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Riverside Discovery Center

Head Animal Keeper

The Riverside Discovery Center is currently seeking a full-time Head Keeper to provide staff guidance and AZA centered animal management of the zoo.  Species of note include chimpanzees, Amur tigers, spider monkeys, grizzly bear, swift fox, zebra and more.  The zoo staff works in a positive, team-oriented environment to support our mission to inspire a sense of awe and stewardship for the natural world by supporting conservation, education, discovery and recreation.  

The successful candidate will have a well-rounded technical background over multiple taxa, with in depth knowledge of one or more of our key species.  As this is a lead position, the ideal candidate will be able to teach, mentor and manage five keepers as well as interns, volunteers and at times coordinate with docents.  Animal keepers at the zoo engage visitors on a regular basis through formal and informal keeper talks. The successful candidate will be comfortable providing positive guest experience, and have experience training new behaviors using methods that focus on positive reinforcement. 
The Head Keeper plays a role in the evaluation and improvement of husbandry, animal training and enrichment practices, the development of standard operating and safety procedures, records management, exhibit planning and habitat improvements. This position works all areas of the zoo on a rotating basis. The successful candidate will have a passion for animal welfare and behavior management, as well as both staff and program development.  As keeper talks and animal encounters are vital to accomplishing our mission to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife, the person we are seeking is skilled in guest engagement and able to find creative ways to inspire the various people who visit and support the zoo.    

Experience Required

Bachelor’s degree is preferred but can be substituted with appropriate experience or with Graduation from a two-year college with a degree in zoo animal technology or other related curriculum • Easily navigates computer programs such as Google Docs • Physically able to stoop, bend, reach, lift, carry or push at least 75 pounds • Must have valid driver’s license, able to work weekends, holidays and special events as needed Preferred Experience and Skills: Demonstrated ability to research and write effectively • Participation in AZA programs and other zoo related organizations • Use hand and power tools for minor carpentry and habitat modification projects • Demonstrated initiative and problem solving • Excellent communication skills with co-workers, managers and veterinary staff • Be familiar with AZA and USDA policies

Further Comments

The cost of living is very reasonable in the Western Nebraska region. The zoo is bordered by the incredible Scotts Bluff National Monument.


Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance 100% paid. PTO & Holiday pay is included. Membership to AZA is paid.


Negotiated based on experience.

How to Apply

Please email resume, cover letter and references to the Executive Director – Anthony Mason at , Questions may also be directed to this email.

Riverside Discovery Center
1600 S. Beltline Hwy. W.
Scottsbluff , NE 69361
Phone: 3086306236

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