Zookeeper I/II - Animal Care

Zoo, 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene, Texas, United States of America Req #912
Monday, February 12, 2024

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Under supervision of the Animal Care Supervisors, 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.

SUPERVISION EXERCISED

The Zookeeper I exercises no direct supervision over other employees. The Zookeeper II may exercise technical and functional supervision over lower level staff.

IMPORTANT AND ESSENTIAL DUTIES

Carry out all aspects of the daily care for assigned animals including cleaning, feeding, exhibit maintenance, general upkeep of support facilities and maintains 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 taking 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.

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.

Operate a City vehicle on and off zoo grounds.

OTHER JOB RELATED DUTIES

Perform other job related duties and responsibilities as assigned.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

Zookeeper I

Knowledge of:

Safe driving principles and practices.

General animal care and behavior/operant conditioning.

Hazards 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 in a fast paced environment.

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.

Zookeeper II

In addition to the qualifications for Zookeeper I:

Participate on AZA Committees, as needed and as participation aligns to job related responsibilities.  

Knowledge of:

Division specific operation policies and procedures.

Diet and nutritional requirements of Zoo animals.

Capture and/or restraint animals of extreme size, strength, and agility.

Safe husbandry practices and procedures.

Skill to:

Learn the area and the management of zoo animals.

Ability to:

Respond to an animal or public related emergency to prevent injury.

Open, enter, exit, and secure animal enclosures, and service areas.

Net, capture and/or restrain animals of extreme size, strength, and agility.

Handle, examine, and move without harming sick, injured, and/or struggling small animals.

Lead, manage, and 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:

Experience:

Zookeeper I:

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

Education/Training:

A minimum of an Associate’s Degree in biology, zoology, zoo technology, animal management or a 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.

Zookeeper II:

Two (2) plus years of experience equivalent to that of a Zookeeper I with the City of Abilene is required.

Demonstrate leadership and initiative through working with other staff members, participating on committees, and attending professional development courses.

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 pounds

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
_M_    Carrying
_M_    Pushing/Pulling
_M_    Overhead Work
_M_    Fine Dexterity
_E_    Kneeling
_E_    Crouching
_ I       Crawling
_M_    Bending
_M_    Twisting
_M_    Climbing
_M_    Balancing
_E_    Vision
_E_    Hearing
_E_    Talking
   I       Other:  __Running/Jumping_________

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Min Hiring Rate $17.77
  • Max Hiring Rate $23.95
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  • Zoo, 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene, Texas, United States of America