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San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Tour Operator Guide - Africa Tram - Part Time - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


The Tour Operator Guide performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s mission and vision of saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature and leading the fight against extinction. The Tour Operator Guide works under general supervision and presents an informative narration on tours throughout the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park and drives tour vehicles throughout the Zoo and Safari Park. This position reports to the Safari Experience Supervisor.


This class differs from the Educator Guide class at the Zoo and Safari Park in that the Educator Guide handles animals.



· Performs as organization’s public relations representative in Safari Experiences

· Conducts an average of five to six tours daily

· Presents educational and entertaining narrative simultaneously while driving a tour vehicle

· Presents a positive, friendly, and outgoing image

· Conducts tours in an organized, safe and timely manner

· Interacts with tour patrons continuously

· Loads and unloads tour vehicles

· Educates the public and maintains the organization’s image of goodwill

· Conducts tours on paths, walkways and behind the scenes areas

· Conducts special tours as required

· Distinguishes animals in camouflaged habitats

· Responds to medical and mechanical emergencies

· May work relief lead shifts



· Operates tours utilizing a variety of vehicles including tour buses, multi-car trams, Segways, vans, safari trucks, shuttles, carts, and other personal transportation systems

· Operates P.A. systems

· Respond to radio communications and verbal instructions/warnings in noisy conditions

· Cleans and maintains passenger areas of tour vehicles

· May collect tickets and operate patron shuttles

· Assists with on-the-job training of new guides and provides mentoring

· Answers questions regarding animals and main features at the Zoo or Safari Park

· Gives directions

· Assists persons with disabilities/patrons of tours including loading of wheelchairs.

· May conduct bi-lingual language tours

· Distinguish animals in their habitats and monitoring sounds

· Observes and reports unusual conditions or animal behavior



Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.



Training and/or experience which would demonstrate the knowledge and skills outlined. An example of which would be prior training or education in the life sciences and prior experience in public speaking; valid California driver license required; may require possession of a valid California Class B driver license; must be 18 years of age. Must be able to pass a DMV class B physical for Zoo bus positions.

Knowledge of:

· Zoology, with special attention to the care and unique qualities of the animals in residence

· Layout of the Zoo or Safari Park

· Organization policies, rules and practices

· Public speaking

· Principles of public relations

Ability to:

· Perform the duties outlined above

· Communicate clear and concise via an amplified public address system

· Operate tour vehicle safely and efficiently

· Handle repetition and unruly passengers

· Update knowledge of animal exhibit and condition changes

· Distinguish animals in camouflaged habitats

· Follow directions effectively

· Handle physical, medical, and mechanical emergencies

· Monitor sounds



Exposure to tour vehicles fumes, engine heat, engine noise, and, vibration; exposure to varying weather conditions; work in temperatures above 100 degrees in the summer months at the Park, exposure to dust, allergens, confined or cramped spaces; oil/grease, slippery surfaces, and elevated positions.



This position has been identified as one requiring at least occasional lifting in excess of 50 pounds; assignments may require the ability to maneuver large vehicles safely; push/pull or lift moderate to heavy objects; significant walking, sitting and standing for long periods of time, and reaching overhead and or to the ground; frequent speaking for extended periods of time, voice fatigue, and repetitive duties such as opening and closing tour vehicle doors for patrons.



San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is seeking individuals who are inspired to be part of an organization that is committed to protecting wildlife around the globe.  We are seeking outgoing individuals with backgrounds in entertainment, storytelling, and public speaking to work as part of our Guest Service Team.  Highly motivated, enthusiastic, and personable applicants who are focused on guest experiences are encouraged to apply. Bi-lingual applicants are highly desired.

How to Apply

Tour Operator Guide - Africa Tram - Part Time - San Diego Zoo Safari Park - Career Portal (

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
2920 Zoo Dr
San Diego, CA

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