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Zookeeper, Herpetology & Entomology

Houston Zoo
Houston, United States Posted: July 03, 2024

Under the direction of a Zoo Supervisor, the Zookeeper is responsible for supporting the day-to-day operations associated with the husbandry of the animals and the maintenance of animal enclosures within a specified Houston Zoo animal program. This position will coordinate all program objectives in addition to day-to-day husbandry and enclosure maintenance. 

Job Duties and Responsibilities 
  • Carries out all aspects of the daily care of assigned animals including cleaning, feeding, exhibit maintenance, general upkeep of support facilities. 
  • Maintains clean and organized exhibits, holding areas, service areas and equipment. 
  • Prepares and feeds appropriate diets as per established feeding practices and diet sheets. 
  • Administers prescribed medications, supplements, or treatments under the guidance of the veterinary and supervisory staff. 
  • Records and reports any abnormal animal health or behavioral issues to the Zoo Supervisor. 
  • Maintains daily reports, logs, training and enrichment records, research or veterinary records, as appropriate and according to established guidelines; requires basic skills with TRACKS and Microsoft Office software applications. 
  • Understands and applies a practical understanding of operant conditioning as it relates to the daily management of species under his/her care. 
  • Understands and applies the basic principles of animal enrichment as part of the daily management of species under his/her care. 
  • Maintains clean and organized exhibits, equipment, and keeper areas. 
  • As appropriate, maintains water quality through filtration, balance of chemical elements, and sanitation methods for aquatic or semi-aquatic animal species. 
  • As appropriate, maintains live exhibit plantings to enhance exhibit aesthetics; eliminates weeds and toxic plants from animal enclosures. 
  • In conjunction with the Zoo’s pest control officer, may assist in pest control through the use of exclusion or traps. 
  • Identifies potential maintenance or safety issues and reports them to the Zoo Supervisor. 
  • Participates in keeper chats, tours, animal presentations or demonstrations, and/or other public interactions as requested by the Zoo Supervisor. 
  • May assist with departmental research projects, conservation, AZA, or other industry activities as directed/approve by the Zoo Supervisor or Curator; provides support for the Zoo projects 
  • May oversee work activities and/or provide training for interns, seasonal workers, or volunteers. 
  • Exhibits good teamwork and communication skills both within the home team and when working with other teams or departments. 
  • May be required to safely operate a motor vehicle. 
  • Contributes to saving animals in the wild through:  reduction of waste, water and energy use and inspiring guests and staff to take wildlife protecting actions  
  • Performs other duties as assigned 
Education and Experience  
  • Bachelor's degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university; or one to two years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • One year of experience in animal care at an AZA or equivalent facility, gained through employment, internships, or volunteer experience. 
  • Experience with species in captivity, in a conservation setting.  
  • Experience with basic carpentry and mechanical skills. 
  • Must have or be able to obtain a valid Texas driver’s license.
About Houston Zoo
  • The Houston Zoo is made up of many moving parts with over 6,000 permanent residents (our animals) for whom we provide housing, meals, medical care and, yes, even education!
  • There are over 2 million guests each year who come to experience our incredible variety of animals and ecosystems, as well as attend special private and public events and entertainment.
  • Our dedicated staff works around the clock to ensure that the Zoo is always running smoothly for the safety and well-being of our residents and guests.
  • We strive to ensure the protection of all the counterparts of the animals we have at the Zoo and in the wild.
  • Join the Houston Zoo and become a part of an organization that is focused on the preservation of wildlife and their habitats by combining conservation with education and promotion of sustainable livelihoods in the local communities.
  • Houston Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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