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Utah's Hogle Zoo

Creating Champions for Wildlife

Animal Keeper II

FULL TIME ANIMAL KEEPER II—We are increasing our Animal Care team and are looking for keepers who have experience working with seals, sea lions, polar bears, grizzly bears, otters, and/or gorillas, orangutans, spider monkeys, colobus monkeys and howler monkeys.  While skill sets with this taxa are preferred we welcome applicants with other experience. 

SALARY STARTS AT:  $18.06/HR Minimum 


Are you a keeper who seeks opportunities to continually learn and grow? Are you an animal care specialist looking to join a crew of extremely talented and passionate animal devotees? Are you looking for a medium size zoo with a family like atmosphere?  Do you enjoy working with a variety of species, appreciate cross-training programs that allow you to work in multiple areas and disciplines across zoo habitats? Then Utah’s Hogle Zoo may be the place for you. We are looking for people who want to grow with us as we create a rich culture of creative, collaborative, passionate animal care professionals.

Be a part of the Zoo as we build our newest exhibit, Wild Utah! Slated to open in 2023, the exhibit will focus on native Utah species. Join us as we update our master plan with a focus on the renovation of our Small Animal Building, our Elephant Experience, and our Great Ape facilities. Make your contribution to a rich tradition of elevated behavior husbandry, guest engagement, professional development, and top animal welfare. 

At Utah’s Hogle Zoo we look for employees who are passionate about conservation, who approach their daily work with a can-do attitude, who are resourceful, who communicate respectfully with everyone, and who are ready to work hard to support the zoo towards our mission of Creating Champions for Wildlife. 

If all of this sounds exciting to you, then come and excel with us at Utah’s Hogle Zoo!


For over 90 years, Utah’s Hogle Zoo has been a loved and trusted part of the community. Located within Salt Lake City proper, the Zoo is nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain range at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. The Zoo spans over 42 acres and is home to a diverse collection of animals. Being only minutes from both a vibrant downtown and national wilderness area, Salt Lake City is a dream for cultural aficionados and outdoor enthusiasts alike. This city has it all from professional sports teams, theater, cultural attractions, universities, nightlife, and many green spaces. From mountain ranges to deserts, Utah is home to five National and 45 State parks. Few places have so much, so close to where you live and work, but we pull it off with style and ease at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.                                                                                


Performs daily care of exotic and/or domestic animals, cleaning, and maintaining guest areas, service areas, holding areas and exhibit areas. Maintains extensive animal records relating to health, diet, behavior and overall welfare. Supports Utah’s Hogle Zoo’s conservation efforts. This is an hourly position.

At the zoo we look for employees who are passionate about conservation, who approach their daily work with a can-do attitude, who are resourceful, who communicate respectfully with everyone, and who are ready to work hard to support the zoo towards the mission of Creating Champions for Wildlife.


This position reports directly to the assigned Animal Care Supervisor.


  1. Must be dependable and reliable: be timely, be responsive, be organized, meet deadlines, take responsibility, and help other Zoo staff as needed. 
  2. Must be willing to work flexible hours, weekends, and holidays; overtime as requested.
  3. Effectively monitor health, behavior, and overall welfare of assigned resident animals and communicate changes to the supervisory team and/or veterinary staff. Administer medications as prescribed.
  4. Maintain accurate animal records.
  5. Clean and maintain holding and exhibit areas consistent with established professional standards.
  6. Coordinate area schedule of husbandry and building maintenance tasks. 
  7. Develop, revise and update area protocols and checklists in a timely manner.
  8. Ensure compliance with USDA regulations.
  9. Apply animal training and enrichment techniques to improve the health and welfare of the animal collection and to meet program needs.
  10. Ensure inspection of exhibits and surrounding areas – report and follow up on safety concerns and needed repairs.
  11. Actively support and implement area procedures to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, guests, and animals.
  12. Participate in and support collaborative efforts pertaining to the care of assigned animals including training, enrichment, research, and education.
  13. Demonstrate the ability to perform a variety of jobs and flexibility in working in a variety of areas and routines. 
  14. Train fellow keepers, volunteers, and interns; oversees daily activities of assigned area interns and volunteers.
  15. Make minor repairs to exhibits and enrichment devices. 
  16. Demonstrate the ability to educate and engage donors and guests through animal presentations, media, and tours. 
  17. Commitment to the zoo’s mission and participate in Champions for Wildlife activities. 
  18. Maintains strict confidentiality.
  19. Performs other duties as assigned.
  20. Keeper II: In addition to the above, duties and responsibilities may also include:
    1. Eligible to work with dangerous animals.
    2. Work night shifts on a rotational basis
    3. Serve on internal committees.
  21. Senior Keeper:In addition to the above, duties and responsibilities may also include:
    1. Process and receive animal food and deliveries
    2. Work night shifts on a rotational basis.
    3. Prepare, organize and participate in animal shipments.
    4. Mentor Animal Attendants and Animal Keepers in their professional development. This includes topics such as: exhibit enhancement, USDA, behavioral husbandry, animal welfare, etc.
    5. Teaching and supporting the Capture and Restraint Class.
    6. Ability to be point of contact for an area in the absence of an Animal Care Supervisor
    7. Ability to take initiative and address issues as they arise.
    8. Perform animal welfare assessments.
    9. Would be eligible for participation as an AZA IR, SSP and studbook management and other external committees, at the approval of the Zoo and AZA. 



