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Oakland Zoo

Elephant Keeper

Position Responsibilities: The Elephant Keeper is responsible for the physical health and psychological well-being of the animals directly under his/her care.  Work ranges from the physical tasks associated with feeding and maintenance of living areas to more analytical tasks.  The Elephant Keeper is expected to develop a comprehensive knowledge of the natural history of the species, to conduct ongoing assessment of their physical and psycho-social needs, and to design and implement steps to address these needs. The Elephant Keeper is expected to be able to use the tools of animal observation, enrichment, training and other management methods to ensure the best possible psychological well-being of the animals in their care. S/he is expected to implement Department/Zoo priorities as well as demonstrate the initiative and expertise to regularly find ways to make improvements. S/he is expected to guide and support junior staff and volunteers as appropriate. The Elephant Keeper takes direction from the Senior Keeper, Lead Keeper and/or the Zoological Manager regarding daily operations as appropriate. S/he must also be able to represent the Zoo in a variety of public settings including press interviews, instructional classes and casual communication with Zoo guests.

Experience Required

Job Requirements: Minimum of one year full time or 2,080 hours paid experience in the care of captive wildlife in the zoo field, large mammal/elephant experience strongly preferred. Please specify paid hours on resume. 1. Good physical condition; able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. (i.e. feed) and move a minimum of 120lbs.(i.e. hay bale) 2. Valid driver’s license and clean driving record 3. Willingness to work outside normal business hours including weekends, holidays, and evenings. 4. Good written and verbal communication skills 5. Knowledge of the habits and hazards of working with zoo animals; willingness to work with some physical risk while observing proper safety precautions Experience Preferred 1. Experience caring for elephants in a captive environment and a strong knowledge of elephant natural history 2. Bachelor’s degree in zoology, biology or a related field 3. Extensive knowledge and experience in behavioral training theory and practical application


Comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance and 403B retirement benefits; two weeks of vacation and ten paid holidays annually.


$17.96 per hour commensurate upon experience

How to Apply

Send resume, 3 professional references, including one from a supervisor, and cover letter. Accepted via e-mail only. E-mail: Gina Kinzley, Elephant Co-Manager Applicants selected for candidacy are required to attend an on-site working interview.

Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf Links Rd, PO Box 5238
Oakland, CA 94605
Phone: 5106329525

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