The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.


Animal Care Keeper - Rhino Savanna

The Living Desert is seeking qualified candidates to join our Animal Care team as an Animal Care Keeper- Rhino Savanna. This is a key, visible, front-line position that requires a motivated, dedicated team player who is willing to make a significant commitment to the organization. We are looking for an individual with strong organizational, decision making, and task management skills while demonstrating ability to work effectively with all levels of staff in a continually changing atmosphere.


The Animal Care team is expected to support the Zoo in its mission “to support desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.” If you are looking for an animal care keeper position and want to help the Zoo achieve a forward-thinking vision of a modern zoo, deliver world class care and has an inclusive culture, we are the place for you. We are looking for team members who have the ability to make good decisions regarding the welfare of animals, staff and guests while working for the greater good of the zoo. Cooperative and collaborative team members with a great guest service attitude will thrive here.


Position Summary:

Reports to Animal Care Curator. The rhino savanna keepers will oversee the animals in the newly built Crossroads of Conservation multi-species habitat with a breeding pair of black rhino, small antelope and a variety of birds. These keepers will manage this area with a land management concept incorporating some traditional methods of managing animals. The smaller animals will be allowed free choice in either of the two separated yards with the option of rotating rhinos between the two yards. This area will have a rhino interaction area that will be facilitated by the animal care team. Guests will be able to get up close, feed, scratch, bathe, etc. a rhino for an extra fee. Due to the high complexity of this habitat the animal care team will need to have a high skill level in operant conditioning and animal observations.


Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

· Must represent The Living Desert in a professional manner, and act as a role model at all times

· General knowledge of zoo animal husbandry, natural history and observational skills

· Ability to use critical thinking skills to trouble shoot issues and reveal solutions to move the animal team forward

· Participates with the daily behavioral husbandry, operant conditioning and enriching experiences of animal collection

· Ability to remain calm under pressure and remain levelheaded in emergency situations

· Keep accurate and detailed records of daily observations of area collection animals containing information regarding behavior, diet intake, fecal output, behavior, health, weight, breeding, aggression, behavioral enrichment, capture/restraint, prescribed medical treatments in-house

· Attend and participate in staff meetings to discuss the needs of the animal collection and animal staff, resolve challenges, and learn new procedures and policies

· Familiar with USDA and AZA regulations and comply with them

· Contribute and maintain a safe, positive and productive workplace environment for animals, guests and staff

· Diet/meal preparation, feeding and restocking of feed supplies

· Daily cleaning of animal enclosures, service areas, holding units, and support areas utilizing various tools, instruments, disinfectants; and with the ability to do so safely

· General maintenance of habitats, service/support areas and holding units such as: fence/enclosure repair, furniture, mister system, automatic drinkers, shade cloth, fill holes, etc. Complete monthly containment checks and minor repairs as needed on enclosures.

· Research the animal natural history; observe and recognize a variety of courtship behaviors; creates environments that induce breeding where appropriate and recommended design options

· Strong organizational and communication skills with the ability to accurately report daily information written, orally and with computer programs

· Maintain assigned areas and holding units to ensure animal, keeper, and guest safety, and are in good appearance paying attention to detail for guest viewing at all times

· Excellent guests service and communication skills for effective & engaging public speaking; Gives knowledgeable and engaging tour/talks for guests, staff, and donors

· Ability to work with potentially dangerous animals under the Two Key/Two Lock/Two Keeper and Lock Out Tag Out Engineering Control systems


Minimum Qualifications:

· AA, AS or higher degree in Zoology, Biology, Animal Science or other related degree and at least one year of exotic animal experience. Bachelor degree preferred.

· Experience with animal training and public presentations a plus. Avian experience also a plus but not required.

· Will substitute training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skill, and abilities. Generally, one year of full time exotic animal experience will translate to one year of college.

· Valid California driver license.

· Must be insurable on The Living Desert's automobile policy.

Working Conditions:

· Standing, walking, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, reaching motions, lifting (up to 50#)

· Exposure to extreme heat, chemicals and dust/airborne materials.

· Works with potentially dangerous animals (large ungulates, carnivores, venomous snakes)

· Holiday, evening, weekend work required. Available on as needed basis for emergencies and events.


To apply for this position:

If you want to join this team at one of the best zoos in North America please send resume, three (3) references and cover letter to Jared Moeller, Animal Care Curator at Cover letter should include how you will be key in moving the Animal Department forward and how you will move The Living Desert mission forward. Positions will remain open until filled.


Please add which position you are applying for in the subject heading in your email.

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