Job Postings

Lead Senior Zookeeper


Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

Closing Date
September 14, 2018

Come join us at a leading Zoo Sanctuary in Northern California!
Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is seeking an extraordinary individual interested in becoming part of a creative and flexible team. Our mission is Teaching Responsible Behavior Towards All Animals.
Under general direction, plan, organize, and coordinate the day to day workflow of lower classifications and volunteers engaged in animal care, feeding, cleaning, handling, training and exhibit projects/maintenance. Perform oversight of temporary staff.

The Senior Zookeeper is the lead in the Zookeeper series. In the lead assignment, incumbents provide direction to lower level staff including assigning, directing, and reviewing the work of staff. Positions at this level are distinguished from those in the lower classifications of Zookeeper II by the independence with which they perform their duties in handling the most difficult and complex work and performing lead work. Typically the lower level Zookeepers are responsible for single sections of zoo animals, I’s are assigned a few special projects, II’s are assigned additional and/or more complex special projects, while the Lead Senior Zookeeper is responsible for all sections of zoo animals and oversees multiple concurrent projects such as: animal handling and training, animal veterinary needs, zookeeper aide volunteer program and work parties. This class is distinguished from the Zoo Supervisor in that the latter has full responsibility for supervising the staff of the entire Zoo Division.
Examples of Essential Duties
NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all the duties listed.
•Ensure the general health and safety of animals at the zoo/sanctuary.
•Train, direct, and oversee work of assigned staff and volunteers.
•Evaluate conditions and determine need for improvement in care or facility with respect to animal care.
•Determine diets and feeding methods and schedules.
•Determine the methods and schedules for cleaning and sanitizing exhibits and grounds.
•Determine need for and methods of capture and restraint.
•Develop and implement positive reinforcement training programs to decrease stress and veterinary expenses by training animals for procedures such as weighing, crating, presenting body parts, accepting vaccines / blood draws and other procedures.
•Implement emergency procedures.
•Maintain records; prepare correspondence.
•Oversee safety of public, staff, and animals; ensure the safe and proper behavior of visitors.
•Inventory and order food, equipment, and supplies.
•Assist in preparation of annual budget; act as custodian for the zoo petty cash fund.
•Recommend design, placement, and renovation of exhibits; observe maintenance, repair, and/or new construction work within the zoo.
•Oversee and conduct minor repair and landscape work on exhibits and grounds.
•Screen and select volunteers for work in the zoo.
•Represent zoo and make presentations in various forums; participate on various commissions, boards, and/or committees; provide guided tours to groups.
•Train and schedule subordinate zookeeping staff and volunteers.
•Recommend decisions on veterinary care and euthanasia and coordinate veterinary care.
•Oversee animal care issues and make recommendations to Zoo Supervisor.
•Observe the general health and well-being of animals and document any changes or problems.
•Oversee docent animal handling program and offsite animal events.
•Oversee Zoo operations in the absence of Zoo Supervisor.
•Train zookeepers to administer medications and supplements as prescribed by veterinarians and standard zookeeping practices.
•Establish standards and train zookeepers and volunteers to clean and sanitize animal exhibits, food preparation, and storage areas and equipment, prepare diets and feed animals; observe food consumption patterns and behavior.
•Restrain or capture animals.
•Monitor the behavior of the public and correct unsafe behavior.
•Perform media relations as requested by Supervisor.
•Work on special projects and perform related duties as assigned
Employment Standards
NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Essential Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:
•Zoo procedures, operations, and safety.
•Proper care and feeding of a wide variety of wild and domestic animals, with emphasis on native North American wildlife; methods of managing, restraining, handling and training captive wild animals and domestic animals.
•Basic principles and practices of managing, planning, and scheduling work.
•Tools, materials, and equipment used in the humane care of captive wild animals as well as domestic animals.
•Knowledge of positive reinforcement training with exotic, native and domestic animal species and how to teach it to staff/volunteers.
•Dangers and precautions to be taken when handling potentially dangerous animals.
•Basic veterinary first aid and support skills.
•Alternative medicine techniques, treatments, and therapies for captive wildlife and domestic animals.
•Principles and practices of mentoring, coaching and training.
•Philosophy and objectives of the Zoo and Sanctuary professions and of the purpose, use and benefits of various elements of the program.
•Principles and techniques of planning and organizing within the animal care field.
•Animal behavior, health and enrichment methods, including basic and routine animal veterinary needs.
•Safe practices and techniques in the Zoo field, proper safety protocols, practices and techniques, including the use of capture and restraint methods, and how to teach these to the staff.
•Methods, materials, practices, equipment, and tools used in minor zoo and facility maintenance work.
•Animal behavior, illnesses, symptoms, and basic physiology.
•Sanitation and disinfection techniques.
•Federal and state laws and regulations regarding zoo animals.
•Basic first aid and CPR.
•Basic budgeting and purchasing procedures.
•Grounds maintenance requirements within a zoo environment.
•Common word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.
Ability to:
•Maintain zoo animals, exhibits, and work areas in a clean, safe, and healthy condition.
•Ability to use positive reinforcement training and teach it to staff/volunteers.
•Identify injury, illness, or poor condition in animals; discern veterinary medical emergencies from urgent or minor needs.
•Research and modify animal diets based on species, individual needs, and body condition; research appropriate diets, alternative medicine, or supportive therapy techniques and work with practitioners specializing in those techniques.
•Train, instruct and oversee assigned zoo staff and volunteers in proper zoo maintenance and safety protocols.
•Speak to groups regarding status of zoo animals.
•Represent the zoo in public forums, including oral presentations.
•Maintain composure and control in emergency situations that may involve animals, staff, or public.
•Hold regular emergency drills with staff.
•Research, plan, organize and implement animal care.
•Utilize computer systems and software.
•Promote and enforce safe work practices.
•Coordinate with community service groups, volunteers and animal professionals.
•Effectively communicate verbally and in writing.
•Maintain zoo animals, exhibits, and work areas in a clean, safe, and healthy condition.
•Make minor exhibit repairs and modifications.
•Maintain adequate discipline among people visiting the zoo.
•Instruct and oversee volunteers in proper zoo maintenance.
•Maintain written logs and reports; write memos, letters, and reports.
•Effectively communicate verbally and in writing.
•Perform basic math.
•Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Education and Pre-requisites

