-time Zoologist to provide world-class animal care to a wide variety of species, with a focus on our large carnivores (tigers, jaguars, black bears), avian (psittacines, waterfowl, birds of prey), primates (callitrichids, spiders, capuchins) and a small mammal collection.  We are in the process of building the zoo of the future in beautiful south Florida, and are looking to bring in additional expertise and enthusiasm.  The Zoo staff work in a positive, team-oriented environment to support our mission to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife.  Zoologists promote increased environmental awareness and conservation through excellent animal care and management practices, coupled with positive visitor experiences.

The ideal candidate will have a strong animal care background with a deep experience in operant conditioning, welfare input/outputs, habitat design criteria, animal nutrition and animal social interactions, including introductions and breeding.  They will also have experience engaging visitors with formal and informal animal encounters where they share their passion for animal wellness and preservation of wild places.  Finally, they will demonstrate a solid track record of workplace competency performance, including communication, teamwork, efficiency, emotional intelligence, planning, change management and administration.

Essential Position Functions

  • Expertly performs animal husbandry tasks, including feeding, cleaning, medicating and training animals
  • Observes, records and promptly reports changes in animal wellness status, including response to training, food intake, waste production, social interactions, activity budget, breeding activity, etc
  • Proactively takes opportunities to captivate zoo guests with engaging stories about the animals under their care
  • Perform animal husbandry tasks (feed, clean, train, etc) for terrestrial animals (primates, mammals, birds) – daily
  • Clean, maintain and improve animal care facilities, including service areas and surrounding spaces – daily
  • Enhance the welfare of the animals by observing and understanding animal behaviors and analyzing welfare outputs to increase mental stimulation and choice within the animal’s environment – daily
  • Plan, prepare and feed out nutritious diets – daily
  • Assist veterinary team during animal health diagnostic and care procedures – as needed
  • Complete animal records including: animal feeding habits, diets, breeding behavior, health status, physical conditions, enrichment and training - daily
  • Communicate safety and health concerns to appropriate staff – as needed
  • Participate in the capture and restraint of animals for transfer and veterinary procedures – as needed
  • Participate in animal behavioral training program and commit to learning training techniques – as needed
  • Design and execute behavioral shaping plans for all animals under their care – as needed
  • Provide first-hand animal knowledge during exhibit concept design and collection planning discussions – as needed
  • Provide informal guest presentations – daily
  • Handle program animals for events and encounters – as needed
  • Participate in drills and emergency response and provide feedback on the experience – as needed
  • Safely operate vans, pickup trucks, golf carts, hand tools, power tools, personal computers, laboratory equipment and general office equipment. – as needed
  • Proactively seek out experiences and information to enhance professional skills and knowledge – daily

Requirements - Education/Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

  • Minimum of 3 years’ paid experience working with animals in a zoological facility
  • Experience with the husbandry and behavior of primates, mammals and birds preferred 
  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience training animals using operant conditioning techniques
  • Bachelor’s degree (Biology, Psychology or a related field).  Life experience may be substituted.
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem solving
  • Excellent communication skills with co-workers, managers and veterinary staff
  • Able to work weekends, holidays and special evening events as needed
  • A high degree of comfort with Microsoft 365 apps, including Outlook, Word, Teams, Excel, PowerPoint & Sharepoint
  • Comfortable with daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals
  • Comfortable using a radio, telephone, and computer to communicate and follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Demonstrated ability to research and write effectively
  • Use hand and power tools for minor carpentry and habitat modification projects
  • Participation in AZA programs and other zoo related organizations
  • Be familiar with AZA, USDA and FWC regulations and expectations
  • Must have valid driver’s license

Skills and Competencies:

  • Customer Focus – Demonstrates courtesy, cooperation and friendliness with staff, volunteers and guests. Actively listens, anticipates and evaluates the customer’s needs. Ensures that customer satisfaction is a priority in all areas of responsibility.
  • Teamwork — Supports, facilitates, and participates in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrating sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and supporting team goals.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Demonstrates behaviors that includes fairness, respect, inclusiveness, empathy, integrity, and ethical conduct.  Fosters a climate and culture in which each person is accepted and has the opportunity to grow and develop. Practices behaviors that promote diversity and inclusion in dealings with and on behalf of the Zoo, consistent with laws, regulations and Zoo policies.
  • Initiative — Takes actions to achieve goals; self-starting and proactive; asserts oneself to support others in the achievement of their goals; originates action rather than responds only to the actions of others; anticipates the needs of both internal and external constituencies.
  • Integrity/Trust — Maintains social, ethical, and organizational values and norms; builds trust and confidence with the staff and with internal and external customers; respects the confidentiality of personal and proprietary information.
  • Concern for Detail — Pays attention to every portion of any task, down to the smallest item
  • Analysis—Obtains relevant information and identifies key issues and relationships from a base of information; compares data from different sources (both interactive and written); defines underlying problems or opportunities and recognizes trends;
  • Creative Thinking —Develops new strategies and to think outside the box in order to get the job done
  • Forward Thinking — Anticipates the implications and consequences of situations and takes appropriate action to be prepared for possible contingencies.
  • Planning and Organizing — Establishes a course of action with specific long-range goals; sets priorities among competing requirements and allocates resources in the most efficient and effective way; develops contingency plans that anticipate changes in the work environment.
  • Communication (oral and written) — Effectively expresses ideas verbally and non-verbally and actively listens to individuals and groups; prepares and focuses presentations to the characteristics and needs of the audience; expresses ideas clearly and concisely in written form, through memoranda, letters, reports, and other documents.
  • Professional/Technical Knowledge and Competency — Remains current on developments in the field within and outside the organization; maintains proficiencies

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to work in weather conditions typical to South Florida.
  • Daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals in a South Florida climate
  • Ability to use radio, telephone, and computer to communicate and follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Must be willing and able to work varied and long shifts including holidays and weekends.
  • Exposure to blood borne pathogens
  • May require the ability to frequently remain in a stationary position 50% of the time
  • Physically able to stoop, bend, reach, lift, carry or push at least 50 pounds


What we offer: • A competitive salary, commensurate with your skills and experience, • An EXCELLENT benefits package (current year/plan), which includes: o 100% paid employee level coverage for designated medical & dental plan o 100% paid coverage for 100K of life insurance o 100% paid short-term disability o 100% paid long-term disability • 401K – Employer contributes 3% of your salary • Optional vision, accident and critical illness coverages available through pre-tax payroll deductions • Generous paid time off policy, Zoo Membership and FREE admission to other Florida Attractions!

How to Apply

Email your cover letter and resume to Mike Terrell, Curator of Wildlife Programs and Wellness, at - Please include your name followed by “Zoologist” in the subject line of the email. The position will be open until filled. We will contact qualified candidates whom we have chosen to move forward in the interview process.

Palm Beach Zoo
1301 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL, USA
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

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