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


Animal Care Keeper

The Living Desert

Animal Care Keeper

Job Posting





The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is seeking an enthusiastic and progressive team member to join our Animal Department Team as a full-time Animal Care Keeper responsible for supporting The Living Desert’s mission in desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.

The Animal Care Keeper maintains the welfare of the park’s assigned animal collection and its environment in accordance with The Living Desert’s welfare standards which includes applying daily operant conditioning and behavioral modification techniques, progressing animal husbandry, and interacting with the public to enhance guest experience.

Successful candidates will possess professionalism and excellent communication, decision making, and organizational skills. This team member must be creative, dedicated, and a self-motivated team player to function effectively in a team environment and who is willing to make a significant commitment to the organization.

Our new team member will have the opportunity to develop a career in an innovative and dynamic environment. The ideal candidate must have the ability to accept challenges, demonstrate adaptability and desire to grow, follow the lead of management and zoological goals, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment, and must value fun.

Position Summary:

Reports directly to an Animal Care Curator.  Directly supervises interns and volunteers.


The Animal Care Keeper is a front-line staff position responsible for the daily care and behavioral management of a defined animal care string within the “Americas” section of the zoo. This individual will work in a dynamic and innovative team within the following NEW areas: Australia walk through and Camel Experience.


This section’s responsibilities primarily include a variety of Australian mammals, birds, reptiles, and camels  with cross-training (as needed) in other strings which are comprised of a large group of desert species (from a variety of taxa), which includes small mammals and carnivores including cheetah, cougar, jaguar, bobcat, Mexican wolf, foxes, and a variety of avian species and reptiles (some venomous).


This is a key guest interactive position that requires an outgoing, creative, confident, self-motivated team player who is willing to make a significant commitment to the organization.  This position requires an enthusiastic individual with strong guest engagement skills, and the ability to work in a fast-paced work environment.  This individual must value fun and have some prior experience with animals in a guest setting.






Duties and Responsibilities:


General Skills:

Minimum Qualifications:


Working Conditions:


To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must send cover letter, resume and three (3) professional references to:


Heather Down, Animal Care Curator, The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260   or by e-mail:


Include in cover letter how you will help move The Living Desert forward in your role as an Animal Care Keeper. Please write “Animal Care Keeper- Americas” in subject line of email.  Open until filled.