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Full Time ZooKeeper

Roosevelt Park Zoo
Minot, United States Posted: March 13, 2024

A Full-time Skilled Zookeeper is a full-time, non-exempt, position designed to lead other animal care staff. Individuals are normally scheduled for forty (40) hours per week.   In addition, this position receives full Minot Park District benefits offered.

Brief Description of the Job
  • Responsible for the daily care of animals, exhibits, and grounds in areas of the Zoo as assigned to the highest standards expected by the Roosevelt Park Zoo and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). 
  • Provide general maintenance in and around exhibits and maintain landscaping throughout. 
  • Demonstrate a high level of Customer Service along with participating in public relations activities and educational programming. 
  • Ensure the safety of the animals along with guests and maintain records as required to communicate and document information in your care. Experience working with large felids is preferred.
  • This position will working directly in the Large Felid/Red Panda area. This area includes, Red Panda, African lion, Amur tiger, and Amur leopard.
  • In addition to the responsibilities described above, the Full-time Zookeeper is responsible for the oversight of a specifically defined area and expected to be the most knowledgeable resource regarding the animals, enclosures, and mechanical systems within that area. 
  • Provide direction and guidance to Permanent PT Benefitted and Part-time zookeeping staff.   
  • Enter daily notes regarding animals within the area into the Zoo Information Management System (ZIMS) computer program each workday. 
  • Research animal behavior, dietary requirements, and/or enrichment options for animals within the assigned collection area.  Keep the General Curator and/or Senior Lead Keeper informed on all relevant issues daily.
Essential Functions 
  • Provide Animal Care 
  • Observes animals in assigned areas for injuries or symptoms of disease, and changes in behavior; reports changes and problems to supervisor; recommends changes to assist animals' psychological and physiological well-being; implements approved changes.  
  • Communicate effectively with the Zoo Veterinarian, by reporting issues, daily health, and diet requests. 
  • Prepare appropriate animal diets; clean and fill water containers; and place food in exhibits at specified times.  
  • Clean, disinfect, and check all animal areas.  
  • Observe, monitor, and record animal behavior. (e.g., changes in animal’s appetite, disposition, habits etc.), physical condition (e.g., stress or illness) and activity.
  • Plan, propose, create, provide, and document Environmental Enrichment opportunities.  
  • Record detailed observations of animal behavior, dietary intake, physical appearance, level of activity, and related issues daily in the ZIMS software system.  
  • Plan, propose, execute, and document Operant Conditioning sessions.  
  • Research species-specific natural history and current trends and developments in the Zoo field.  
  • Assist with constructing species-specific exhibit furniture.  
  • Responds to animal emergencies following approved protocols. assist in the capture and/or physical/ chemical restraint & transportation of animals.  
  • Participate in live-action emergency drills.  
  • Participate in annual safety related training classes.  
  • Participate in various Zoo committees relating to Animal Welfare & Training. Provide direction and guidance to volunteers and interns.  
  • Participate in Risk Management programs to ensure proper safety protocols are being followed and implemented.   This includes training in First Aid, CPR, safety drills and firearms training when applicable, as well as other health and safety training opportunities that may arise.  
  • Must follow all safety standards and precautions pertaining for working around exotic animals.  
  • Understand and demonstrate the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves, eye wear, etc. as required or necessary.  
  • Participate in developing safety protocols to provide a safe work environment for staff, animals, and the public.  
  • Ensure all buildings and animal enclosures are locked and secured.
  • In addition to the responsibilities described above, the Full-time Zookeeper will also be responsible for maintaining the currency for Husbandry Protocols for all exhibits in the assigned area and ensuring all documentation is properly completed and maintained in a timely manner for animals in the area related to enrichment offered as part of the Behavioral Enrichment, Operant Conditioning, and Animal Welfare Programs. 
  • Uses approved RPZ humane techniques for captures and restrains animals for transport, examination, or medical treatment.
