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John Ball Zoo

Zookeeper – Primates and Mammals - Area 2

Be part of the adventure and come Work Wild with us! Have an enhanced experience taking care of our wide range of animals, and enjoy your work day! We are looking for someone passionate about animal care and working with others to join our energetic and fast-paced team to provide the best care possible to our animals. Come be a part of our growing zoo while helping make a difference!
We inspire our community to be actively engaged in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment.


We offer incredibly competitive benefits. This includes FREE:

  • Medical plan option
  • Short-term disability
  • Long-term disability
  • Life Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Dental & vision for employee & family
  • 12 full weeks of parental leave

We offer 6 days of personal time, generous vacation time, and 10 paid Holidays each year. We offer a 7% employer contribution to your 401K, zoo discounts, employee-only zoo experiences, tuition reimbursement, additional medical benefits to meet you and your family's needs, and a FREE Premium Zoo membership for you and your family. 


Come live in the beautiful Grand Rapids where you can find live music, art festivals, outdoor recreation, and nationally ranked food and craft beverages. You can drive 20 minutes and be by the beautiful Lake Michigan, hike and kayak by the Grand River, or stay downtown and enjoy a variety of food and drinks. Grand Rapids is known as Americas’ best beer city, nation's craft beverage capital, and a top 20 U.S. Foodie city. There is a little bit of everything here in Grand Rapids to attract everyone including our growing zoo!

A  Zookeeper  performs technical animal management work in accordance with established procedures and protocols, required for proper care and maintenance of animals under human care at the John Ball Zoo. This includes the care and feeding of exotic and domestic animals; the cleaning and maintenance of buildings, exhibits, and yards; and observation and reporting on the physical and behavioral condition of the animals. This position specializes in the care of chimpanzees, spider monkeys, small primates, and several small mammal species. Zookeepers play an integral role in educating the public and passing on their enthusiasm for animals. 

  • Knowledgeable of and experienced with modern principles of animal care and welfare, including behavioral enrichment, medical treatments, exhibitory, nutrition, disease, transport, and positive reinforcement based training techniques
  • Capable of demonstrating professionalism and maturity at all times
  • Skilled in proper interpretive techniques to relay information to visiting public
  • A strong and effective communicator and a supportive team player
  • Innovative and willing to look for solutions
  • Capable of following all zoo and industry safety guidelines
  • Be a self-starter and enjoy a neat and organized workspace
  • Must be willing to work holidays, weekends, evenings, and late night events
  • 3 years experience working with exotic animals in a zoological setting
  • 2 year’s experience working with primates
  • Great ape experience preferred
  • Willing to fill in as needed working with reptiles, amphibians, and fish
  • Possess a positive attitude and a general philosophy/outlook in line with the Zoo’s mission
  • Working knowledge of  the principles of operant conditioning to facilitate daily husbandry, behavioral modification, and medical procedures and possess the ability to successfully train behaviors from inception through completion.

For full job description please email
John Ball Zoo is a drug free facility under federal regulations. 

How to Apply

John Ball Zoo
1300 Fulton St W
Grand Rapids, MI 6163365062

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