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Carnivore Keeper

Posted: June 1, 2024 Expired: November 27, 2023
Nashville Zoo
High School

Nashville Zoo

Carnivore Keeper

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Position Description

Position Title:  Ambassador Animal Keeper- Encounters

Department:  Behavioral Husbandry          

Supervisor: Ambassador Animal Encounters- Area Supervisor

Position Status: Part Time, Fill In

Company Overview:

Nashville Zoo is dedicated to inspiring a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation, and leadership. With a diverse collection of animals and a commitment to wildlife preservation, we provide engaging experiences for visitors of all ages.


Under general supervision by Ambassador Animal Encounters Area Supervisor, keepers perform a wide range of functions in the Behavioral Husbandry Department at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. Their primary responsibilities include husbandry of assigned collection as well as maintaining and cleaning animal exhibits, yards, night enclosures, and contiguous areas, operant conditioning of collection for husbandry behaviors and providing enrichment. In addition, the Ambassador Animal Keeper joins the rest of the team in presenting on site encounters, behind the scenes tours, special event presentations, media, and other on and off site programs which utilize ambassador animals as needed. The Ambassador Animal Keeper must be able to work weekends, evenings, and holidays.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provides care (prepares diets for, feeds and cleans) for animals and maintains habitats, related structures, and surrounding non-public areas.
  • Perform daily observation of animals to identify normal and abnormal behaviors related to husbandry/health issues; coordinate with senior staff on animal training programs to facilitate husbandry behaviors.
  • Communicate questions or concerns regarding medical/health issues of specimens in collection to supervisor. Assist with treatment as directed, including administering medication.
  • Provides behavioral and psychological enrichment for animals.
  • Communicate with visitors as needed for educational (delivers public talks/demos) and behavioral/safety purposes.
  • Maintains landscaping and grounds for and around habitats.
  • Services and maintains tools, equipment and facilities to ensure safe use (includes opening and closing of facilities).
  • Follows all safety rules and regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Work closely with volunteers and other zoo staff.
  • Documents observations and information on animal health, behavior, diet, enrichment, and facilities for department records.
  • Assists with veterinary procedures if needed. Performs basic health care procedures as assigned.



  • Knowledge of safety practices, animal care, and handling exotic & domestic animals.
  • Knowledge of animal diet preparation, general biology, and behavior.
  • Ability to receive, understand, and carry out verbal and written instruction, direction, and assignments.
  • Ability to perform physical work activities in varying weather conditions.
  • Ability to communicate and cooperate with employees and to deal with the public in an effective and positive manner.
  • Ability to work without direct supervision.
  • Ability to write and present professional presentations.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with the public and comfortable with public speaking.

Education/ Experience:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Biology, Zoology, Environmental Education, or related field desired.
  • At least three years’ experience in animal husbandry, handling, and training with exotic animals in a professional setting is required.
  • At least one year of experience in presentations, speaking, or theater required.

Physical Responsibilities:

  • Ability to work indoors in temperatures of 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round in high humidity and outdoors in temperatures ranging from below 20 to above 90 degrees Fahrenheit regularly.
  • Stand, sit, or walk for an extended period or for an entire work shift. Applicants are required to have the ability to bend, stoop and extend oneself etc., as required for performing assigned tasks. 
  • Move, lift, carry, push, pull, and place objects weighing less than or equal to 50 pounds without assistance.

Work Schedule:

  • Part-time, fill in position: covering shifts for other keepers who are out.
  • Flexibility: Position may require flexibility in working hours to accommodate special events, emergencies, or animal care needs.
  • Must have flexibility to be available to work weekends.


Nashville Zoo offers a comprehensive benefits package to full-time employees, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, Employee Assistance Programs, a 401(k) plan with company match, paid time off, sick leave, long-term disability coverage, park discounts, and membership benefits.

Pre-employment requirements:

Nashville Zoo is an EEO Institution and a Drug Free Workplace.

At-will employment

Candidates for this position are required to submit to a criminal background check and pass a drug test.

Candidates for this position are subject to yearly Tuberculosis Screenings.

Due to the safety of our animal collection, candidates joining our Behavioral Husbandry Department must be full vaccinated against COVID-19.

How to Apply

Nashville Zoo
3777 Nolensville Pike
Mount Juliet, TN 37122

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