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Zoo Keeper - Penguins and Ambassador Animals

Posted: January 25, 2024 Expired: February 22, 2024
Little Rock Zoo
Little Rock
Associate Degree

Little Rock Zoo

Zoo Keeper - Penguins and Ambassador Animals

The Little Rock Zoo and the City of Little Rock is seeking a qualified individual to fill a position of Zoo Keeper in the Penguins and Ambassador Animals areas.  This position is under the direction of the area Curator working, not only with the penguins and ambassador penguins, but also with other ambassador animals for educational programs.  As primary Penguin Keeper, this position is responsible for the daily husbandry and exhibit maintenance which requires a valid Open Water Dive Certification through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).  This position is mainly responsible for the daily husbandry and exhibit maintenance in the areas, as well as daily guest encounters, shows, on-site programs, and off-site programs.  Positive and outgoing personalities are required.  The Zoo has many exciting changes that will be occurring over the coming years and it is a great time to join the team.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Provides overall daily care of assigned animal collection, to include penguins and other exotic animals utilized in zoo education programs and their habitats/exhibits at the Little Rock Zoo to ensure the health, safety, training and welfare of assigned animals are in compliance with all applicable guidelines, policies, procedures and standards to include the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) standards.
  • Cleans and maintains animal habitats, exhibits, holding areas, service areas and related enclosures utilizing disinfectants, water hoses, shovels, rakes, and various other hand tools in compliance with standards set by the Zoo, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and AZA; performs minor maintenance and repairs on animal enclosures; reports any defects that would endanger animals, staff or guests to appropriate personnel.
  • Prepares food and feeds animals according to established diets and assigned schedule; researches and recommends diet changes based various conditions, to include time of year, behavior and body condition of animals; implements approved changes.
  • Observes and monitors the general health and behavior of assigned animals for injuries or symptoms of disease, and changes in behavior; documents observations and information relative to animal health and behavior for departmental records; reports changes and abnormal behavior and problems to appropriate personnel; makes recommendations to improve animals' psychological and physiological well-being; implements approved changes.
  • Coordinates with Curator to develop animal behavioral and welfare objectives for animal training and enrichment activities, utilizing operant conditioning; provides species appropriate and approved behavior-based enrichment activities and training for all collection animals; evaluates animal enrichment plans and modifies objectives based on animal behaviors; documents and evaluates progress towards specific objectives to ensure compliance with USDA and AZA standards.
  • Conducts animal wellness evaluations on all animals of assigned collection in compliance with AZA standards; completes assessments and applicable documentation relative to major life events in coordination with Zoo Animal Registrar and Welfare Coordinator as required.
  • Maintains required husbandry records to include detailed narratives and charts on all daily worksheets, animal welfare, medical, training, and enrichment logs in compliance with established guidelines, policies and procedures.
  • Completes daily worksheets listing amount of food eaten, training performed and enrichment supplied, medications administered, changes in animal behavior, symptoms of disease or other indications of needs for special attention.
  • Enters animal behavioral observation data into Zoo software utilized by Little Rock Zoo and other AZA zoos to allow for comparisons between zoos of species specific behavior and activity levels.

Experience Required

These knowledge, skills, and abilities are usually, although not always, acquired through completion of an Associate’s Degree in Biology, Life Sciences, Zoology, or a related field and one (1) year of experience working as an animal care professional, to include the care of penguins and other exotic animals, in a zoological setting, utilized for educational programming, based on departmental need, or a related area. Equivalent combinations of education and experience will be considered.

How to Apply

Visit the City of Little Rock website or follow the link:

Zoo Keeper I (Penguins and Ambassadors) | Job Details tab | Career Pages (

Little Rock Zoo
1 Zoo Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205

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