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Zoo Keeper - Ambassador Animals

Reid Park Zoo
Tucson, United States Posted: June 24, 2024


Are you passionate about? Providing exceptional care for animals? Saving wildlife and wild places? Inspiring guests to connect with nature and take action to impact the future of our world? Being part of a dynamic, growing zoo that welcomes diversity, equity, inclusion and personal contribution? Explore a career with Reid Park Zoo.

  • Reid Park Zoo, located in beautiful Tucson, Arizona is a mid-sized, regional zoological garden caring for over 200 exotic animal species from around the world in lush, naturalistic habitats.
  • With a mission centered in conservation, the Zoo is Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participates in nearly 100 Species Survival Plans for threatened and endangered species.
  • Reid Park Zoo maintains a state-of-the-art elephant program, a cutting-edge veterinary clinic that serves as a teaching hospital for the University of Arizona veterinary program, and is the co-leader of the Flamingo SAFE program to name a few recognitions.
  • Attracting more than 500,000 guests annually, the Zoo is the midst of an exciting expansion project, Pathway to Asia, that will add four acres to its campus, bringing new species such as red panda, Komodo dragon and Lar gibbon, as well as a breeding facility for critically-endangered Malayan tigers when it opens in 2025.
  • The Zoo is located in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
  • Stunning high desert valley vistas surrounded by four mountain ranges offer a year-round paradise for cyclists, hikers, bird-watchers and outdoor enthusiasts. 
  • Named the first UNESO City of Gastronomy dedicated in the United States, the City is a delight for foodies with a lively and developing dining, arts and cultural scene, and a lovely wine country just thirty minutes away.
  • With the University of Arizona and its championship sports, top-notch medical facilities, and affordable housing, Tucson is a great place to bring the family and put down roots– a big city, yet with a comfortable, small-town feel.
  • Reid Park Zoological Society is seeking a Zoo Keeper.
  • Bachelor’s degree in biological science, animal or zoology related plus one year paid exotic animal care experience OR Associate’s degree with three year’s paid exotic animal care. 
  • An ideal candidate would have experience training ambassador animals for visitor experiences and would have experience working around animals with complicated social dynamics.
  • This position is open until filled.
  • The Society is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create inspiring memories for all by connecting people and animals to ensure the protection of wild animals and wild places. 
  • We provide educational and fun experiences for visitors of all ages.
  • Reid Park Zoo is the largest attended cultural attraction in Southern Arizona with approximately 500,000 visitors annually. 
  • Be a part of a vibrant, growing organization as Reid Park Zoo implements an exciting master plan that will be investing over $60M in new exhibits over the next ten years. 
  • We are an Equal Opportunities Employer. 
  • We are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff by creating an inclusive environment. 
Overview: 
  • This Zoo Keeper position will work with our animal ambassadors which includes a variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates. 
  • Currently the collection includes an owl, armadillos, tamanduas, ferrets, guinea pigs, turtles, a variety of snakes, lizards, and insects as well as other animals. 
  • This position provides high quality care for the animals in their area as well as habitat and night house maintenance.
  • This position requires a high level of creativity, innovation and a passion for best practice husbandry. 
  • We seek a motivated keeper with a strong work ethic and a commitment to improving animal lives in human care.
  • Animal care includes behavioral observations, dietary analysis, preparing and providing enrichment and cleaning.
  • This position participates in the zoo’s behavioral husbandry program, including goal-based enrichment and operant conditioning to increase choice and control for animals in their care.
  • The Keeper will be responsible for daily record-keeping including daily reports, medication logs, welfare tracking, enrichment records, animal training records and area notes. 
  • The Keeper may be asked to support education programming as well as interpret a variety of guest experiences including behind the scenes tours and informal keeper chats. 
  • You may work in a variety of animal areas and may be a swing or primary keeper of an area. 
  • Work assignments are subject to the hazards inherent in caring for wild animals in captivity.
Reports To:           
  • Animal Care Supervisor
Responsibilities: 
  • Animal Care
  • Daily cleaning associated with animal night house, habitat, and visitor viewing area.
