The Living Desert
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Hospital/Quarantine Care Keeper

Job Description
Job Title:      Hospital/Quarantine Care Keeper
Division:       Animal
Department: Veterinary Care Services
Level:           5
Exemption:  Non-exempt
Level of Authority:
Reports to:     Veterinarian, Hospital Supervisor/Veterinary Technician
Supervises:    Volunteers

Position Summary:
The Hospital/Quarantine Keeper is a front line staff responsible for the daily care of the hospital and quarantine animals and is considered a member of the Animal Health Team.  This includes the hospital and quarantine facilities and is considered a member of the Veterinary Services team.  This keeper is a motivated, energetic and positive team player who is willing to make a significant contribution to the organization. This position may also assist the Veterinarian and Veterinary technician in the performance of their duties.  The veterinary services team is considered the primary animal health team for The Living Desert animal collection and Rehab facility.

* The animal health team endeavors to practice state of the art veterinary medicine and maintain high standards of veterinary professionalism.
* The animal health team must have great enthusiasm for the profession of zoological medicine.
* The animal health team must have strong ethic and team-oriented work style.
* The animal health team performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that will move The Living Desert forward into the future.

This person must have the ability to make good decisions regarding the welfare of animals, staff and guests.  This person will support the Zoo in our mission “to support desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation” and will help the Zoo achieve a forward thinking vision of a modern zoo and inclusive culture.

Specific Tasks, Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Deliver uncompromising excellence in animal care, welfare and guest engagement
  • Observation and reporting on all assigned animals to Veterinarian and Animal Management
  • Feed, clean, and assess all animals brought into the hospital and quarantine
  • Ability to make good decisions regarding the welfare of animals, staff & guests
  • Work with a variety of species across all taxonomic classes on a regular basis
  • Communicate effectively to Veterinarian staff, Director of Animal Care and Animal Department management about animals under Hospital/Quarantine care
  • Coordinate with Animal Staff to move animals per quarantine process
  • Under guidance of Animal Department Management enrich and train animals in hospital/quarantine
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of animal housing areas
  • Observation and monitoring of animal behaviors
  • Collect routine fecals per quarantine protocol or as directed by Veterinarian
  • Preparation of animal diets and administers medications as directed
  • Capture and restraint of a variety of species
  • Report on general health, habits, behavior and appetite
  • Assist veterinarian and vet tech in preparing animals for surgery and other treatment as needed
  • Prepare/dismantle quarantine areas for incoming/outgoing animals
  • In absence of Veterinarian or Veterinarian Technician, evaluate health status of an animal, performs triage and contact necessary staff as needed
  • Document, file and recall accurate records as needed for hospital, quarantine, collection, rehab animals
  • Follow protocols to ensure quarantine animals remain separate from rest of collection
  • Excellent guests service and communication skills for effective & engaging public speaking.  Gives knowledgeable and engaging hospital tour/talks for guests, staff and donors
  • Assist with medical procedures as needed including but not limited to routine exams, surgeries, trims and necropsies
  • Maintain a safe and productive workplace for animals, staff and guests
  • Communication skills for effective working relationships with all Zoo staff and outside professionals. Courteous with guests, staff and volunteers at all times while representing the institution at the highest standard of professionalism
  • Ability to work alone with minimal supervision as well as being an effective team member
  • Maintain a positive, productive relationship with all Zoo staff and contribute to a positive work environment
  • Ability to follow instructions from Veterinarian/Animal Management
  • Provide assistance to other departments or areas as needed
  • Other related responsibilities as necessary to accomplish department objectives

Specific Skills:

  • In depth knowledge of zoo animal husbandry and observational skills
  • Ability to work with potentially dangerous animals.
  • Must be capable of emergency response handling to avoid injury to self, others, and animal.
  • Ability to enter accurately medical daily reports using MEDARKS/ZIMS and animal daily reports using in house computer program
  • General knowledge of computer applications including but not limited to Excel & ZIMS
  • Software literate in Microsoft Access, Word, Excel. ZIMS knowledge is a plus.
  • Good organizational, observation and active listening skills.
  • Ability to give and comprehend written and oral instructions, and to accurately carry out those instructions.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
  • Must be a motivated self-starter who needs minimal supervision and be able to work with others as a team.
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Ability to work at a fast pace while still paying attention to detail


  • Prefer AA, AS or higher degree in Animal Science, Biology, Zoology or other related degree. Prefer zoo or exotic animal care experience.
  • Veterinarian Technician certification/skills is a plus
  • Will substitute training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skill, and abilities. Generally, one year of paid full time exotic animal experience substitutes for one year of college level work.
  • Valid California driver’s license.
  • Must be insurable on The Living Desert’s automobile insurance.


Equipment Used:

  • PC computer, general office equipment, telephone, radio, vehicles including medium to heavy equipment, pepper spray (Counter Assault Bear Deterrent), medical equipment, standard capture equipment, small hand held and power tools.

Physical position Description:
Essential Physical Tasks: Standing, walking, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, reaching motions, lifting (up to 50lbs.).
Typical Working Conditions: Exposure to extreme heat, chemicals, and dust/airborne materials. Works with potentially dangerous animals (large ungulates, carnivores, venomous animals).
HOLIDAY WORK: Holiday, Evening and weekend work required. Available on as needed basis for emergencies.
TRAVEL: Occasional conference and workshop attendance available, if funding available. Some or all expenses paid.

Interested candidates please send resume to:

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the major responsibilities and requirements of this job. The incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification.

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