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Dallas Zoo Management, Inc.

Animal Keeper II; Senior Keeper - Hippo and Okapi


This is a senior-level position in animal care, following established protocols to provide outstanding animal care for species in the section: food preparation, feeding, exhibit maintenance, pest control, and reproductive management. Animal Keepers participate in operant conditioning and husbandry programs, provide approved environmental enrichment, work collaboratively to improve animal exhibits, and prepare and conduct educational presentations and tours for zoo guests. Senior Animal Keepers (AK II) may act as team leaders on specific projects, as assigned, and provide crucial guidance and training to less senior staff, mentoring entry-level Animal Keepers (AK I).


  • Prepare and provide food for assigned animals, following written instructions, provide water and administer medication as instructed to ensure proper nutrition and health;
  • Clean animal exhibits, holding pens, food prep areas, and equipment, maintaining a high level of sanitation, conducting pest control activities and reporting any mechanical defects that would endanger the animal, zoo staff, and/or guests;
  • Observe and monitor animals’ general health and behavior, reporting any abnormal behavior to supervisor and/or veterinary staff;
  • Interact positively and professionally with animal care and veterinary staff and volunteers;
  • Actively encourage interest in wildlife through positive interaction with zoo guests via educational presentations focused on animals, biology, conservation, and environmental issues; 
  • Provide environmental enrichment and training sessions, using operant conditioning, as applicable;
  • Must be capable of practicing, or willing to learn, safe methods of capture and restraint for a variety of taxa (which may include potentially dangerous species);
  • Perform general maintenance and repair of exhibits: painting, repairing fences and shelters, abating erosion, planting ground cover and removing weeds;
  • Assist and participate in media events, special tours, and public relations projects, as necessary;
  • Prepare and update animal records, reports and surveys, assisting in research projects as necessary to ensure thorough documentation and enhanced knowledge of animal biology;
  • Study specific reference materials pertinent to animal care, behavior and natural history as assigned;
  • Follow all safety protocols and understand the animal keeper's role in emergency procedures, responding to emergencies as required;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in biology or related science field is required;
  • Must have knowledge of animal care and basic husbandry skills, with at least three years of exotic animal care experience preferred at an AZA-accredited facility (ideally with those taxa noted in the “DEPARTMENT” listed above, and/or comparable taxa);
  • Must be a flexible, efficient, self-motivated team player, and solution-oriented: finding creative solutions to complex challenges;
  • Must have basic knowledge of research techniques and practices, with solid observation skills;
  • Must be able to establish and maintain an effective rapport with all levels of management, employees, interns, volunteers, and zoo guests;
  • Must be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, following instructions and documenting animal care activities appropriately;
  • Ability to represent the Zoo in a professional manner at all times;
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in emergency situations and to respond with appropriate action;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationship with management, other employees & zoo guests;
  • Must be able to walk, stand, sit, kneel, stoop, crawl, twist, reach above head, pull bend, climb stairs and ladders and carry up to 50 lbs;
  • Must be able to work holidays and weekends, both regular and irregular hours as required;
  • Regular, reliable and punctual attendance is an essential function of this position;
  • Must be able to actively work outdoors in hot or inclement weather;
  • Successful candidates must complete pre-employment drug screening, background check and TB test;
  • Must have a valid Class C driver’s license to operate zoo vehicles and reliable transportation.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by personnel assigned to this job and is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all duties to be assigned.

How to Apply

Join the Dallas Zoo Management, Inc. community to experience a unique, challenging and rewarding career. If you are interested, please email your resume and cover letter to All applicants MUST place job code AKIIHIP in the subject line to be considered. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status. EOE M/F/D/V.

Dallas Zoo Management, Inc.
650 S. R.L. Thornton Frwy
Dallas, TX 75203

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