  • FT Zookeepers must be detailed oriented and have a thorough understanding of AZA and USDA professional standards and regulations to ensure compliance is met in their assigned area of responsibility. 
  • Contributes to a strong team work ethic to accomplish efforts of daily care, welfare, and maintenance of our animals.  A Full-time Zookeeper is expected to correspond with TAG, SSP and other AZA professionals regarding animal husbandry practices, breeding recommendations, animal transfers, etc. relating to animals within their area of focus.
  • Responsible for maintaining the current Roosevelt Park Zoo Animal Welfare protocol.
  • Reports any/all concerns/positives regarding welfare of animals through a proactive and reactive process that is used at the Roosevelt Park Zoo. 
  • All Zookeepers are expected to understand, participate, and promote the education and conservation efforts driven by the mission of Zoo.  
Perform Maintenance and Horticulture 
  • Inspect your area of the zoo as well as attention to public areas for safety concerns or other issues that appear to be irregular and report them to your supervisor.  
  • Provide general maintenance of Zoo grounds in and around exhibits and associated facilities. 
  • Maintain public walkways such that they are free of debris or hazards that could cause slips and falls, i.e., ice, snow, oil, etc.  
  • Ensure that landscape in and around the area is maintained and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Maintain grasses and other ground covers as well as various substrate materials in animal and public areas.  
  • Make simple repairs to commonly used equipment tools, e.g., hoses, rakes, shovels.  
  • Maintain mechanical apparatus e.g., locks, valves, slide doors, hoses, etc.) to keep them in good working conditions.  
  • Assist with in-house construction projects to repair or construct animal exhibits, holding, props, and furniture.
Perform Educational & Public Relations Activities 
  • Provide high quality customer service including greeting and socializing with visitors, helping guests, and answering questions.  
  • Conduct tours of the zoo as needed and deliver presentations and informal talks to the visiting public and school groups regarding animals in your care.  
  • Participate in the zoo’s animal outreach activities including visiting schools, service clubs, special events and nursing homes.   
  • Engage and educate visitors with occasional guided tours, animal presentations, keeper chats, and media interviews.   
  • May conduct on-site keeper chats and/or training demonstrations.  
  • Represent the Minot Parks District and the Roosevelt Park Zoo in a courteous, respectful, and professional manner. 
  • Physical Demands 
Overall Strength Demands: 
  • Heavy strength demands include exerting 50-100 pounds occasionally, 25-50 pounds frequently, or from 10 up to 20 pounds constantly. 
  • Will be required to lift hay bales that may weigh up to 65 lbs., assist unloading of deliveries i.e., carnivore meat, weighing 40 lbs. per box, or a variety of animals with or without assistance.
Physical Demands
  • Continuously requires standing, walking, vision, and hearing. 
  • Frequently requires lifting, reaching, kneeling, crawling, pushing/pulling, bending, crouching, talking, and the ability to move quickly. 
  • Occasionally requires sitting, fine dexterity, carrying, handling, climbing, balancing, and twisting. 
  • Rarely requires foot controls.
Machines, Tools, Equipment, and Work Aids: 
  • Trucks, electric cart, utility vehicles, washer/dryer, lawn mowers, generators, leaf blower, weed-eater, hedge trimmers, loppers, tree saw, training bridges (whistles, clickers, etc.), training targets, squeeze cages, live and kill traps, hoses/nozzles, shovels, rakes, brooms, scrubbing brush, garden equipment, power tools, reciprocating saw, hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, nets, cameras, knives, microwave oven, chain, rope, firehose, pumps, sprinklers.
  • Operates, hooks up and safely drives a truck & horse trailer and some types construction equipment.
Electronics / Computer Equipment and Software: 
  • Computer,
  • Copier,
  • fax,
  • computer,
  • telephone,
  • cameras,
  • Microsoft Office Suite,
  • ZIMS,
  • and Google Docs.