Minimum Qualifications
Any combination of experience and education that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

Minimum Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree in zoology, biology, wildlife management, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university is desirable. Note: Education may be substituted with Zookeeping experience on a year for year basis.

Two (2) years of full-time experience as a Zookeeper II with the City of Folsom
Four (4) years of full-time experience as a Zookeeper I with the City of Folsom
Five (5) years of full –time experience in the care, handling, and feeding of animals in a zoo or sanctuary setting.

License, Certificate, Registration Requirements:
Possession of, or the ability to obtain and retain, a California Class C driver license by the time of appointment. Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to a disability will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Physical Requirements:
Work is performed in an outdoor environment on a year-round basis. (1) Mobility: frequent performance of moderate manual labor; frequent standing or walking for long periods of time; frequent bending or squatting; frequent driving of vehicles. (2) Lifting: frequent lifting up to 50 pounds; occasional lifting up to 75 pounds. (3) Vision: constant use of overall vision. (4) Dexterity: frequent grasping, holding, and reaching. (5) Hearing/Talking: frequent hearing and talking in person. (6) Emotional/Psychological: frequent coworker and public contact; occasional working alone. (7) Environmental: frequent exposure to loud noise; frequent exposure to chemicals and fumes; frequent exposure to dangerous wild animals that may carry diseases or parasites.

Other Requirements:
Must be willing and available to work flexible schedules including nights, weekends and holidays.

Compensation and benefits

$55,579.47 – $84,823.20 Annually
Job Type
Full Time Permanent
The City of Folsom offers a wide range of employee benefits. Click here for a summary of benefits for our Miscellaneous employees. For specific benefit information, refer to the labor agreements (MOUs) of each bargaining unit.

Application instructions

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