Education and Experience 

Keeper I: GED or High School Diploma is required; Associates or Bachelor’s degree in related field preferred.   Paid experience working with exotic animals preferred.

Keeper II: GED or High School Diploma is required; Associates or Bachelor’s degree in related field is preferred.  A minimum of 2 years of full-time equivalent paid experience in animal care is required (preferably in an AZA facility) and/or combination of education and experience in an applied zoo keeping-focused program.  In addition to completing the Keeper I requirements, the candidates:

  • Have demonstrated the capacity to work with animals safely.
  • Make sound and safe decisions in the absence of detailed instructions.  
  • Have completed internal animal training courses (including 10 assigned San Diego animal care modules) - External candidates must complete this course work within 6 months of hiring.
  • Provide accurate and informative interpretations of animals to guests by performing formal and informal discussions and/or tours.

Senior Keeper: GED or High School Diploma is required; Associates or Bachelor’s degree in related field is preferred.  A minimum of 8 years of full-time paid experience in animal care is required (preferably in an AZA facility) and/or combination of education and experience in an applied zoo keeping-focused program. In addition to completing the Keeper II requirements, the candidates must:

  • Have demonstrated initiative in taking on new tasks and responsibilities within department and aiding other departments. 
  • Have demonstrated the ability to foster constructive attitudes and positively influence collaboration and teamwork.
  • Have demonstrated the ability to work safely in a variety of areas with minimal training.
  • Have demonstrated high level of problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Possess the characteristics of an Animal Care professional demonstrating competence, professionalism, teamwork, mutual respect and commitment to the mission of the Zoo.
  • Have demonstrated leadership and mentoring to less experienced team members. 


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

This list contains knowledge, skills, and abilities that are typically associated with the job. It is not all-inclusive and may vary from position to position:

Required technical skills include the knowledge and ability of:

  • Basic computer operations.
  • Microsoft Office Suite.


Required mathematical skills include working knowledge of:

  • Mathematical concepts and logic.
  • Basic mathematical formulas and calculations.


Required animal care skills include working knowledge of:

  • UHZ behavioral husbandry concept, technique and application within first 90 days.
  • Animals’ natural behavior and husbandry practices.
  • Animal welfare standards and UHZ’s methods of assessment.
  • USDA regulations.
  • AZA standards.
  • Basic procedures for safely operating hand tools, vehicles, and equipment.


Must possess excellent communications skills including (verbally and in writing):

  • Interpersonal conflict resolution methods.
  • Editing and proofreading.
  • Interacting with courtesy, professionalism and respect to staff, volunteers, and guests.


Must have the ability to:

  • Apply critical thinking techniques, analyze and solve problems.
  • Function as a team player, showing trust and mutual respect for all members on the team.
  • Ability to effectively promote organization.
  • Accept and apply constructive feedback.
  • Learn new tasks.
  • Follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Prioritize work; manage time effectively and minimize the use of overtime to perform work within deadlines.
  • Stay focused despite interruptions. 
  • Manage stress to perform the job effectively.
  • Remember details.
  • Maintain UHZ certification in the use of a fire extinguisher.
  • Learn how to use and carry bear spray.
  • Pass a safety check to swim and tread in cold water.

The incumbent must always demonstrate judgment, high integrity, and personal values consistent with the values of the Hogle Zoo. 

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is a drug-free workplace. All employees are subject to random drug testing. 

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

Work Environment

The incumbent performs in an outdoor environment, exposure to the seasonal elements, dust, and allergens for prolonged periods of time. Tasks require a variety of physical activities, which generally involve muscular strain. Eye, hand, finger dexterity required to perform essential functions. Must be able to listen and respond to a portable radio. Ability to stoop, bend, twist, turn, climb, jump, run when necessary, and move quickly to avoid dangerous situations. Must be able to walk on wet and uneven surfaces. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. unassisted and 75 lbs. with assistance. Must be able to push and pull up to 53 lbs. A valid driver’s license is required. Provide a negative TB test prior to hire date and maintain TB testing through the course of employment. 



PERKS  Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, and other supplemental insurance.   The Zoo is a part of the Utah Retirement System and makes a 10% contribution to an employee’s retirement. This includes an additional opportunity to make contributions to a 401K plan within URS.   Vacation days: New employees accrue up to 13 days annually of vacation time.   Sick days: New employees accrue up to 10 days annually of sick time. Nine paid holidays in the year.  Employee Assistance Program for employees and their families paid for by the Zoo.   Employee long-term disability insurance paid for by the Zoo.   Various employee reimbursements and contributions including wellness activities and professional development. Moving expense reimbursement for qualifying new employees.   Every employee receives a free Zoo Card that allows admission to the employee and up to 5 guests. It also provides free carousel and train rides, as well as free admittance to ZooLights and BooLights.   50% discount on concessions and 33.3% discount on gift shops items.   Tickets at Work membership, which provides discounts and offers on theme parks, shows, sporting events, and travel.  Awesome coworkers who care about animals and each other!      


$18.06/HR Minimum

How to Apply

Apply on Utah's Hogle Zoo Website: Job Openings | Utah's Hogle Zoo

Utah's Hogle Zoo
2600 Sunnyside Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Phone: 8015841728
Fax: Utah's Zoological Society

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