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Detroit Zoological Society

Reptile Department Zookeeper

The Reptile Department Zookeeper provides care, feeding, enrichment and training for reptiles to ensure their well-being and contributes to outstanding guest experiences by ensuring that reptile exhibits are properly maintained.
The Reptile Department Zookeeper will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society.  The Reptile Department Zookeeper will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of confidentiality.
This job description is by no means all inclusive and may be subject to change during a performance period due to the needs of the Detroit Zoological Society and its leadership.  This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
  • Provide daily care, including but not limited to, feeding and enrichment of the animals and ensure maintenance of animal life support systems.
  • Design, build, and maintain reptiles habitats.
  • May design, install, and maintain aquatic life support systems.
  • Clean animal enclosures and other exhibit areas.
  • Observe and document physical condition and behavior of animals.
  • Maintain environmental quality of indoor and/or outdoor animal habitats.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure safety and security.
  • Capture and restrain animals as needed.
  • Monitor animal social conditions and situations.
  • Develop and submit enrichment practices.
  • Design, construct, and provide enrichment devices to animals.
  • Provide daily care and maintenance of live food cultures.
  • Coordinate animal health and other medical procedures with veterinary staff.
  • Provide medical treatments as prescribed by the veterinarians.
  • Perform routine maintenance and make minor repairs to equipment and facilities.
  • Communicate needs for maintenance department work requests to supervisor.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
  • Maintain records, inventories and other information and provide written and verbal reports as required.
  • Train new staff as required.
  • Train and supervise interns.
  • Conduct educational presentations in both formal and informal settings.
  • Perform other duties as required.
Working Conditions Work is performed indoors and outdoors with exposure to all seasonal  weather conditions, with frequent exposure to and contact with dangerous animals, with risk of zoonotic disease transmission (Hepatitis B, Herpes B, Tuberculosis, Salmonella and others), and with exposure to computer monitors.  Evening work will be required as necessary.
Physical Requirements
This position requires sitting, standing, walking, bending, and stooping for extended periods, the ability to lift and move up to 50 pounds and the use of standard office equipment and the computer.
The individual must have the ability to perform the essential functions of the job satisfactorily with or without accommodations. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the role.

Experience Required

Qualifications Education and Experience • Bachelor’s degree in zoology or a closely related discipline and two years’ experience in the care and management of reptiles • OR: An associate degree in a related discipline and four years experiences in the care of captive wildlife, two of which include the care and management of reptiles. Experience should include a minimum one year of supervised training, demonstrating proficiency in handling and caring for venomous snakes. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities • One year of supervised training, demonstrating proficiency in handling and caring for venomous snakes. • Ability to work with animals and to remain calm in strenuous circumstances. • Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern related to animal care. • Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments. • Knowledge of reptile biology and captive husbandry. • Knowledge of habitat design and basic construction skills. • Excellent problem-solving skills. • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. • Ability to follow instructions. • Excellent time management skills.


$19.44 - $20.44/hr starting rate, per AFSCME Contract

How to Apply

Submit your application and résumé via the online job posting at

Detroit Zoological Society
8450 W 10 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Phone: 248-541-5717
Fax: 248-541-5847

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