Job Postings

Animal Keeper – North America


Oregon Zoo

Closing Date
April 4, 2022

Position summary:

Hello, we’re Metro! We strive to be an employer of choice by being human-centered, authentic and support a welcoming environment where all of our employees can thrive. We offer a highly competitive compensation and benefits program and a unique place to work like the Oregon Zoo. The Oregon Zoo has a reputation for leading groundbreaking research, participates in local and global conservation efforts, and strives to exceed AZA animal welfare standard. The zoo is also deeply committed to sustainability and conservation education. Thanks to a generous $125 million voter approved bond measure, the zoo is transforming into a game changing facility welfare, species and habitat conservation outcomes, and green building practices.

The Oregon Zoo is seeking to fill a role as an Animal Keeper for the North America area. This person will have the opportunity to care for native species, including small and large carnivores; hoofstock; birds; reptiles; amphibians and fish. North America keepers also care for the Northern Leopard frog and Western Pond Turtle headstart program animals as part of our native species recovery program. The keeper in this position is responsible for day-to-day husbandry activities and additional essential job duties as listed below.

As Animal Keeper in North America

Performs and coordinates day-to-day care and specialty duties required for native species, including small carnivores; hoofstock; large carnivores; birds; reptiles; amphibians and fish including operant conditioning, manual restraint, and assessment of proper environmental parameters for ectotherms and safely working around dangerous animals.

Experience with similar species that demonstrates knowledge of their natural history and current industry care standards, including but not limited to, feeding strategies, introduction methods, breeding and rearing practices, social management, training practices and strategies and engaging enrichment.

Checks condition of enclosures, doors, tools and other equipment and requests repairs or modifications as needed. Develops safe work habits and contributes to the safety of self and co-workers. Assesses and maintains security and safety of animal areas including daily perimeter checks and initiates corrections for any deficiencies or safety concerns. Follows all safety guidelines and procedures.

Coordinates, oversees and performs animal feeding duties such as preparing prescribed diets, setting out and offering food in a safe and species’ appropriate manner including situations where multiple species may share food access. Makes precise reports on food consumption and recommends diet modifications as needed.

Ability to identify normal and abnormal behavior of similar species including reproductive behavior, eating habits, group aggression issues, health problems, injuries, and changes or response to medication. Assesses whether alternative practice should be implemented and discusses those with area supervisor; consults with medical staff as warranted.

Utilize animal training and conditioning to facilitate participation and cooperation with daily keeper and medical procedures.

Administers medications as prescribed by Veterinarian. Observes animals to determine the medications taken and informs Veterinarian and supervisor of response to medication or other treatments. Follows Veterinarian and supervisor orders for skin, foot, and other bodily care.

Designs, develops, and implements daily and other enrichment programs which demonstrate knowledge of designated species’ natural biology and individual animal needs. This includes brainstorming and researching, presentation and obtaining approvals, fabrication and formulations, and tests and observations to continually assess effectiveness of enhancing animal welfare.

Sets up and maintains a variety of records on daily health, behavior, diet, inventory and supply, reproductive activity, births, deaths, and transfers, among others.
Compiles data for a variety of reports and research projects.
Participates in developing education and conservation messaging and presenting these messages to the public through keeper chats and animal demonstrations.
Assists other Zoo staff in the preparation of educational material by providing information about animal behavior, size, habitat, etc. and acts as a resource to the public and other departments.

Safely mentoring and overseeing adult and teenage volunteers, interns, and students.

Coordinates and performs first responder and emergency service functions and participates in codes and drills.

Performs other duties as assigned during an emergency situation. Operates and maintains tools and equipment to maintain a safe working environment, which may include, for example, pepper spray, painted safety zones, appropriate Personal
Protective Equipment (PPE), video monitors, mirrors, lockouts/tagouts, signage, baffle boards and other capture equipment, hot wire, CO2 canisters and fire extinguishers, first aid kits, ladders and other items.

Participates in professional development and research functions, plans and conducts research, conservation, and confers with supervisor and administrative staff concerning findings, practices and facilities.

Represent the zoo with external stakeholders, general public and other wildlife and conservation agencies.

Works closely to coordinate with colleagues, supervisors, gardeners, custodians, security, maintenance, and other Zoo staff.

Diversity and Inclusion: At Metro, we strive to hire a workforce representative of the communities we serve, understanding that a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We value diversity and support a positive and welcoming environment where all of our employees can thrive.

We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please be clear and specific in your application materials on how your background is relevant.

Minimum Qualifications:
Associate degree in biology, zoology, or related subjects relevant to the care of zoo animals AND
Three years professional animal keeper experience working with a variety of species OR

Any combination of education and experience that provides the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the classification duties and responsibilities.

Additional medical testing and/or immunizations (not already stated in this announcement) may be required as the duties of this position may require close contact with animal areas and enclosures where animals may be present.

Valid driver’s license (Check will be completed for finalist at time of hire)
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

Metro is committed to ensuring the health and safety for our employees and our community. As a part of this commitment, Metro has implemented a vaccine requirement policy for employees, paid and unpaid interns and volunteers.

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is considered a minimum qualification requirement for Metro job applicants and this proof will be requested during the hiring process. View: Metro COVID-19 Vaccination policy (Download PDF reader) (Download PDF reader)

If you require an accommodation under this policy for a medical condition or disability, or sincerely held religious belief, please email If this statement is true for you, then you may be ineligible to apply:

If I was terminated for cause during any of my employment with Metro, or resigned in lieu of termination, I understand I may be ineligible for rehire for a minimum of 3 years.

Like to have:
You do not need to have the following preferred qualifications/transferable skills to qualify. However, keep in mind we may consider some or all of the following when identifying the most qualified candidates. Your transferable skills are any skills you have gained through education, work experience (including the military) or life experience that are relevant for this position.

At least two years of experience working in an AZA-accredited facility.

Experience in a Zoo’s Emergency Response Team
Based on our internal equity review process and the candidates qualifications the appointment will typically be made between $24.53 – $27.71 per hour. The full-salary range for this position is $24.53 – $31.29 per hour.

This position is represented by LIUNA 483 and is classified as an Animal Keeper. Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.

The Application Packet: The application packet consists of the following documents. Please ensure that you upload these documents in your online application. Make sure your application is complete, missing any part of these items could result in an incomplete application and will not be moved forward in the recruitment.
A completed online application

Attachment of a cover letter describing your experience as it relates to the duties of this position

Complete answers to the supplemental questions
The Selection Process: We expect to evaluate candidates for this recruitment as follows. The selection process is subject to change.
Initial review of minimum qualifications

In-depth evaluation of application materials to identify the most qualified candidates
Consideration of top candidates/interviews
Reference Check

Additional Information:
Additional Information Related to COVID-19: The health and safety of our employees and community is a top priority for Metro. Employees will be required to follow all Metro COVID-related policies and procedures, which may meet or exceed guidelines set forth by the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, and other federal, state and local jurisdictions. Learn more at

Equal employment opportunity: All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made or any other status protected by law. Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities.

Online applications: Metro accepts job applications online. If you need assistance or accommodation with your application, or access to a computer, call 503-797-1570.

Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process. To obtain confidential assistance please contact Human Resources 503-797-1570.

Public Employees Retirement System (PERS): Metro pays the employee and employer portion of the PERS contribution. New (LIUNA) employees will pay the employee portion of the PERS contribution.

Veterans’ Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans’ preference when applying for Metro positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans’ preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents as instructed during the application process.

Education and Pre-requisites

Not specified.

Compensation and benefits

$24.53 – $31.29 Hourly

Application instructions

If you’re interested in this opportunity please visit