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


Animal Care Keeper

Job Title:  Animal Care Keeper

Department: Animal

Level: 5

Exemption: Non-Exempt

Level of Authority:

Reports to: Animal Care Curator, Animal Care Supervisor

Supervises: Volunteers, Interns

Position Summary:

The Animal Care Keeper is an energetic front-line staff position responsible within a routine to provide the highest quality daily care, husbandry and behavioral management of a defined portion of The Living Desert’s (TLD) animal collections, and is responsible for the daily care of assigned animal habitats and other associated animal facilities. 

The Animal Care team is expected to support the Zoo in its mission “to support desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.”  The team will help the Zoo achieve a forward-thinking vision of a modern zoo and inclusive culture.

A TLD animal care keeper is an example to others while working towards an improved future and shared vision within TLD.  This position educates, engages and provides exemplary guest service experiences for all Zoo guests through various programs, activities and continuous guest interaction as outlined by Animal management.  Each Animal Care Keeper is encouraged to lead from where they are, bring innovative ideas forward and provide a high level of well-being for each individual.

This person must have the ability to make good decisions regarding the welfare of animals, staff and guests while working for the greater good of the zoo.  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.  This person must be a cooperative and collaborative team member with a great guest service attitude.

Americas Area Animal Care Keeper

The Americas keeper oversees a diverse range of animals in the Americas area which includes small and large carnivores (African and from the Americas regions), a variety of avian species including birds of prey, our Small Carnivore Breeding Center, Australian species, and a variety of reptiles (including venomous). This keeper who works in this area is skilled in, or open to, learning operant conditioning of animals including for guest connections in a dynamic and modern approach. Specifically, this keeper will be directly learning the care and wellness of: cougar, foxes, caracal, Mexican gray wolf, Chacoan peccary, meerkat, fennec fox, and a variety of multi-species North American and African Aviaries.

Job description is a summary of the typical duties of the role, not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks and duties.

Animal Care Keeper Tasks, Duties & Responsibilities:





Guest Engagement:


Professional Development Opportunity:

Animal Care Keepers are eligible to apply for Professional Development through the Keeper Excursion Program.  Eligibility will depend on overall standing as a positive and productive team member.



Equipment Used:

PC computer, general office equipment, telephone, radio, electric and gas cart, vehicles including medium to heavy equipment such as bobcat, tractor, pepper spray (Counter Assault Bear Deterrent),rake, shovel, wheel barrow, catch pole, capture net, baffle board, snake hook, weight scale, garden hose, small hand held and power tools such as hammer, screwdriver, drill, wire cutters etc.


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. Work with potentially dangerous animals (i.e. large ungulates, carnivores, venomous animals).

HOLIDAY WORK: Holiday and weekend work required.

TRAVEL: Occasional conference and workshop attendance available, if funding available. Some or all expenses paid.


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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