Job Postings

Parks Animal Keeper


OC Zoo, Irvine Regional Park, Orange, CA.

Closing Date
January 31, 2023

OC Zoo has a current vacancy for a Parks Animal Keeper. The Parks Animal Keeper will work under general direction of the Zoo Director, Zoo Curator and Senior Parks Animal Keepers. This is a professional position, requiring experience and working knowledge of exotic animals and how to take care of them. The Parks Animal Keeper must complete the daily tasks in a timely fashion with minimal supervision, keep detailed daily records, and be proficient in observing animals and their behaviors. The OC Zoo staff members are committed to providing a high-quality operation of animal care and a pleasant visitor experience. The Parks Animal Keeper duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to the following:
Specific Responsibilities:
• Observing and carrying out all basic aspects of the daily care of animals.
• Reporting any observed health or behavioral abnormalities to Zoo Curator and Veterinarian
• Following all approved operation procedures listed in string duty assignments.
• Participating and developing programs focused on enhancing the guest experience.
• Giving presentations to the general public and engage with park visitors by discussing animal natural history, natural habitats, status of animals in the wild, care and feeding of animals and other topics of interest.
• Preparing accurate and detailed records and logs and maintaining monthly reports.
• Cleaning, maintaining and conducting minor repairs to assigned animal habitats.
• Inspecting, cleaning, and conducting minor repairs to assigned animal habitats.
• Inspecting, cleaning, and maintaining public walks, paths, zoo grounds, plants and animal enclosures.
• Maintaining manuals regarding duties/cares of assigned animals.
• Training employees and/or volunteers on proper care of animals, as well as, delegating tasks as needed.
• Utilizing hand tools, rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and minor power tools to fix, enhance, clean, and maintain animal habitats and enclosures.
• Assisting veterinarian during visits and administering medications, monitoring injuries and healing when needed.

Education and Pre-requisites

The ideal candidate will possess at least five years of experience working with animals, providing animal enrichment, record keeping, and maintaining best practices concerning animal husbandry in a zoological setting with at least three years, specifically working at a public/private zoo, wildlife sanctuary, or animal breeding facility. Experience with birds, mammals, and reptiles, including venomous, is highly desirable for this current vacancy. A Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, Biology, Natural Sciences, or a related field is highly desirable.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Daily cleaning, feeding, medicating, training, and conducting enrichment activities for assigned animals.
• Utilizing operations manuals for details regarding proper care and updating feeding and medication instructions.
• Understanding of accreditation standards, USDA and California Fish and Wildlife regulations as they pertain to caring for animals and ensuring they are health and their habitats are in compliance.
• Practical experience with maintaining habitats to ensure they are clean and free of dangerous items that may cause harm to the animals. This would include but limited to: removing old debris and animal stool, replacing bedding, inspecting enclosures, adding dirt, raking, mowing lawns, changing perching, seeding lawns, maintaining pump systems, cleaning and disinfecting enrichment toys.
• Working as a team to ensure proper coverage in areas and assisting when needed for training and engagement activities.

Physical Demands:
Strength to pull, drag, lift, and carry up to 50 pounds for 50 feet. Strength to handle, restrain, and maneuver large animals, including livestock, from one area to another or into a trailer for transport. Strength to capture, secure, handle and restrain a variety of animal, which may be physically uncooperative and aggressive. Agility to walk, run, physically maneuver oneself to capture and avoid injury by various animals. Ability to stand for extended periods. Body mobility to walk and run on uneven ground, climb stairs, bend, twist, reach, kneel, squat, and crawl to catch animals. Manual dexterity to handwrite paperwork and use a computer. Vision is sufficient to read the standard text and fine print, a computer screen, see animals at a distance, determine the depth, and to distinguish colors and body language. Hear well enough to hear the approach of an animal or sounds emitted by animals.

Compensation and benefits

Job Status: Full time, permanent
Schedule: Five – 8 hours/day shifts. Rotate days off every three months. Typical shift is 7:30am to 4:30pm.
Rate of Pay: $22.08 – $29.78 hourly

Application instructions

Please apply online at Only online applications will be accepted. The recruitment will remain open continuously until the needs of the County of Orange County are met. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply immediately.