Zookeeper I - Temporary

Zoo, 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene, Texas, United States of America Req #913
Monday, February 12, 2024


Under supervision of the Animal Care Supervisors, temporary zookeepers provide a variety of duties involved in the care and well-being of multiple animal species. The zoo’s animal collection includes mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians. Primary responsibilities include daily husbandry for animals, their exhibit and holding areas, as well as other facilities of the zoo. Employees have access to controlled substances in the performance of their job duties. Therefore, employees are required to not have any previous felony convictions related to a controlled substance.


The Zookeeper I exercises no direct supervision over other employees.


Carry out all aspects of the daily care for assigned animals including cleaning, feeding, exhibit maintenance, general upkeep of support facilities and maintaining a clean and organized area.

Observe animal behavior and welfare on both a day to day and long term basis with the ability to note normal and unusual behavior, as well as perceive changes in an animal’s injury, health or appetite concerns and report to their supervisor.

Provide species appropriate and approved behavior-based enrichment for all collection animals in accordance with zoo standards and policies.

Prepare, store and distribute animal diets and foods following feeding guidelines; assist Zoo Veterinarians in evaluating dietary needs and changes of zoo animals according to established USDA and zoo policies.

Speak professionally and respectfully with members of the public to answer any questions about the zoo in general and deliver educational programs through keeper chats on collection animals. Public appearances may be requested.

Maintain required husbandry records on all daily reports, animal welfare, medical sheets, training, and enrichment logs according to established guidelines.

Develop a work routine that emphasizes safety with the ability to see potential dangers to the animals, staff and public.

Properly administer prescribed medications, supplements or treatments under the Zoo Veterinarian’s guidance.

Clean and maintain the zoo commissary, food storage areas such as hay barn or supply rooms; assist with unloading supplies from delivery trucks.

Understands and implements approved husbandry training for collection animals utilizing positive reinforcement in accordance with zoo standards and policies.

Work in a professional manner with volunteers, including interns, zoo teens, and adult volunteers, and take responsibility for training and guiding them in assigned tasks.

Familiar with animal handling and restraint as necessary, proper crating and uncrating of animals, and how to use various recapture and restraint equipment.

Perform other duties as assigned by the zoo management team on specific departmental needs or zoo wide needs and responsibilities; work collaboratively with other zoo staff and departments.

Maintain lawn and landscaping within animal exhibits; able to safely operate lawn and maintenance equipment; assist horticulture staff with landscaping outside of animal exhibits.

Operate City vehicles, including zoo motorized vehicles (golf cart, gator) inside and outside zoo property as needed for the job.

Provide routine maintenance and assist in the construction of exhibits and facilities; request maintenance assistance in repairing damaged areas or zoo facilities through work orders.


Perform other job related duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Participate in zoo meetings, events and attend staff training sessions.


Knowledge of:

Safe driving principles and practices.

General animal care and behaviorHazards and inherent dangers involved in working with zoo animals.

Skill to:

Operate a food grinder, lawn mower, and incubator.

Safely operate a motor vehicle.

Ability to:

Learn the diet and nutritional requirements of zoo animals.

Learn to respond to an animal or public related emergency to prevent injury.

Learn to open, enter, exit, and secure animal enclosures, and service areas.

Learn to net, capture and/or restrain animals of extreme size, strength, and agility.

Learn to handle, examine, and move without harming sick, injured, and/or struggling small animals.

Follow and carry out specific oral and written instructions.

Any combination equivalent to experience and training to provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities may be qualifying

Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.

Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, both internally and externally.

Follow and embrace the City of Abilene Core Values – Respect, Integrity, Service Above Self, and Excellence in All We Do.

Perform as a team member in a manner that accomplishes the Division’s mission and treats team members with dignity, courtesy, and respect.

Experience and Training Guidelines:

For positions with more than one level, all listed requirements at the lower levels are required at the higher levels. Any combination equivalent to experience and training to provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities may be qualifying.  Knowledge, skills, and abilities may be obtained through:


Entry level position, but preference may be given to individuals with experience in the care of animals.


An associate’s degree equivalence in an animal management or science related field is required.

License or Certificate:

A valid Texas driver’s license; the ability to obtain one within ninety (90) days of employment, or a military waiver is required.     

Special Requirements:

In accordance with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), employees are required to not have any previous felony convictions related to a controlled substance.

Ability to display adequate field of vision and auditory acuity to be aware of animals or vehicles approaching from the rear.

Exposure to cold, heat, outdoors, and chemicals.

Ability to travel to different sites.

Requires the ability to work a flexible work schedule that includes nights, holidays, and weekends.

Essential duties require the following physical skills and work environment:

With or without accommodation, the “X” indicates the overall strength demand of the position during a typical workday:

___ Sedentary – lifting of no more than 10 pounds

___ Light – lifting no more than 20 pounds; carrying up to 10 pounds

___ Medium – lifting no more than 50 pounds; carrying up to 25 pounds

_X_ Heavy – lifting no more than 100 pounds; carrying up to 50 pounds

___ Very Heavy – team lifting over 100 pounds; carrying more than 50 pound

Physical Demand Codes: The following describes whether or not the position is expected to exert the physical demands listed during a typical workday as well as the overall frequency of the task:

Codes for how often:

N = No

E = Extensive (100 – 70% of the time)

M = Moderate (60 – 30% of the time)

I = Infrequent (20 – 10% of the time)

A = Almost Never (<10% of the time)

Code / Task

_E_     Standing

_I_      Sitting

_E_     Walking

_M_    Lifting

_E_     Carrying

_E_     Pushing/Pulling

_M_    Overhead Work

_M_    Fine Dexterity

_E_     Kneeling

_E_     Crouching

_M_    Crawling

_E_     Bending

_E_     Twisting

_M_    Climbing

_E_     Balancing

_E_     Vision

_E_     Hearing

_E_     Talking

_M_    Other:  _Running/Jumping____


Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Min Hiring Rate $16.76
  • Max Hiring Rate $20.11
Location on Google Maps
  • Zoo, 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene, Texas, United States of America