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Oklahoma City Zoological Park & Botanical Garden

Oklahoma City Zoological Park & Botanical Garden

Senior Animal Caretaker - Herpetology

The Oklahoma City Zoological Park & Botanical Garden is seeking an enthusiastic and passionate individual to join the Herpetology Team in the role of Senior Animal Caretaker. This position will perform a variety of skilled/semi-skilled work required for the care and safety of the Herpetology collection and guests. In addition, this position is encouraged to participate in the OKC zoo’s education, research, field and resource conservation efforts. This position reports to the Assistant Curator of the Herpetology department.

The OKC Zoo’s Herpetology collection currently is housed in 5 buildings and includes 50 + species of venomous and non-venomous snakes and lizards, a large (20 + species including Ploughshare tortoises) chelonian collection, amphibians (20 + species) and a pair of Komodo dragons.

The OKC Zoo strives toward innovation and maximizing the talents of employees that possess a keen interest in advancing research in their field and the conservation efforts of the institution.

Essential Job Functions

An employee in this position may be called upon to do any or all of the following essential duties:

  • Participate in animal training programs. 
  • Coordinate and supervise activities of interns and volunteers as required.
  • Actively participate in daily advanced husbandry techniques including food, water, cleanliness, health, behavior and assessment of relevant animals. 
  • Maintain and renovate exhibits, service areas, and equipment.
  • Support daily purposeful enrichment and documentation to promote, encourage and evaluate natural and engaging behaviors. 
  • Basic understanding and support of operant conditioning training for advanced behaviors and public demonstrations. 
  • Participate in relevant animal training programs. 
  • Participate as directed in exhibit planning activities.
  • Observe, monitor, and report relevant animal behavior changes and medical problems; keep detailed records of relevant animal training, weight, health and behavior.
  • Assist in veterinary medical procedures; provide medication and treatment as directed by veterinary staff.
  • Educate the public and provide positive guest experiences. 
  • Collaborate with other Zoo departments.
  • Participate in collaborative efforts to research natural behaviors of the relevant animals in the area; research both current species and potentially new species. 
  • Work effectively in a team environment.
  • Plan and organize work projects for areas in the department.

Non-Essential Job Functions
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA’s) for Position
An employee in this class must have the following knowledge, skills, and abilities upon application:
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the OKC Zoo’s Animal Training and Enrichment Programs.
  • General animal husbandry, handling, and capture/ restraint practices and procedures.
  • Basic knowledge of relevant taxa.
  • Basic chemistry methods and water quality testing (if required as part of the job).
  • General buildings, grounds maintenance, and repair work.
  • Basic computer operation. 
  • Policies, practices, and procedures of the Oklahoma City Zoo and the assigned department and area (to be acquired within 30 days of hire).
  • Public speaking.
  • Preparing and maintaining a variety of records, reports, and correspondence. 
  • Proficiency in handling relevant animals including venomous animal handling.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Excellent organizational skills and time management.
  • Strong sensory skills, such as eyesight, hearing, and/or dexterity.
  • Practice and foster safe work methods, identifying work place hazards, and using appropriate safety equipment.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, professional colleagues, and the public.
  • Handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Working in an environment subject to constant interruptions and quickly changing priorities.
  • Work a flexible schedule which may include evenings and/or weekends and holidays and during emergency situations such as dictated by weather.
  • Drive around the Oklahoma City area throughout the year. 

Physical Demands
  • Required to walk, sit and stand for periods of time.
  • Push, lift, and carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Bend, stoop, kneel, and move intermittently throughout the day.
  • May be exposed to fumes, odors, dust, moving mechanical parts and vehicles.
  • Exposure to extreme weather conditions, such as heat, cold, rain, snow and ice. 
  • Exposure to potentially dangerous animals.

**This position description is a general guideline for work behavior and is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all job duties.  Therefore, it is also not, nor can it be implied to be, a contract of employment.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential tasks. Must be able to successfully complete an intense background investigation. 


Experience Required

Experience Required: Two (2) years of experience working with relevant taxa in an AZA accredited institution (or equivalent). Minimum Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Psychology, Zoology, or related field. Certification: Valid Oklahoma driver’s license and pass a driver’s history check. Successful completion of a pre-employment background check, and a drug test. Must take and pass annual TB tests. Completion of mandatory OKC Zoo Global Academy training, or the ability to complete the same in the first six (6) months of employment. Preferred qualifications: Venomous snake handling. Interest in and experience in turtle and tortoise husbandry.

How to Apply

*To view detailed job description and be considered for this opportunity, please apply via this site:

Please note, only applications received via the above site will be considered.

Oklahoma City Zoological Park & Botanical Garden
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Fax: Oklahoma City Zoological

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