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Carnivore Keeper (part time)

Posted: June 5, 2024 Expired: November 27, 2023
Nashville Zoo
High School 1 Year

Nashville Zoo

Carnivore Keeper (part time)

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Position Description

Position Title:  Carnivore Keeper (part time)

Department:  Mammal

Supervisor: Carnivore Area Supervisor, Mammal Curator

Position Status: Part-time, nonexempt        

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 Carnivore Supervisor, keepers perform a wide range of functions in the Mammal 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.

Preference will be given to applicants with demonstrated experience (specifically with Sumatran tiger, Andean bears, clouded leopards, anteaters, binturongs, and civets) in the following areas:

•          2+ year(s) of comprehensive carnivore experience

•          Advanced operant conditioning

•          Capture and restraint

•          Introductions

•          Breeding & group dynamics for social and solitary carnivores

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.
  • Disposes of trash and debris in zoo.
  • Maintains landscaping and grounds for and around habitats.
  • Services and maintains tools and equipment and facilities to ensure safe use, includes opening and closing of facilities.
  • Follows all safety rules and regulations, policies and procedures. Attends regular safety meetings.
  • Assists with training for new keepers or seasonal staff as assigned.
  • 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 (nail trims, etc.) as assigned.



  • Skill in the use and maintenance of tools and equipment.
  • Ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
  • Knowledge of animal diet preparation, general biology, and behavior.
  • Knowledge of maintenance methods and materials.
  • 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.

Education/ Experience:

  • Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years of full-time, paid, exotic animal experience, with at least 1 year of Carnivore intensive experience. Experience in an AZA accredited zoo is preferred.
  • Applicants must have a college degree (Associates or Bachelors) in an applicable field: Animal Science, Biology, Zoology, etc. or a combination of education and experience
  • Applicants must possess a valid drivers license

Physical Responsibilities:

  • This is an outdoor position; applicants will work outside year-round in inclement weather conditions such as extreme high/low temperatures, snow and rain conditions. 
  • Stand, sit, or walk for an extended period of time 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 position, averaging 25-30 hours per week.

8-hour shift or either 10-hour shifts on various days of the week.

Flexibility: Position may require flexibility in working hours to accommodate special events, emergencies, or animal care needs.

Must be able to periodically adjust schedule as needed.

Must 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 Mammal Department must be full vaccinated against COVID-19.

How to Apply

Nashville Zoo
3777 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, TN 37211

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