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Minnesota Zoological Garden

The Zoo encompasses a 485 acre campus and is home to more than 5,300 animals with about 1.29 million guests visiting annually. The Zoo is a coordinator of international conservation and breeding programs and is the State’s largest environmental educator with over 400,000 participants annually. The Zoo’s conservation programs protect endangered species and preserve critical ecosystems and its education programs engage audiences at the Zoo, throughout our region, and around the world.

Zookeeper -- Animal Care Technnician 3--Tropics and Minnesota Trail

  • Job ID: 55778
  • Location: Apple Valley
  • Full/Part Time: Full-Time
  • Regular/Temporary: Unlimited
  • Who May Apply: Open to all qualified job seekers
  • Date Posted: 05/12/2022
  • Closing Date: 05/21/2022
  • Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Minnesota Zoological Garden / Zoological Gardens-AFSCME
  • Division/Unit: Biological Programs / Indoor Animals
  • Work Shift/Work Hours: 6:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Days of Work: TBD
  • Travel Required: No
  • Salary Range: $20.59 - $29.01/hourly; $42,991 - $60,572/annually
  • Classified Status: Classified
  • Bargaining Unit/Union: 207 - Technical/AFSCME
  • Work Area: Tropics and MN Trail
  • FLSA Status: Nonexempt
  • Connect 700 Program Eligible: Yes

Job Summary

This position provides animal and exhibit care and maintenance so that healthy, well-adjusted animals, and attractive, instructive exhibits are presented to guests of the Minnesota Zoo in a manner that supports the Zoo’s mission of connecting people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. The incumbent ensures appropriate welfare of the animals. The incumbent operates fleet vehicles to move around the Zoo campus.

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform animal husbandry procedures as established so that the highest level of animal health and exhibition are maintained.
  • Perform maintenance and general cleaning of exhibits and work areas as assigned so that a neat and clean appearance and pleasant and safe experience are provided for all guests.
  • Prepare, present, and participate in interpretive programs for Zoo guests, staff, and/or volunteers so that staff and guests receive accurate information on the biology, natural history, and conservation of the species in an educational and entertaining manner.
  • Perform other duties as assigned to ensure the smooth functioning of the department and maintain the reputation of the organization as a viable business partner.

Minimum Qualifications

  • One (1) year of experience as a full-time Zookeeper at a zoo or aquarium; OR Three (3) years full-time experience in an established laboratory or field research program involving vertebrate animals and data collection; responsible work experience in a laboratory animal colony or veterinary hospital involving direct animal care and maintenance. Experience must be within the last ten (10) years and include all of the following:
    • Observation of animal behaviors,
    • Preparation and feeding of animal diets,
    • Preparation and maintenance of detailed animal records, and
    • Maintenance of sanitary animal living conditions.
  • Customer service skills sufficient to work with co-workers and guests courteously and respectfully.
  • Ability to interpret technical literature that relates to the health and management of animals.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain a work environment that respects and values differences and diversity
  • Valid driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications

  • College degree in Biology, Zoology, Wildlife Management, Environmental Education, Ecology or closely related field.
  • Experience with a variety of primate species in multi-species exhibits, family groups, troops, and lesser Apes
  • Experience as a trainer with primates, carnivores and hoofstock
  • Current CPR and 1st AID certification

Physical Requirements

  • Current Rabies vaccination and negative TB or ability to become Rabies vaccinated and complete a negative TB test within the probationary period and complete ongoing Rabies titer testing
  • Exposure to some zoonotic diseases and potent immobilization agents/drugs for treatment of animals
  • Exposure to a wide variety of pesticides and potentially dangerous equipment and machinery on a regular basis
  • Ability to differentiate colors
  • Ability to routinely work with potentially dangerous domestic animals
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions year round
  • Ability to negotiate all types of terrain
  • Ability to use hand/finger coordination to manipulate items and operate hand and/or power tools
  • Ability to lift, carry and/or move up to 50 pounds
  • Ability to lift and move large objects as a team over uneven terrain
  • Ability to push/pull up to 90 pounds
  • Ability to shovel to clean animal areas and work areas
  • Ability to bend and crouch occasionally throughout the day
  • Ability to climb stairs and ladders occasionally throughout the day
  • Ability to tolerate loud noises regularly throughout the day
  • Ability to walk and stand for long periods of time throughout the day
  • Ability to wear N95 face masks/respirators
  • Ability to grip 34 pounds to operate power washer intermittently for up to 60 minutes

Additional Requirements

This position requires successful completion of the following:

  • Employment verification checks, criminal background checks, child protection check and driver's license check


Why Work For Us GREAT BENEFITS PACKAGE! The State of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including low cost medical and dental insurance, employer paid life insurance, short and long term disability, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, retirement plan, tax-deferred compensation, generous vacation and sick leave, and 11 paid holidays each year. Our differences make us stronger and leveraging them helps us create a workforce where everyone can thrive. The State of Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at our workplace. We do this by developing strong leaders and advocates, increasing cultural competence and understanding among all employees, and removing institutional barriers and attitudes that prevent employees from advancing as far as their talents will take them. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), marital status, familial status, receipt of public assistance, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or age.


$20.59 - $29.01/hourly; $42,991 - $60,572/annually

How to Apply

How to Apply

If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637.

For additional information about the application process, go to



The State of Minnesota is an equal opportunity, affirmative action, and veteran-friendly employer. We are committed to providing culturally responsive services to all Minnesotans. The State of Minnesota recognizes that a diverse workforce is essential and strongly encourages qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

We will make reasonable accommodations to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email Please indicate what assistance you need.

Minnesota Zoological Garden
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Phone: 651-259-3637

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