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Milwaukee County Zoo

Zookeeper - Large Mammals / Elephants

Job Summary

The Zookeeper role maintains and enhances the welfare of the Zoo animal population in accordance with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) advanced standards for professional animal care. Responsible for the daily care of Zoo animals, their enclosures, surroundings and support facilities; daily reporting of assigned areas and specimens; public engagement and education; and animal conservation and research. Incumbents must have a strong foundation in husbandry, training and a commitment to positive, collaborative team relationships.

 Job Responsibilities

Animal Care & Health - Provide the daily care to maintain and enhance the welfare of the Zoo animal population. Order, prepare and present approved diets. Observe, evaluate, record and report animal activities, behavior and physical condition with consideration of patterns and natural history. Ensure the tidiness, hygiene, and maintenance of animal enclosures. Collaborate with the veterinary team to promote animal health and nutrition. Train, manually restrain, capture and/or transport animals to facilitate medical procedures. Administer approved medications and treatments as prescribed.

Behavioral Husbandry & Welfare - Facilitate and participate in animal training and enrichment programs in alignment with established targets for species behavior and wellbeing. Perform welfare assessments for assigned animal population in accordance with established standards.

Facilities Management - Ensure the tidiness, hygiene, and maintenance of service areas and surroundings. Operate and maintain animal life-support systems and environmental controls. Identify and report maintenance and pest control needs.

Administration & Records - Report and maintain daily records (e.g., animal feeding habits, diets, breeding behavior, health status, physical conditions, enrichment and training) for quality control and preservation in the Zoo Information Management System (ZIMS). Complete and maintain copies of work orders and other records regarding the operation and use of the animal area facilities.

Professional Collaboration - Establish a positive rapport within mission-parallel professional organizations by participating in associated conferences and training opportunities. Collaborate with other Zoos, researchers, and wildlife organizations to advance the Zoo’s mission and animal programs. Serve as the Zoo's Institutional Representative for AZA breeding programs and participate in program leadership as practicable.

Public Engagement – Proactively engage with volunteers and visitors to enhance their experiences. Conduct formal and informal public presentations including animal care, natural history, conservation and research. Assist in the training of educators, tour guides and volunteers. Maintain positive, collaborative relationships with maintenance, grounds, creative, and all other Zoo departments.

Other Duties as Assigned - Examples include but are not limited to: serve on animal emergency response team, provide backup coverage for animal commissary operations, support security and safety programs, serve on committees and parallel teams.

Ability to safely and properly operate: County vehicles, snow blowers, skid loaders, pressure washers, bicycles, firearms, hand tools, power tools, general office equipment, and laboratory equipment.

Ability to lift and carry up to 75 lbs.; ability to push and pull up to 25 lbs.

Minimum Qualifications

Required Education, License/Certification and Experience

  • Valid Driver’s License required. Valid State of Wisconsin Driver’s license required or must be obtained within 6 months of employment
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Animal Biology, Wildlife Biology, Zoology, Ecology, Biological Sciences or closely related field required
  • One (1) year or more of professional Animal Care work experience in an accredited Zoo required
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 75 lbs.; ability to push and pull up to 25 lbs.

  PG15 9500 RV

Note: This Original Examination is open to all qualified candidates authorized to work in the United States. The selection process will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: education and experience evaluation; written, oral, or performance tests, or other assessment methods.

Milwaukee County offers a comprehensive blend of benefits designed to make your life better both inside and outside of the workplace. Milwaukee County conducts job related criminal background checks and pre-employment screenings.


$19.07 - $21.33/hr

How to Apply

Candidates must apply through the Milwaukee County Career Center at

Milwaukee County Zoo
Milwaukee, WI

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