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Lee Richardson Zoo

Lee Richardson Zoo has been accredited by AZA for 36 years. The zoo features over fifty beautifully landscaped acres, spacious animal habitats, and shady avenues for guests of all ages to enjoy. The zoo is open year-round and is free to pedestrians. One of our goals is the conservation of the world's rare and endangered species. If this is your goal too, join us.

Lead Keeper

Lee Richardson Zoo is accepting applications for a Lead Keeper.  This position is responsible for the care and maintenance of animals, and related habitats, grounds and facilities, and the supervision of area staff and other staff as assigned.  Their responsibilities include training and managing animal keeper staff and providing animal care, animals observations, animal training, enrichment, monitoring animal health, maintaining the cleanliness of animal areas, and minor habitat modifications.  Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to, formal and informal presentations for the public, assisting with research and conservation initiatives, and general maintenance of related grounds and public spaces.

Examples of Duties

  • Helps train and supervise Animal Keeper positions in day-to-day activities.  Assists in evaluation of area keepers.
  • Prepares, feeds and cleans animals and maintains exhibits.
  • Provides behavioral and psychological enrichment for animals. 
  • Perform daily observation of animals to identify normal and abnormal behaviors related to husbandry/health issues; COORDINATE with senior staff on animal training programs to facilitate husbandry behaviors. 
  • Communicate with visitors as needed for educational and behavioral/safety purposes.
  • Follows all safety rules and regulations, policies and procedures. ATTENDS regular safety meetings.   
  • Communicate questions or concerns regarding medical/health issues of specimens in collection to supervisor.  Assist with treatment as directed.
  • Maintains landscaping and grounds for assigned animal habitats and exhibit areas. 
  • Services and maintains tools and equipment and facilities.

Experience Required

Education, Certification, and Experience: Documented or proven leadership skills and abilities. Documented expertise with a species or taxon relevant to job duties. Education shall include one of the following: A.S. degree in one of the life sciences with at least five years of full-time, paid experience working with animals in an accredited institution; OR B.S. degree in one of the life sciences with at least two years of full-time, paid experience working with animals in an accredited institution; OR Seven years full-time, paid experience working with animals in an accredited institution.

Further Comments

Proven leadership skills, good communication, and organizational skills, and the ability to multi-task and work well alone or with others in a team environment are a must. Knowledge of animal diet preparation, general biology, and behavior. Knowledge of maintenance methods and materials used in animal care. Ability to receive, understand, and carry out verbal and written instruction, direction, and assignments. Ability to give direction to co-workers or assistants. Ability to perform physical work activities in varying weather conditions. Ability to communicate and cooperate with city employees and to deal with the public in an effective and positive manner. Ability to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc. Skill in the use and maintenance of tools and equipment. Ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Physical Characteristics: Ability to lift up to 100 pounds and carrying objects weighing 75-100 pounds push, pull, bend, stoop, kneel, climb, carry, shovel, rake, scoop, sit, stand, see, hear, drive, tug, speak and sweep. Environment: Work is performed in all types of weather. Majority of work is performed outside with indoor work in containment areas, barns, and compounds housing animals (mammals, birds and reptiles. Weather conditions include extreme, moderate and temperate cold and heat; snow, ice, fog, rain, sleet, hail, high and gusting winds, humid and dry conditions. Works with chemicals as required. Valid Kansas driver's license required.


Opportunities for professional development and growth; Excellent benefits including paid time off, and a retirement program. Access to Employee Assistance Program. Mission driven, values-based workplace culture.


Range starts at $18.43 per hour

How to Apply

Complete application, sending resume and cover letter, at

Lee Richardson Zoo
312 Finnup Drive
Garden City, KS 67846
Phone: 6202761250

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