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Elmwood Park Zoo

Full-time Animal Keeper

Position:  Full Time Animal Keeper

Organizational Relationship:


Reports to:                     General Curator

Supervises:                    Animal Care Volunteers/Interns

Coordinates with:           Animal Care Staff, General Curator and Veterinary staff

Summary of Responsibilities:  

A highly motivated, skilled individual who will perform tasks associated with the husbandry and maintenance of native and exotic animals in an education and conservation-oriented zoological park.  A successful candidate has a collaborative, team-oriented approach to problem solving, exercises good judgement, efficiently manages time, foresees and applies safety precautions, possesses excellent written and oral communication skills, is able to work both independently and in a team environment and maintains confidentiality and Zoo safety protocols. All EPZ staff members are responsible for delivering exceptional guest service by creating positive interactions with guests and staff alike.

EPZ Team Member Responsibilities:

  • As essential personnel, animal department staff are expected to be available as per business needs which include weekends, holidays, evenings and in inclement weather

  • Foster an appreciation of wildlife and their habitats that will inspire active participation in conservation

  • Assist management in ensuring safety, cleanliness, and efficiency in all areas of the operation of the Zoo

  • Follow and adhere to all policies and procedures and safety protocols for the department and the Zoo

  • Use proper radio etiquette and adhere to proper uniform attire at all times


Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform diligent observation and daily husbandry of all animals in assigned areas as stated in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Daily cleaning of exhibits, holding areas, and zoo grounds, as stated in the SOPs

  • Provides overall care and maintenance of assigned work areas ensuring animal health, welfare and safety, staff safety and public safety through established standard operating procedures for animal care and exhibition as set forth by AZA and USDA

  • Perform or assist with diet preparation as needed 

  • Recognize and remove toxic plants from animal enclosures

  • Daily animal recordkeeping using ZIMS and other tracking logs

  • Provides animal enrichment in accordance with approved items and schedule

  • Report maintenance issues and potential safety hazards to appropriate supervisor

  • Assist in training interns

  • Daily participation in and consistent application of behavioral husbandry/operant conditioning

  • Assist with the movement, capture and restraint of animals

  • Assist veterinary staff with the capture and restraint and treatment of animals as well as administration of prescribed medications and treatments (strictly according to written instructions)

  • Deliver animal presentations (including virtual) and public speaking when required

  • Observe for any unsafe acts which would cause harm to a guest, Zoo property, or animal collection

  • Perform other duties assigned by General Curator, Veterinary Staff, Animal Supervisors or CEO

  • Responsible for the safety and care of animal collection and zoo guests

Work Environment:

  • Work assignments are subject to the hazards inherent in caring for wild animals in captivity and may include:

    • Interaction with a variety of domestic and wild or potentially dangerous animals; animal odors, animal body fluids, cleaning materials, disinfectants, etc.

    • Inclement weather conditions

    • This position requires significant amounts of heavy lifting

  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with EPZ staff and volunteers

  • Ability to work irregular hours as needed including nights, holidays and weekends

  • Ability to work special events and other functions as required



Education and Experience:

  • Minimum of two years of full-time paid non-domestic animal care experience working with diverse taxa including dangerous animals is required, AZA accredited facility preferred

  • Bachelor’s degree in wildlife management, zoology, biology or related field preferred

  • Proficiency in positive reinforcement training at progressively managed facility

  • Successful Completion of the San Diego Zoo Global Academy Animal Welfare Professional Course

Other Requirements:

  • Must have negative TB test and rabies vaccination

  • Capable of performing strenuous and/or heavy physical labor 

  • Must have good physical strength and endurance including the ability to lift, move and transport up to 60lbs

  • Able to work outside in all weather conditions

  • Must be able to work from heights or in confined spaces and have ability to ascend, descend and work from and around stairs and ladders

  • Must have a valid driver’s license

Pay: $15/hour

Identification: Two forms of official valid identification is required. Ability to pass background and child abuse clearances




How to Apply

Elmwood Park Zoo
1661 Harding Boulevard
Norristown, PA 19401

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