  • Variable shift work is possible.
  • Husbandry care for the animals in the area (feeding, medicating, training, enriching and care specific to the species).
  • Completes reports including but not limited to daily animal reports, enrichment logs, water quality logs, training logs, medication logs, animal incident reports, etc.
  • Develops & implements enrichment activities for animals following AZA guidelines and per department practices and protocols. 
  • Trains utilizing operant conditioning to aid in animal management & promote visitor education.
  • Monitor animal welfare and report concerns to the supervisor.
  • Follows all animal care protocols and policies.
  • Assist in the training of new staff and mentoring education staff in animal handling as well as mentoring volunteers.
  • Completes all training as required.
  • These may include but are not limited to job specific training, safety, zoonotic disease, blood borne pathogens, animal enrichment, animal training, conservation, Species Survival Plan (SSP), active shooter, DEI, radio protocol, CPR/ First Aid, hand tool usage and heavy equipment operation such as skid steer/ fork lift truck etc. 
  • Please note that this document is not an exhaustive list. 
  • It is intended to give a reasonable idea of what might be required.
Communication
  • Participates in formal presentations e.g. Keeper talks, special events, behind-the-scenes tours etc.
  • Answers visitor questions concerning animals, conservation, zoo operations, etc.
  • Participates in AZA groups including SSP and TAGs.
Health & Safety
  • Assists in the capture and/or physical/ chemical restraint & transportation of animals.
  • Participates in emergency drills.  These may include but are not limited to dangerous animal escape, fire, medical or weather emergencies etc. 
  • Willing to maintain proficiency with darting equipment & firearms if you choose to try out for Safety Team and are subsequently selected.  Willingness to serve on the Safety Team.
  • Responds to animal emergencies following approved protocols. 
  • Stays current on required vaccinations.
  • Administrative Functions
  • Perform duties in accordance with RPZS policies such as completing expense reports and purchasing or cash handling procedures.
  • Provide excellent customer service as a component of all job duties.
  • Complete all animal records in variety of software programs including Zoo Monitor, ZIMS, etc
  • Other Duties as Assigned
Preferred Qualifications, Skills and Abilities
  • Bachelor’s degree in biological science, animal or zoology related plus one year paid exotic animal care experience OR Associate’s degree with three year’s paid exotic animal care.  
  • An ideal candidate would have experience training ambassador animals for visitor experiences and would have experience working around animals with complicated social dynamics. 
  • Work experience within an AZA accredited facility preferred.
  • COVID booster acquired after September 2022.
  • Willing to undertake an annual TB skin test (AZA requirement). 
  • Valid driver license. 
  • Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Regular physical attendance at work. 
  • Must be able to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Work assignments are subject to the hazards inherent in caring for exotic & dangerous animals in a zoological institution.
  • Demonstrated critical analysis, customer service, problem solving, conflict resolution, decision making, leadership, team building, time management, and motivational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to tactfully handle stressful situations, negotiate and resolve conflicts, maintain confidentiality and to respect and observe organizational protocol.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all levels of RPZS and coworkers as well as diverse volunteers, guests, donors, community partners, vendors and others.
  • Able to work a flexible work schedule and adjust as required.
  • Weekend, special events and some holiday work are required.
  • Please note that this document is not an exhaustive list.  It is intended to give a reasonable idea of what might be required.
  • Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is the policy of Reid Park Zoological Society to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship.
  • The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process.
  • If reasonable accommodation is needed please contact Human Resources Dept.
Experience Required
  • Bachelor’s degree in biological science, animal or zoology related plus one year paid exotic animal care experience OR Associate’s degree with three year’s paid exotic animal care.
  • An ideal candidate would have experience training ambassador animals for visitor experiences and would have experience working around animals with complicated social dynamics.
Perks
  • Free family zoo membership and free tickets.
  • Free disability and life insurance.
Salary
  • $17.61 - $20.69 hourly

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