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Philadelphia Zoo

Associate Veterinarian









Under the direction of Director of Animal Health, provides veterinary services to the animal collection. The Associate Veterinarian provides medical and surgical treatment to animals in the Zoo’s collection, assists with a comprehensive preventive medical and treatment program for the Zoo’s animal collection, and works with department staff and service providers, including other veterinarians, veterinary technicians, pathology services and the pest control technician. The Associate also participates in academic and organizational programs to advance the level of zoo veterinary medicine and collaborates with other zoo departments in carrying out the mission of the Zoo. In addition, the Associate supports the Zoo’s veterinary student externship program, and participates in a clinical partnership with the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.





  1. Provides routine and emergency medical and surgical treatment to animals in the Zoo’s collection; also provides emergency care as required for ill or injured wildlife found on or near Zoo grounds.
  2. Assists in the implementation of USDA and AZA requirements and standards as well as other federal and state agency requirements as they relate to animal health, exhibition, captive management, transportation, etc.
  3. Assists in the implementation of the preventive medical program for the entire collection and periodically reviews and updates such program to meet the needs of the collection.
  4. Prepares health certificates and other necessary veterinary requirements in advance of animal shipments and assists in preparing animals for shipment in collaboration with the curator and keeper staff.
  5. Participates in the Zoo’s quarantine program for all newly acquired animals.
  6. Assists in developing management protocols for hand rearing infant animals in collaboration with veterinary staff, nutritionist, and curators, and monitors the growth and development of hand reared animals.
  7. Contributes recommendations on the construction and maintenance of animal enclosures to ensure animal health and safety.
  8. Performs or oversees routine and emergency anesthetic protocols for species in the Zoo’s collection, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
  9. Perform necropsies on deceased collection animals and wildlife as needed.
  10. Assists with disposal of Zoo hospital generated hazardous waste to maintain compliance with local, state and federal regulations.
  11. Serves on the Zoo’s Animal Management Committee and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
  12. Maintains contemporaneous animal health records.



Research and education:

  1. Participates in research projects and programs pertaining to animal health.
  2. Pursues innovative and collaborative Zoo partnerships across other Zoo departments, the Philadelphia community, regional veterinary schools and service providers, AZA, and other external stakeholders and organizations.
  3. Prepares articles on zoo animal health for lay and scientific publications, and answers public and professional inquiries regarding the Zoo’s animal health care.
  4. Participates in lectures or other trainings requested by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and other institutions of higher learning.
  5. Consults with, coordinates and participates in scientific and medical involvement with various schools, colleges and universities.
  6. Represents the Zoo to the media, including print, radio, television, and social media interviews, including live broadcasts.
  7. Conducts seminars and tours.


Training and safety:

  1. Provides training as needed to zoo staff on a variety of subjects including but not limited to zoonotic disease prevention, recognizing illness in animals, proper use of cleaners and disinfectants, and medication administration.
  2. Trains in and responds to animal-related emergencies as a member of the animal escape team and envenomation response team. 
  3. Assists with reviews of SDS sheets of cleaners, paints and other chemicals intended for use in proximity to animal areas, and providing guidelines and approval for use in conjunction with safety officers and project planners.
  4. Assists with review of plant and plant products (e.g., perching, substrate, browse) toxicity prior to installation in or near animal spaces.
  5. Provides advice on zoonotic diseases to the Zoo’s human resources department, the Zoo’s occupational health provider, personal physicians of Zoo employees, and outside agencies such as the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
  6. Reviews and advises on the Zoo’s animal and public sanitation procedures.
  7. Participates in training of veterinary staff in hazardous materials packaging and shipping.



  1. Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with co-workers within the Zoo and with outside stakeholders and organizations.
  2. Graduation from a college of veterinary medicine accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association with the degree or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or equivalent.
  3. Board certification (or eligibility) in Zoological Medicine by the American College of Zoological Medicine highly preferred, or at least 3 years of full-time experience practicing zoological medicine in AZA (or equivalent) accredited zoological institutions.
  4. Licensed to practice veterinary medicine within the State of Pennsylvania (or obtain such license within the first six months of appointment).
  5. Category II accreditation by the USDA (or obtain such accreditation within the first 6 months of employment) to write required interstate and international animal health certificates, perform tuberculosis testing, and submit diagnostic samples to state and federal animal disease laboratories.
  6. Experience with anesthesia, medicine, and surgery of a broad range of taxonomic species, including non-human primates, nondomestic carnivores, diverse avian and reptilian species, and various domestic species including equids and small ruminants.
  7. Experienced in the use of a variety of types of remote injection equipment (pole syringes, blowpipes, dart projectors, etc.).
  8. Experienced in the use of dangerous drugs such as ultra-potent narcotics, and registered (or able to obtain registration) by the US DOJ Drug Enforcement Administration to order, possess, administer, and dispense controlled substances, including but not limited to schedule 2 and 2N medications including thiafentanil and etorphine.
  9. Familiarity with the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS for Medical) web-based electronic medical record-keeping system.
  10. Able and willing to work a flexible schedule which may include weekends and holidays, and to work overtime when required. May be required to stay overnight at Zoo in the event of animal illness, weather emergency, or any other situation that may impede normal transit to the Zoo.
  11. Ability to respond to the Zoo within 40 minutes (assuming normal traffic) in the event of an emergency.
  12. Proficiency in the safe and effective use of firearms (or the ability to become proficient within 1 year of appointment); including participation in Philadelphia Zoo animal recapture team firearms training and animal escape drills.
  13. Valid driver’s license.



This position will involve exposure to inclement weather, dust, potentially dangerous and unpredictable animal species and potentially dangerous machinery, restraint devices and hazardous chemicals and/or medications.  Frequent use of protective equipment or clothing (e.g., masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, etc.) is required.


  1. Successful completion of a post-offer medical screening including general physical examination (with emphasis on cardiovascular, respiratory, and skeletal systems) and tuberculosis testing prior to beginning work.
  2. Ability to remain in a stationary position for long periods of time.
  3. Ability to ascend, descend and work atop stairs, ladders, move under low objects and navigate complex topography such as animal exhibits.
  4. Must be able to work around a large variety of plant and animal species.
  5. Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions.
  6. Ability to move and position animals and/or equipment of up to 50 pounds.
  7. Ability to be trained to use firearms and respond appropriately in a potential emergency.
  8. Ability to use and handle hooks, tongs, catch poles, nets, and other animal handling equipment.
  9. Ability to drive Zoo vehicles including electric and gas-powered carts, cars, and cargo vans.
  10. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  11. Ability to detect sounds of varying amplitudes and frequencies including sounds emitted from animals, people and medical or other equipment.
  12. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person as well as through radios, phones, and computers.




  1.  Prior to starting work, successful completion of a background check to include: criminal records, Pennsylvania child abuse history clearance and driving history.

How to Apply

Philadelphia Zoo
3400 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215-243-1100

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