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Virginia Zoo

Virginia Zoo

Herpetology Zookeeper-VirginiaZoo

Virginia Zoo currently has an opening for a full-time Zookeeper with the Herpetology team. This position will act as an integral team member on the Herpetology team within the Animal Services department, where they are responsible for all aspects of designated herpetology/invertebrate areas of the zoo. The positions work within a small team comprised of an Assistant Curator, 4 Reptile Keepers, several cross-trained Rover Zookeepers working in the area, a designated Reptile intern, and animal husbandry volunteers assigned to this section. The Herpetology Keeper has a strong focus on general husbandry responsibilities, operant conditioning and enrichment for species housed within their designated herpetology/invertebrate collection, as well as the ability to offer their expertise and assist with needs related to herps/inverts cared for by other teams at the zoo. This position will work with other Zookeepers at the zoo to follow best practices in management of herp/invert species in all areas at the zoo. Responsibilities include all daily care and feeding of the animals, as well as maintenance and furnishing of habitats, implementing enrichment and operant conditioning programs, behavioral observations and welfare assessments, record keeping, following breeding recommendations, incubation and raising of young, and public interactions. Applicants must be able to work in a team environment and work in a variety of weather conditions. This position is supervised by a General Curator, as well as under the guidance of the Assistant Curator of Herpetology. Previous experience working with a wide variety of reptile (including venomous), amphibian, invertebrate and aquatic species, is preferred. Candidates with more focused experience on aquatic species and maintenance of aquatic systems, including aquatic life support systems, will also receive preference.


Essential functions include, but are not limited to:


  • Provides experienced husbandry care for the reptile, amphibian, invertebrate and aquatic collection at the Virginia Zoo. Works closely and collaboratively as a team with the Assistant Curator of Herpetology, Herpetology Keepers, as well as with Rover Zookeepers assigned to the area.
  • Implements behavioral training and enrichment programs for the herp collection; implements breeding protocols; assists veterinary staff with physical examinations; assesses welfare and observes behavior.
  • Ensures good facilities maintenance and display standards for zoo herp/invert exhibits and surrounding public spaces, including area theming.
  • Undertakes daily cleaning and maintaining of exhibits and exhibit areas, service areas and animal holding units, utilizing various tools, instruments, disinfectants; with the ability to do so safely and to supervise interns and volunteers to do the same. Services both terrestrial and aquatic exhibits, including filtration, pumps, and life support systems.
  • Supports area administrative duties by updating daily animal records, attending meetings, and assisting with the training of interns and volunteers.
  • Educates the public by conducting behind-the-scenes tours, providing information, and giving presentations when required.
  • Recognizes signs of pest infestation in animal areas and follows standard pest control protocols as directed.
  • Diligently adheres to all safety protocols and area standard operating procedures.  Follows work instructions, directions, and organizational policies clearly and effectively.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Experience Required

Qualified candidates should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college/university program or an associate degree in zoo keeping/captive wildlife management from an accredited college/university program, and a minimum of 1 year of professional work experience in AZA accredited facilities. Candidates are expected to have a broad foundation of knowledge, skills and experience with the husbandry management of zoo animals, particularly with reptiles, amphibians and invertebrate species, along with a good understanding of behavioral management and preventative health care. Preference will be given to candidates with specific experience with a wide variety of reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate species. Additional preference will be given to candidates with experience with venomous species, as well as with the maintenance of aquatic systems.

Further Comments

Physical Demands While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk and stand; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and talk or hear. The employee must be able to regularly lift and/or or move up to 50 pounds.



How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted through the City of Norfolk: under Job Listings. No phone calls or in-person inquiries to the zoo please. 

Virginia Zoo
3500 Granby St
Norfolk, VA 23504
Phone: 7574412374
Fax: Virginia Zoo

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