Job Postings

Great Apes Apprentice


LEO Zoological Conservation Center

Closing Date
December 6, 2017

LEO Zoological Conservation Center is a nonprofit, accredited off-exhibit breeding facility for rare and endangered animals. We are located in Greenwich, CT, just an hour outside of New York City. The facility offers our animals a low impact, stress-free environment and we propagate for other accredited zoological institutions across the country and global wild release programs. We are generally closed to the public but allow a limited number of visits, seasonally, split between Special Cause Groups and supporting benefactors.

LEO is looking for a dependable, hardworking Great Ape zookeeper apprentice interested in gaining valuable experience working one-on-one with seasoned professionals. This 8 month position would primarily work with orangutans, white-handed, siamang gibbons, and colobus monkeys. Apprentices will gain extensive knowledge in primate behavior and husbandry. LEO engages in noninvasive scientifically based conservation research with some of our species.

Some of the apprenticeship elements include:

Participation in providing for and monitoring health, growth, diet, behavior, reproduction, safety and comfort of our animals
Behavior observation, including monitoring and documenting specific animal behavior·
Enrichment activities, which help keep captive animal’s minds active
Exposure to veterinary and tech work
Kitchen duties, including preparation of species-specific daily diets and cleaning the kitchen area
Enclosure care, including upkeep inside and outside of animal enclosures
Participation in a USDA Animal Care Clinic

Apprentice will leave facility with a wealth of experience and understanding in orangutan and primate husbandry, operant training, and behavior.

Salary/funding: This is an unpaid position.

Term of Appointment: September 5, 2017 – May 4, 2018

Interested applicants must be available any of the seven days of the week.

LEOZCC is an EOE/ Drug Free/Smoke Free Work Environment.

Education and Pre-requisites


Applicants must be 18 years of age or older
Applicants MUST have experience working with a primates (preferably a past zoological volunteer or internship experience)
Able to comfortably lift 50 pounds
Must present themselves in a professional manner
The selected candidate will be expected to adhere to primate safety policies at all times. Keeper apprentice positions are physically demanding. Apprentices may be working in small spaces or in awkward positions that require bending or stretching and standing for long periods of time. Apprentices must be able to safely lift 50 lbs. Keepers work in extreme weather conditions, so apprentices must be able to tolerate heat, cold, snow, wind and rain. They must also be able to tolerate strong odors and possible allergens such as hay, dust and animal hair/fur/dander. No stipend or housing is available for the apprentice from the center. Aides must be flexible with their schedule, and will be expected to work 5 weekdays (potentially falling on weekend days and/or holidays) with two consecutive days off.

Compensation and benefits

Unpaid but many of our apprentices go on to paid positions at other zoos. Apprentice programs are a great way of gaining the experience necessary to obtain a paid zookeeping position.

Application instructions

Comments: Interested candidates must send cover letter and resume to our email account. Faxed, mailed, and delivered resumes will not be considered.