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Elephants - Zookeeper

Sedgwick County Zoo
Wichita, United States Posted: April 04, 2024

In a team setting provides daily care for a multigenerational, multi-sex herd of African elephants. Care includes: feeding, cleaning, observing, recording, and reporting behavior. Participates in elephant well-being assessment practices. Produces and provides goal-based animal training and enrichment. Inspects facilities for security, safety, repair and maintenance. Interacts and provides customer service to all Zoo defined customers. Job duties may extend to other animal taxa. This position participates in a mandatory on-call rotation.

Animal Care and Management
  • Ensure animals are housed and cared for in ways that meet all Zoo-defined goals.
  • Acquire and maintain a working knowledge of AZA Accreditation Standards for elephant management and care.
  • Observe and understand the complexities of animal behavior, including individual animals and larger social context, animal general health, and behavior.
  • Recognize abnormalities and potential medical conditions and communicates observations of animal behavior and health condition to veterinary staff, supervisor, curator, and other pertinent staff members.
  • Prepare animal diets. Monitor and report to supervisor the quality of all dietary components, food intake by Zoo animals, and unintended diet consumption by non-collection animal pests.
  • Under the direction of veterinarians and/or supervisors administer medications or treatments as instructed.
  • Drive Zoological Society-owned vehicles, as needed, to care for or transfer animals to other zoological facilities. Animal transfer trips may occasionally require overnight travel.
Animal Well-being 
  • Through consultation with supervisors and other resources, maintain and develop a skillset of positive well-being and animal training as outlined in the elephant management plan.
  • Conduct and evaluate appropriate enrichment activities to satisfy the requirements of the elephant management plan and the Zoos enrichment program.
  • Use positive reinforcement training in a restricted contact situation, train elephants to assess medical conditions and to maintain a safe working environment.
  • Maintain thorough and accurate record keeping: animal training, enrichment, behavioral observations and health conditions.
Area Maintenance
  • Clean and maintain service areas, animal habitats and public areas so they are clean, organized and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Complete daily inspections of animal habitats and associated facilities for security and safety concerns.
  • Conduct minor repairs to facilities or promptly submit concerns to supervisor.
  • Ensure that habitats are ready for public display in a timely manner.
  • Communicate any pest control concerns to supervisors or veterinary team.
  • Participate in an on-call rotation during emergency situations.
Experience Required
Minimum Qualifications:
  • Three years of experience in Biology, Zoology, Animal Care, or a related field.
  • Up to three years of experience (all) may be substituted with education that provides applicable knowledge and skills.
  • Per Sedgwick County Policy, this is a driving level position that requires a valid US driver’s license without restrictions and current proof of automobile insurance.
  • Preferred Qualifications Two years of animal care experience.
  • Experience with operant conditioning and enrichment techniques, experience with power tools, experience using a skid steer and bobcat.
  • Degree in Zoology, Biology, or a related field from an accredited college or university.
  • $20.10

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