Jobs in America

Animal Keeper

Oakland Zoo
2 Year

This job necessitates a minimum of 24 months of practical experience in the same field. Oakland Zoo is hiring for full time positions with opportunities for professional development. Since the salary is not disclosed by the employer, you can discuss it during negotiations. While this position is based in Oakland, the company is open to the possibility of hiring remote workers who meet the qualifications. The job offer for Animal Keeper was released on May 4, 2024, and it will expire on June 1, 2024. The workplace is located at Oakland , CA , Oakland , CA.

Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo (managed by The Conservation Society of California) is an award-winning facility stretching 100 acres and overlooking the city of Oakland atop the hills of beautiful Knowland Park. Oakland Zoo deepens connection with animals, saves wildlife, and inspires champions for the natural world.

Animal Keeper

The Animal Keeper is responsible for the physical health and psychological well-being of the animals directly under their care.  Work ranges from the physical tasks associated with feeding and maintenance of living areas to more analytical tasks of extensive record keeping and problem solving.  The animal keeper is expected to develop a comprehensive knowledge of the natural history and captive management of the species under their care, to conduct ongoing assessment of their physical and psycho-social needs, and to design and implement plans to address these needs. They must possess sound judgement in the care of wild animals, to both act and communicate appropriately. Teamwork skills are critical to cooperative and effective relationships with co-workers, volunteers, and supervisors, and other Zoo staff and guests. They are expected to implement Department/Zoo priorities as well as demonstrate the initiative and expertise to regularly find ways to make improvements. They are expected to train, guide and supervise junior staff, apprentice keepers, interns, and volunteers as appropriate. They must also be able to appropriately represent the Zoo in a variety of public settings including press interviews, instructional classes, Behind the Scene Tours and informal communications with Zoo guests. 

This string includes Sun Bears, Flamingos, Wallaroos, Wallabies, Emu, Pudu, Siamang, Cotton-Top Tamarins, Amazon Parrots, Hadada Ibis and Spoonbills.

  • Knowledge of animal(s) natural history, behavior, and captive management – able to assess safety risks and act accordingly. Thorough understanding and compliance with safety and emergency response protocols.
  • Provide daily care and husbandry to assigned species such as diet preparation, feeding, shifting individuals and/or groups, cleaning and disinfecting animal facilities
  • Knowledge of animal(s) natural history, behavior, and captive management – able to assess physical and psychological wellbeing or individuals and social groups, able to provide appropriate adjustments to management, training, enrichment, and/or facility as appropriate
  • Animal training knowledge and skill- ability to complete Trainer Level 1 within first six months of position, able to effectively and efficiently training animals for management, husbandry and medical care
  • Maintenance of Service Areas and animal facilities to Zoo standards, including meeting or exceeding USDA and AZA standards.
  • Train new staff, Apprentice Keepers, interns, and volunteers
  • Identify needed maintenance, grounds and horticulture work where possible do the work. If not write the appropriate work order and then manage the work of staff or contractors in and around animal areas.
  • Knowledge of landscape maintenance, including using proper techniques for maintaining trees, shrubs, turf, hardscapes, and other environmental features in and around animal spaces.
  • Behind the Scene Tours, press interviews, instructional classes, and casual communication with Zoo guests.
  • Possible participation as a trained and certified member of the Emergency Immobilization Team, Animal Dispatch Team, Gondola Rescue team
  • Supervise junior staff, Apprentice keepers, Interns and volunteers in task associated with daily string operations.   

Experience Required

Minimum of one year full time or 2,080 hours experience in the care of captive wildlife in the zoo field (preferably at an AZA or GFAS facility), great ape experience strongly preferred Able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. (i.e. feed sack) and move a minimum of 120lbs. (i.e. hay bale) Able to walk long distances on uneven terrain in variable environmental conditions (e.g., steep, muddy, etc.) Valid driver’s license and clean driving record Willingness to work outside normal business hours including weekends and holidays Knowledge of the habits and hazards of working with wild, dangerous animals; willingness to work with some physical risk while observing proper safety precautions The Oakland Zoo requires COVID vaccination* Bonus if you have... Experience with macropods, birds, and primates a plus 2 years of experience preferred Knowledge and experience in behavioral training theory and practical application Ability to inspire guests in casual (e.g., one on one) and formal (i.e., programs) venues to take action for conservation Bachelor’s degree in zoology, biology or a related field

Further Comments

This position is subject to a collective bargaining agreement


Comprehensive benefits package includes medical, dental, life insurance, PTO (Paid Time Off) and 403B retirement benefits.



How to Apply

Applicants must submit a resume, and 3 professional references (at least one supervisor).

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Candidates not meeting minimum requirements may not receive a response.

Applicants selected for candidacy are required to attend an on-site working interview.

Working interviews to be conducted from May 24 - May 31.

Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf Links Rd
Oakland, CA 94605
Phone: 510-632-9525

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