Zoos Hiring

Job board dedicated to the zoo industry

Animal Keeper (Elephant Trails)

Smithsonian's National Zoo And Conservation Biology Institute
Washington, United States Posted: March 24, 2024

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 21 museums and the National Zoo. The mission of the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) is to save species by using cutting-edge science, sharing knowledge and providing inspirational experiences for our guests.

  • The Animal Keeper position is located at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) at the National Zoological Park (NZP) in Washington, DC.
  • The employee is responsible for performing a variety of duties that ensure the proper care, feeding, exhibition, and propagation of a collection of Asian elephants.
In this position, you will:
  • Provide daily care of elephants in the collection ensure the health and welfare of the Asian elephants.
  • Participate in the training and enrichment programs for the Asian elephants.
  • Monitor Asian elephants for symptoms of illness, injuries or unusual conditions and reports to Curator, Assistant Curator or Veterinarian. 
  • Maintain records including food and water consumption of animals. 
How You Will Be Evaluated:
  • You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
  • Applications will first be evaluated to determine whether the following screen out element is met:
  • Ability to do work w/o normal supervision.
  • Ability to do work of an animal keeper.
If an applicant meets the screen-out element, the following Job Elements will be evaluated:
  • Animal Enrichment 
  • Behavioral Husbandry   
  • Conducting Animal Demonstrations        
  • Collecting Data 
  • Monitor Animal Behavior
  • Applicants who meet or exceed the screen-out element will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria:
  • Best Category - Meets the screen-out element and excels in most of the job related elements above.
  • Better Category - Meets the screen-out element and satisfies most of the job related elements above.
  • Good Category - Meets the screen-out element, but does not satisfy most of the job related elements above to a substantive degree.
Experience Required
  • In order to be rated qualified, an applicant's overall experience and training must indicate possession of the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the duties of this position such as, the skill and ability to carry out routine animal keeper duties;
  • the ability to understand instructions given by higher level animal keeper personnel;
  • the ability to carry out training and developmental assignments; the ability to catch, shift, restrain, and/or trailer animals without injuring the animals or endangering themself or others;
  • familiarity with a range of animal identification methods in order to identify individuals by natural and artificial markings such as color, tags, and brands in group(herd) settings; and the ability to operate motorized vehicles/scooters on NZCBI grounds. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g.,
  • Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual;
  • community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment.
  • You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • $28.10 - $32.75 per hour.

Be the First to Know About Similar Jobs

Your next opportunity could be an email away. Let us make your job search easier. Join our email list now.