  • Working Conditions
Overall Working Conditions: 
  • Work is performed in and around zoo facilities and involves exposure to extreme weather conditions, contact with exotic animals, standing and walking for extended periods of time, climbing ladders, and equipment operation. 
  • Seasonal exposure to extreme temperatures and wetness and/or humidity. 
  • Requires the ability to work weekends, holidays and evenings as assigned.
Environmental Factors: 
  • Daily exposure to physical hazards.   Weekly exposure to respiratory hazards.   
  • Monthly exposure to noise and vibration.   
  • Seasonal exposure to extreme temperature and wetness and/or humidity.  
Health and Safety: 
  • Frequent exposure to mechanical hazards, chemical hazards, communicable diseases, and physical danger or abuse.   Occasional exposure to electrical hazards. 
  • Rare exposure to fire hazards.  
Primary Work Location: 
  • Outdoors (Zoo Exhibits and Grounds).
Protective Equipment Required: 
  • Latex gloves, leather gloves, eye protection, earplugs, face mask, respirator, safety glasses, and other specialty PPE’s depending on project, i.e., chaps when using chainsaw.                                                                                  
Non-Physical Demands
  • Frequently requires time pressures and working closely with others as part of a team. 
  • Occasionally requires irregular schedule/overtime, performing multiple tasks simultaneously, tedious, or exacting work, and noisy/distracting environment. 
  • Rarely requires emergency situations and frequent change of tasks.  
Job Requirements 
  • Valid Driver’s License 
  • Pass pre-employment background check.
  • Proof of negative TB test within the current year.
Formal Education and Experience: 
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology or related Life Science is preferred or at minimum a combination of associate degree in Animal Science or a related field, AND two years’ experience in the care and feeding of exotic animals; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Experience in customer service and Zookeeping certification are both desirable.  
Job Demands
  • Advanced Level:
  • Ability to read,
  • analyze, and interpret general business periodicals,
  • professional journals,
  • technical journals and procedures,
  • and governmental regulations as well as literature,
  • books,
  • reviews,
  • reports, and abstracts.  
Intermediate Level:
  • Ability to deal with a system of real numbers;
  • and practical application of fractions,
  • percentages,
  • ratios/proportions,
  • and measurement.  
  • Intermediate Level: Ability to write reports,
  • prepare business letters,
  • summaries,
  • meeting minutes,
  • and emails using proper format,
  • punctuation,
  • spelling, and grammar,
  • using all parts of speech
Human Collaboration Skills: 
  • Must be able to work independently and effectively in a team environment, equally with guests, staff, interns, and volunteers. 
  • May require interaction in person, via telephone and email with other AZA professionals and AZA institutions to acquire and disseminate information regarding the zoo’s animal collection.
  • Work may require providing basic information to others outside direct reporting relationships on procedures or general policies. 
  • Promote a strong team environment and hard work ethic.
Management and Supervision: 
  • Requires functioning as a lead worker performing essentially the same work as others in the area and includes overseeing work quality, training, and coaching. 
  • May supervise assigned seasonal employees, interns, and/or volunteers including providing training and assigning work duties to staff. 
  • Requires a basic understanding of supervisory principles, practices, and methods. 
  • May supervise assigned part-time employees, interns, and/or volunteers including providing training and assigning work duties to staff. 
  • Serve in relief capacity as needed for any Level 5 keeper absence due to vacation or illness.
Technical Skill: 
  • Work requires a thorough knowledge of a technical field with use of analytical judgment and decision-making abilities appropriate to the work environment of the organization.  
Freedom to Act and Impact of Action 
  • There is a choice of the appropriate procedure or policy to apply to duties. 
  • Performance reviewed periodically. 
  • Procures food from vendors for animals, as assigned. 
  • Must be mindful of budgeting and procurement processes.   
  • All large purchases must be pre-approved by General Curatorr
  • The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this defined position. 
  • It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.  

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