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Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization and home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation.

Carnivore & Pinniped Keeper


The Carnivore & Pinniped team cares for a diverse group of animals including Amur Tiger, lion, California sea lion, harbor seal, magellanic penguin, ring-tailed lemur and white-handed gibbon. Qualified candidates should have a wide-ranging animal husbandry background with an emphasis on training and enrichment. Previous experience working with dangerous animals is preferred. The qualified candidate will be an outgoing and dynamic person that works well individually and as part of a team.  The selected candidate for this position will be expected to learn and work with all animals in the area. 


The following duties are essential to this position. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive.  Other duties may be required and assigned.

  • Provides for husbandry needs of all animals in care by participating in daily cleaning, diet preparation, feeding, training, enrichment, and daily observations.

  • Responsible for daily observation of animal health and welfare. Reports abnormal behavior and problems to area supervisor. Maintains accurate records of animal collection daily.

  • Cooperate and assist with veterinary treatments and instructions, which may include safely working free-contact situations.

  • Participate in membership programs including tours, presentations and lectures.

  • Adheres to established animal handling, neonate, and related safety protocols.  Participates in established animal escape drills and procedures.  Under supervision, captures, restrains, and transports animals.        

  • Participates in both free and protected contact animal training for husbandry and medical needs using operant conditioning.

  • Performs minor repairs and improvements of exhibits under supervision.

  • Identifies and communicates with maintenance repairs needed for the safety of animals, visitors and staff as well as overall upkeep of the facilities.

  • Function effectively in both team and individual settings, and work toward adopting and creating best animal welfare practices.

  • Collaborate with area supervisor and team to achieve common husbandry goals.

  • Actively supports area policies and procedures, mission, vision, and strategic plan of the Blank Park Zoo.

  • Other duties as assigned.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo.

  1. Candidate will be expected to operate various equipment, including skid loaders, trailers, and large vehicles.

  2. Ability to act calmly and professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.


  1. Resourceful - Understanding of, or has the ability to, research all applicable topics as they relate to modern zoological management, operations of an attraction and customer service.

  2. Flexible - Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments while also maintaining composure in an environment that can be stressful.

  3. Independent - Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.

  4. Positive - Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.

  5. Clear communication skills, both verbal and written

  6.  Innovative - Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern as related to animal care.

  7. Efficient - Ability to complete tasks in a thorough but quick manner.

  8. Customer–oriented – Must be able to exercise professional customer service skills at all times, with many different types of people and all situations.

Experience Required

EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE 4 year college degree and paid experience in the zoo field. Experience along with a college degree can be interchangeable at a rate of 1 year of college to 1 year of experience. LANGUAGE ABILITY Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, to staff and to visitors of all ages. COMPUTER SKILLS Intermediate word processing skills, with working knowledge of Microsoft Office required. LICENCES/CERTIFICATES • Valid Iowa motor vehicle license • First Aid / CPR training

Further Comments

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.


Comprehensive benefit options including medical, dental, vision, life, LTD/STD, FSA, 401K, etc.

How to Apply

Complete the Blank Park Zoo online application and attach cover letter and resume: 

Blank Park Zoo
7401 SW 9th St
Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: 515-285-4722
Fax: Blank Park Zoo

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