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FT Zookeeper (Union) MPZ

Miller Park Zoo
Bloomingdale, United States Posted: March 19, 2024


Under the direction of the Zoo Curator, assist in stewardship of the Animal Care department, supporting the mission and core values of the Zoo.

Examples of Duties
  • This list may not include all tasks and/or knowledge which may be expected of the employee, nor does it cover all specific duties which may be required.
  • Other duties may be assigned.
  • Perform all Zookeeper duties necessary to maintain high standards of animal care and welfare. Maintain familiarity with all husbandry duties. Provide feedback regarding Animal Care protocols, procedures, and area SOPs.
  • Observe animals to determine their physical, psychological, and social well-being; report same to the Senior Zookeeper(s) and Zoo Curator. Inspect all exhibits and related facilities regularly for cleanliness and structural integrity. Maintain areas in compliance with USDA and AZA standards, report potential non-compliance issues.
  • Assist with the health care of collection animals by assessing and reporting medical needs. Assist the Vet Technician with the administration of medical treatments including oral, topical and injectable medications, including the use of operant conditioning to facilitate treatment. Monitor and report veterinary concerns; assist veterinary staff in medical treatments, procedures and surgeries as needed.
  • Coordinate with Facilities to execute repairs, non-capital renovations and modifications. Identify any potential maintenance or safety issues and take necessary steps to correct or resolve them. Perform repairs, renovations, and modifications directly related to animal wellbeing. Ensure proper records are maintained, including but not limited to: ZIMS, daily logs, Training records, Enrichment logs.
  • Collaborate in development and modification of diets, husbandry techniques and area protocols. Assist with ordering and maintaining inventory of feeds, supplies and equipment. Interact with outside vendors and supplies in cooperation with Zoo Curator.
  • Assist in planning and completion of Animal Care staff projects. Coordinate projects with other departments and outside vendors, ensuring scheduling efficiency and maximizing safety, while maintaining positive wellbeing for animals and staff. 
  • Recognize and report pest control needs in the area; coordinate and execute adequate and appropriate pest control practices; maintain records of pest control.
  • Research, develop, and implement species- and individual-specific Operant Conditioning (Training) and Enrichment programs. Conduct annual animal welfare assessments. Aid in reviewing assessments and developing improvement and action plans to constantly improve animal welfare.
  • Assist in planning and implementation of programs and events directly related to or impacting the animal collection. Participate with PR team for interviews, tours, media requests and guest experiences as needed.
  • Participate in discussions regarding capital improvements, exhibit design, and Master & Collection Plans. Chair or sit as a member of various zoo committees as assigned.
  • Participate in the development and performance of keeper training classes for interns and staff. Train and mentor Seasonal Zookeepers, Laborers, interns, and volunteers.
  • Function as an AZA IR as directed. Support and/or participate in in situ and ex situ conservation programs.
  • Serve as a member of the MPZ Animal Emergency Response Team (weapons team is voluntary).
  • Adhere to and support all zoo policies and procedures.
Typical Qualifications
General Skill Levels:
Knowledge of:
  • Basic knowledge of the care, nutrition, breeding, behavior, and safety precautions for the species held in the zoological collection.
  • Knowledge of zoo industry standards, guidelines, and regulations.
  • Working knowledge of animal training, enrichment, and welfare theories and applications.
Ability to:
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills to develop/implement solution-based plans/goals. Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Use word processing, spreadsheet, internet, e-mail software, and other applications as needed for appropriate communication and record-keeping. 
  • Train and supervise interns, volunteers, and new staff.
  • Understand and accurately observe, assess, and record animal behavior; monitor and provide for excellent animal wellbeing.  
  • Demonstrate flexibility in thought and actions, ensuring a progressive, dynamic work environment.
  • Always maintain a professional attitude while representing the Miller Park Zoo.
  • Provide excellent guest experiences.
  • Embody DEIA principles described in MPZ and City policies.
Required Education/Experience:  
  • Bachelor’s Degree from accredited college or university in Biology, Zoology, or related field, or Associate’s Degree from an accredited college specializing and Zoo and Aquaria programming.
  • 2+ years AZA paid progressive work experience, including husbandry, training, enrichment, and welfare of zoo animals is preferred. 
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.  
  • Basic ability to repair and maintain zoo equipment, animal habitats, and facilities.
Certificate or Licenses:  Driver’s License
  • Physical Requirements/Working Conditions:
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.
  • Work is performed in both indoor and outdoor environments. 
  • Position requirements will occur in humid conditions and in a range of outdoor temperatures. 
  • Ability to lift/move/carry up to 50 lbs. Annual TB testing is required (may include chest x-rays).

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