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Central Florida Zoo

Senior Keeper of Ambassador Animals


This full time (40 hour) working, hands-on position is responsible for overseeing the Ambassador Animal collection and Keepers, working closely with the Curator, Director of Animal Operations, and Education Manager. The Senior Keeper of Ambassador Animals will lead the team in a positive direction, provide guidance, promote a team environment, and set high standards in husbandry and animal welfare. They must have an excellent understanding of animal behavior, operant conditioning, and experience with public speaking The Senior Keeper networks with other zoo and industry partners to embrace best practices. The person in this position will act in a supervisory role in the absence of the Curator and Director.


· Represent Central Florida Zoo with professionalism and demonstrates leadership through example.

· Demonstrate and maintain high performance of daily keeper duties in animal care, habitat and housing maintenance, safety, record keeping and behavioral husbandry.

· Supervise keepers, enrichment and training initiatives, animal care skills and fosters positive attitudes and a team environment. Delegates responsibilities and with Curator or Director assistance addresses performance issues.

· Work closely with the Curator with collection management and welfare of animals in this area.

· Responsible for team schedule, working closely with other teams to ensure highest standards of animal care.

· Teach students and the public about the ambassador animals, including general information, husbandry, training techniques, conservation information, and career opportunities.

· Extensive partnering with other zoo teams such as Education, Events, and Facilities.

· Seek opportunities for self and team to further their skills and knowledge by encouraging involvement in matters related to education, research, and participation with outside partners in the zoo and conservation communities.

· Work with staff to provide outstanding daily care to all animals in the department, including husbandry, nutrition, enrichment, and behavioral conditioning of the Ambassador Animal collection.

· Oversee interns work, projects, and growth.

· Maintain and keep up to date with all AZA, USDA and Florida Fish and Wildlife regulations as they pertain to the Zoo collection.

· Maintain meticulous daily animal records in compliance with all regulatory agency guidelines.

· Report animal illness, maintenance, safety, horticulture, and other needs to appropriate staff.

· Recognize and report changes in an animal’s behavior, which may be indicative of health concerns and be able to provide medical care and administration of medication under the direction of the Veterinary staff, Director and or CEO.

· Plan and evaluate animal diets with Animal Nutrition Manger and Curator.

· Develop a work routine with the keepers that emphasize safety and spotting potential hazards to the animals, staff and public. Safety is required at all times, as is a system of double checking all locks, doors, latches and shift slides.

· Lead the training and coaching of staff and docents with regard to handling protocols in conjunction with the Director of Education, Curator, and Director of Animal Operations.

Maintain necessary carriers, equipment and supplies for the collection.

· Participate in enclosure design, modification, and oversight.

· May be required to assist with projects or daily duties in other animal areas.

· Maintains highest level of safety protocols and procedures.

· Develop and maintain professional and respectful relationships will all Zoo staff.

· Interact with guests with formal and informal discussions as a professional.

· Adhere to all Central Florida Zoo policies and procedures.

· Other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. 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.


· Minimum 18 years old.

· Must provide a negative TB test and negative drug screen result.

· Must have a minimum of 3 years working experience with animals in a zoological facility.

· Leadership experience preferred.

· Knowledge of operant training techniques and enrichment, preferably at an AZA institution.

· Knowledge of husbandry requirements and the prevention of Zoonotic disease.

· Knowledge of Zoo’s layout and animal collections to respond quickly during animal emergencies.

· Must have the ability to work flexible hours, including weekdays, weekends, holidays, and evenings.

The duties listed above are intended only as an illustration of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.


A college degree in biological science is preferred. Experience in a zoological environment is essential. A minimum of 3 years working experience in animal care at a zoological facility.

How to Apply

Please send cover letter, resume and 3 professional references to:

Central Florida Zoo
3755 W Seminole Blvd
Sanford, FL 32771
Phone: 407 323 4450

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