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Palm Beach Zoo

Lead Keeper, Training and Ambassador Animals

The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is currently seeking a full-time Lead Keeper to provide guidance and animal management of the Wings Over Water show, Wild Things show and Ambassador Animal program. Our shows reach 15% to 18% of our annual visitation, and we are looking to grow that number.  The show and Ambassador Animal collection includes parrots, hawks, owls, vultures, crane, hornbill, crow, sloth, binturong, ocelot, serval, dingo, singing dogs, porcupine, coati, and numerous small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates.  The Zoo staff work in a positive, team-oriented environment to support our mission to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife. Trainers promote increased environmental awareness and conservation through excellent animal care and management practices, coupled with positive visitor experiences.


The successful candidate will have a well-rounded technical background over multiple taxa, with in depth knowledge of training principles and skills along with the ability to problem solve training challenges. As this is a lead position, the ideal candidate will be able to teach, mentor and manage four trainers assigned to the area, and share three additional swing keepers with the other Leads.  Great animal welfare, control and choice given to the animals, and clear communication are the touchstones of our program. The successful candidate will be comfortable providing positive guest experiences, and have experience training new behaviors using methods that focus on positive reinforcement.


The Lead 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 including the recently approved upgrades of all Ambassador Animal facilities (to be phased in over the next 3 years). This position works across all species and shows on a rotating basis in order to best understand the needs and workloads of the trainers. The successful candidate will have a passion for animal welfare and behavior management, as well as both staff and program development.  As animal encounters, shows and experiences 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

Qualifications: • Minimum of four years’ paid experience in a zoological facility • Bachelor’s degree (Biology, Psychology or a related field is preferred) • Experience with the husbandry and behavior of many of the species listed above • Easily navigates computer programs such as Microsoft Office • Physically able to stoop, bend, reach, lift, carry or push at least 50 pounds in a south Florida climate • Must have valid driver’s license, able to work weekends, holidays and special events as needed Preferred Experience and Skills: • Supervisory/management experience in an AZA zoo • 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 • Weight management of flighted birds • Excellent communication skills with co-workers, managers and veterinary staff • Be familiar with AZA, USDA and FWC regulations and expectations

Further Comments

The Palm Beach Zoo is a Drug-Free Workplace and an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references to Amy Anderson, Associate Curator via email: Please include the name of the applicant and the initials LK in the subject line of the email. The position will be open until filled.

Palm Beach Zoo
1301 Summit Blvd
West Palm Beach , FL 33405
Phone: 5615330887
Fax: 5615856085

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