Job Postings

Keeper 2 (Full Time Non-Exempt)


Austin Zoo

Closing Date
April 20, 2021

The position requires a dedicated individual who will take direction from the Senior Keeper, Curator and/or Director of Husbandry in carrying out the operations of the mammal, reptile and Avian areas of the Austin Zoo. This includes all aspects of animal husbandry, exhibit maintenance and holding area management. The position will participate in and assist with the development of the mammal, reptile and bird training program, which will consist of behavioral demonstrations presented to the public on a scheduled basis by the keeper/trainers. The position will also be responsible for maintaining organized written records pertaining to health, feeding, water quality and behavioral observations. As a keeper 2 you will be expected to learn and improve your knowledge and skills on a daily basis.

• As a member of the Husbandry team, you will lead by example by being patient, kind, humble, respectful, selfless, forgiving, honest and committed when interacting with one another and guests.
• Provides for the needs of all animals related to the bird, mammal and reptile collection by doing exhibit cleaning and holding/BOH maintenance, diet preparation and feeding, and enrichment.
• Presents daily shows and presentations for the public.
• Maintains records pertaining to feeding, water quality analysis, behavioral observations, training activities and medical procedures.
• Maintains exhibit quality standards through regular maintenance and cleaning activities.
• Cooperates with Animal Health Services staff for animal health issues, treatments, and veterinary procedures, transfers and crating.
• Keeps work area clean and organized and reports mechanical failures to supervisors in a timely way.
• Assists in all other Husbandry department activities when needed.
• Participate in Austin Zoo related education, public relations and membership programs including facility tours and lectures.
• Comply with safety and security directives, policies and procedures.
• At the direction of supervisors, interact with and respond to public/media requests for information.
• Adherence to area specific standard operating procedures (SOP’s)
• Must be able to maintain discretion with confidential information.
• Prepares and continually enhances animal areas for aesthetic, reproductive, behavior, and animal safety (i.e. perching material, nest boxes, “furniture”, live or artificial plants, etc…).
• Attends departmental meetings and participates in developmental seminars and workshops as required.
• Acts as a resource for Apprentice Keepers, Keeper 1’s and other newly hired Keeper 2’s.
• Possesses knowledge of research and conservation initiatives in nature and in zoos.
• Strong knowledge of zoo/aquarium layout and general animal collection to respond quickly during animal emergencies and also assist guests.
• Knowledge of safety SOP, safety concerns, and reporting protocols.
• Good knowledge of species-specific enrichment and training protocols.
• Appropriate animal restraint and handling techniques.
Performs other related duties as assigned.

Education and Pre-requisites

• Bachelor’s Degree in biology or a related field is required (3-4 years of full time mammal or avian training experience at a zoo or aquarium may be considered in lieu of a degree) with specific knowledge of animal husbandry and behavioral conditioning.
• 3-4 years (5+ years without a degree) of experience working with animals in a zoo or aquarium setting is required. Emphasis should be on animal care and exhibit and holding area maintenance. (Domestic pets do not count)
• Must have demonstrated discipline and have a history of a consistently high degree of work quality.
• A valid driver’s license with a good driving record.
• Ability to work a flexible schedule which will include weekends and/or evenings and holidays.
• Ability to travel when necessary, usually not to exceed four weeks at one time.
• Ability to respond to emergencies on an on call basis.
• Knowledge of Word Processing and Spreadsheet software.
• Must have good written and oral communication skills.
• C.P.R./First Aid certification (preferred) or ability to obtain within 90 days of being hired.
• Experience in the maintenance of aquariums, aquatic life support systems, and use of water quality testing equipment preferred.
• Ability to successfully complete a criminal history background check annually required.
• Possess an intermediate understanding of all species within the collection.
• Ability to perform all basic and intermediate husbandry tasks relating to care for all species within the facility.
• In good health and capable of performing strenuous and/or heavy physical labor.
• No history of allergy related to animals or plants, which might interfere with ability to work.
• Ability to remain on feet for long periods of time, climb stairs, bend and stoop.
• Ability to work in all weather conditions.
• No impairment of sight, smell, hearing, touch, balance and agility of movement which might interfere with ability to work.
• Physical strength, including the ability to lift up to 50 pounds and be able to move up to 100lbs.
• Immuno-competence (possible exposure to zoonotic infections/disease).
• Proof of negative TB screening prior to placement and annually thereafter required.
• Proof of rabies vaccination ideal.

Compensation and benefits

Not specified.

Application instructions

Please submit current resume, cover letter and references to and put “Keeper 2” in subject line to ensure the application is directed to the appropriate person.

Please also attach a document answering the following application criteria in 1-2 pages.

1. Demonstrated ability to be part of a high performing team and capability to take constructive criticism, suggestions for improvement and follow verbal & written requests and maintain a positive team player outlook the whole time.

2.Demonstrated ability to engage, liaise and work effectively in collaboration with other departments within an organization.

3.Demonstrated experience and aptitude to identify opportunities and implement initiatives that improve animal welfare, visitor satisfaction and education.

4. Please describe what the difference is between conservation & preservation and which one you support and why?