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Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Elephant Keeper

Animal Keeper - Elephant Team

The Cincinnati Zoo Elephant Team is in the process of evolving our historic Asian elephant program into a sustainable, multi-generational herd environment with an operant conditioning program that allows us to take the best care of the elephants while providing them with a complex environment in which to thrive. This evolution will include a new elephant habitat to be built in the next 2-3 years. Minimally, this candidate has demonstrated knowledge and relevant experience caring for elephants within the last five years and a minimum of two-years’ experience working in Protected/Restricted Contact with elephants.

Minimum Desired Qualifications:  

Education & Experience:

  • The ideal candidate will have a degree in a related field and demonstrated knowledge and relevant experience caring for a herd of elephants (preferably including bulls and calves) in a protected contact program within the last five years.
  • Experience and/or expertise with elephant footcare, operant conditioning of naïve animals, elephant introductions and EEHV treatments is of specific value and should be noted.
  • This position requires a dedicated, motivated individual who excels at working collaboratively within a diverse team.
  • Equivalent combinations of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job will be considered.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Actively demonstrate the Zoo’s Core Values and Behaviors.
  • Demonstrate excellent communication and problem-solving skills, while applying good judgment, to deliver animal care and guest experiences that meet the highest standards.
  • The ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with co-workers (including staff, interns, students and volunteers) is critical.
  • Must be comfortable with guest interactions and in delivering public presentations, including daily keeper encounters and guest tours.

Representative responsibilities/duties for include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform all duties associated with the provisioning of high-level animal husbandry including operant conditioning and enrichment.
  • Identify maintenance issues and correct or repair each as required, reporting non-correctable maintenance issues, including potential safety hazards, to the Maintenance Dept.
  • Observe general animal health and behavior, on a daily basis, and report any abnormal circumstances to a supervisor. Assist animal health with animal treatments.
  • Maintain records of health, behavior, enrichment, operant conditioning and visitor engagement issues in designated programs in assigned areas, via electronic programs.
  • Prepare and follow prescribed diets and feeding procedures for the animal collection.
  • Assist in the training, supervision, evaluation of volunteers, interns, and vocational students, as needed.
  • Develop and present visitor engagement programs that include, but are not restricted to VIP encounters, educational programs and behind-the-scene tours.
  • Interact with the public and Zoo staff in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Make decisions consistent with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden policies and procedures when required.

Working Conditions:  Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a post-offer, pre-employment drug & nicotine screen, background check & physical. While performing the duties of this job the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; climb or balance and grasp objects.  In addition, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions; Must be able to lift & move 50 pounds without mechanical assistance; possess a valid driver’s license (and insurable to drive a Zoo vehicle). 

Position Details: This is a full-time (40 hours per week with benefits) Union keeper position, which is subject to the successful completion of a probationary and the deduction of union dues. This position requires weekend work with regular off-days set at TUE/WED/THU. This is a 4, 10 hr/day schedule.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers a comprehensive benefits package including affordable medical, dental & vision coverage; 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; generous paid time off (vacation, holiday and sick leave); company-paid disability & life insurance; park discounts and free passes.

To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must apply via our online application on our website at  Cover letter and resume should be included in your online application.

Deadline to apply is June 25, 2021

We strive to be an organization that is diverse and reflects the fullness of society. With a strongly held value for an organizational culture characterized by inclusion and belonging, we are committed to equity in all we do. We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to our organization’s diversity and who want to walk alongside us in our commitment to inclusion and equity.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer and does not and will not discriminate against any applicant or employee based on race, religion, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, genetic information, military or veteran status, and/or any other characteristic or protected status. We are a Queen City Certified Leader in Gender Equity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.



Full Benefits

How to Apply

To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must apply via our online application on our website at  Cover letter and resume should be included in your online application.

Deadline to apply is June 25, 2021

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine St
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Phone: 5134873436

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