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Zoo Atlanta

Ambassador Animals Lead Keeper (WoW)

Job Title: Lead Keeper

Department: Ambassador Animals - World of Wild Theater

Reports to: Curatorial Staff

FLSA Status: Exempt

Job Status: Full-time


Who we are: Minutes from downtown, Zoo Atlanta is the oldest and one of the most respected cultural destinations in the Southeast’s largest and most vibrant city. Culture, dining, nightlife, and famously eclectic neighborhoods, not to mention a temperate climate year-round, attract a growing number of newcomers to the one-and-only Atlanta. Atlanta is known as the "City in the Trees," with the Zoo and surrounding neighborhood showcasing why. The zoo is in a strong financial position and is committed to investing in our staff and facilities to continue our focus on animal care, research, and conservation. We offer competitive pay rates, a diverse animal collection and an enriching work environment. We are looking for new team members dedicated to providing the best in animal welfare.



What we offer: As a workplace, Zoo Atlanta is very proud of a commitment to diversity and inclusion and a competitive compensation and benefits package. Benefits include but are not limited to outstanding medical coverage and 403b retirement program match; vacation time buy and sell; professional development training; paid time off for community volunteering; and more.

Perks for this full-time position include:

  • Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, and other supplemental insurance

  • Relocating stipend for qualifying new employees

  • Retirement Savings Plan (403b) with employer match after 12 months of service

  • Paid time off includes vacation, sick and personal days plus holidays

  • Tuition assistance program

  • Employee Assistance Program

  • Employee short term and long-term disability insurance paid for by Zoo Atlanta

  • Opportunities for professional development paid for by Zoo Atlanta

  • Local discounts and free admission to partnering attractions

  • Complimentary family Zoo membership

  • Discounted pricing on individual and family education programs, such as Safari CampTwilight TrekNightCrawlerSurvival Safari, and much more!

  • Join the standby list for free behind-the-scenes encounters with elephants, lemurs, giant pandas, aldabra tortoises!



Who you are: The Lead Keeper is a supervisory position that also plays an active role in regular animal husbandry. Lead Keepers are responsible for implementing departmental activities and staff training for the area. The Lead Keeper is responsible for overseeing animal husbandry, including training and enrichment. Additionally, lead keepers are responsible for maintenance of habitats, holdings, and public areas as assigned. Working with the area curators, the Lead Keeper is required to provide and promote positive leadership in a team environment. The Lead Keeper reports to the area curators as part of a cohesive management team. For more information about our animal, conservation, and research programs visit The World of Wild Theater is home to roughly 14 birds including parrots, raptors, and exotics. Most of these residents perform behaviors in a free flight environment through presentations and demonstrations. The Lead Keeper is responsible for day-to-day management of these birds and manages, along with curator team, two primary keepers, an annual seasonal keeper, some cross trained keepers, and interns throughout the year. Presentations are seasonal, with high season being a scripted performance that features birds’ natural abilities.


How to apply: Please apply directly on the Zoo Atlanta Careers website at 



  • Effectively monitor health and behavior of the animal collection and communicate changes to supervisor and veterinary staff. Oversee administration of medications as applicable.

  • Coordinate in the collaborative efforts pertaining to the care of the collection including, but not limited to, training, enrichment, research, and education.

  • Complete behavioral management training and both utilize and model operant conditioning and enrichment techniques.

  • Actively participate in the improvement of area policies, procedures and protocols to ensure the highest standards of care for the collection and the safety of staff and guests.

  • Demonstrate initiative towards continually improving advanced keeper dutiesincluding excellent animal care and guest interactions.

  • Use strong interpersonal skills to form and maintain positive relationships within the work environment and the ability to foster these skills in others.

  • Demonstrate leadership through example by fully supporting Zoo Atlanta’s strategic plan, mission and values, and work with all zoo staff to support these plans.

  • Positively promote and foster work that improves department function and productivity to exceed standards as well as using leadership to promote a team environment.

  • Demonstrate the ability to positively manage keeper staff, volunteers and interns.

  • Demonstrate the ability to meet challenges with a solution oriented approach.

  • Actively pursue opportunities to participate in workshops, seminars, activities and conferences aimed at continually improving job knowledge and professional development with the goal of benefitting the Zoo Atlanta organization.

  • Promote communication and information sharing between the zoological community.

  • Represent Zoo Atlanta by participating in AZA programs, TAGs, SSPs, studbooks, etc.

  • Responsible for special projects, procedures, and goals set forth by the Curator or Assistant Curator.

  • Support Zoo Atlanta’s conservation and research initiatives.

  • Must be dependable and willing to work flexible hours, weekends and holidays.

  • Supervision will be required of not only keeper staff, but also adult volunteers and interns.

  • The ability to use light power tools after suitable training.

  • Good communication skills, an enthusiasm for interacting with the public and a willingness to give regular talks to guests, special groups, etc.

  • While the Lead Keeper must be able to function as a team member, they also must be willing and able to provide necessary leadership and mentoring to staff.

  • This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive; therefore, the employee may be required to perform other reasonably related duties as assigned by management.


  • A minimum of 10 years’ exotic animal care experience as determined by Zoo Atlanta is preferred. Sufficient relevant experience will be considered. Paid experience at an AZA accredited facility is also preferred.

  • Experience with operant conditioning and enrichment techniques is preferred.

  • Must have strong written and oral skills.

  • Demonstrate computer proficiency to complete the functions of this position.

  • Ability to act as a recapture supervisor in the event of a fly off.

  • Experience with diet writing and weight maintenance of free-flight birds.

  • Experience acting as host during free flight presentations and training demonstrations.

  • Experience with utilizing telemetry equipment.

  • Experience with raptor beak and nail maintenance.

  • Experience with manual restraint of various bird species.


  • Four-year degree in biology, psychology, or related field is preferred; sufficient relevant experience will be considered.


  • Must obtain and maintain a valid Georgia driver’s license.


  • Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions and have the physical ability to perform strenuous work.




This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Therefore, the employee may be required to perform other reasonably related duties as assigned by the immediate supervisor or other management. The company reserves the right to revise or change job duties as business requirements dictate. It is mutually agreed that this job description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment.

Zoo Atlanta is an EOE and provides a Smoke-free and Drug-free Work Environment


To apply for this position, please go to our website:


See job description

How to Apply

Apply here: 

Visit the Zoo Atlanta Careers website for more opportunities!

Zoo Atlanta
800 Cherokee Avenue SE
Atlanta, GA 30315
Phone: 404-624-5600

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