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Celebrating 50 Years of Adventure
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.


Veterinary Technician

The Living Desert is seeking qualified candidates to join our Veterinary Care team as a Veterinary Technician. This is a full-time position which assists in the administration of the zoo’s animal health program and wildlife confiscations. The technician works closely with the Veterinarians to provide exemplary health care for animals across diverse taxonomies. The successful candidate will participate in multiple aspects of veterinary medicine in order to provide uncompromising excellence in animal care, welfare, and guest engagement.


The Veterinary Care team is the primary animal health team for The Living Desert animal collection and wildlife confiscations. The veterinary care team:

- Practices high quality medicine and maintains exceptional professional standards.

- Has great enthusiasm for the profession of zoological medicine.

- Adheres to the highest animal welfare standards and works as a team.

- Performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that will move TLD into the future.


The Veterinary 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. Successful candidates will have strong task management and organizational skills, be detail-oriented, and able to work in a consistently changing atmosphere.


Position Summary:

Reports to Veterinarians. This position facilitates and assists with medical and surgical procedures, anesthesia, and diagnostic imaging for the over 500 animals that call the zoo home.


Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

· General knowledge of zoo animal and wildlife husbandry

· Maintains hospital inventory, including controlled drugs

· Helps maintain and implement preventive medicine schedules

· Maintains timely and accurate medical records in ZIMS and other record systems

· Processes and ships samples to reference laboratories

· Performs laboratory analyses (including, but not limited to, fecal examinations, urinalysis, CBC, and cytology)

· Maintains hospital and hospital equipment in clean and working repair

· Provides nursing care for patients, including patient observations; communicates daily with veterinarians regarding animals under care

· Provides husbandry and veterinary care to wildlife from government confiscations

· Understands and utilizes proper radiology techniques, positioning, and radiation safety

· Has the ability to handle and restrain a variety of animals, including wildlife confiscations

· Understands the contemporary practice standards of zoo veterinary care particularly as established by the AAZV and as practiced in AZA accredited institutions

· Has knowledge of zoonotic diseases that may affect the collection animals, personnel, and guests

· Collaborates with Animal Care staff to implement operant conditioning for husbandry/veterinary procedures

· Provides mentorship and feedback to veterinary and veterinary technician students

· Provides assistance to other departments as needed

· Communicates effectively both orally and written, and maintains open communications with both the Veterinary Care and Animal Care Teams

· Interacts with guests courteously and effectively while representing TLD at the highest standard of professionalism

· Assures hospital and associated facilities are ready to provide medical care in an emergency

· Possesses excellent observational skills, active listening, and strong organizational skills

· Has the ability to work with potentially dangerous animals and exercise sound judgement in emergency situations

· Readily performs other related responsibilities as necessary to accomplish department objectives


Minimum Qualifications, Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

· Graduation from an AVMA-accredited school of veterinary technology.

· Bachelor’s, AA or AS degree in Zoology, Biology, Animal Science or other related degree preferred. (Will substitute training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skill, and abilities. Generally, one year of paid full-time animal husbandry experience substitutes for one year of college level work.)

· Minimum of 2 years of experience as a licensed veterinary technician; 1-2 years of experience with exotic and/or zoo animals is preferred

· Must be a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) in the state of California, or obtain CA licensure within 6 months of hire.

· Prefer exotic or zoo animal experience but will substitute experience with domestic animal practice that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

· Must obtain a valid California driver’s license within 3 months of hire.

· 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.

· Travel opportunities for conferences, workshops and/or conservation projects as appropriate. Some or all expenses paid.


To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must send resume, three (3) references and cover letter to Dr. Andrea Goodnight, Head Veterinarian 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. Deadline for submissions: Monday February 15th 5pm (PST)

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

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