Job Title: Wildlife Rehabilitation Keeper (Part-Time)

Division: Animal

Department: Veterinary Care Services


Exemption: Non-exempt

Level of Authority:

Reports to: Veterinarian

Supervises: Volunteers

Position Summary:

The Living Desert is seeking a qualified candidate to join the Veterinary Care Services and Animal Care Teams as a part-time Wildlife Rehabilitation Keeper (2 days per week). This is a position that requires a motivated, hard-working team member who is enthusiastic about providing care for and promoting coexistence with our native wildlife. This individual must be an effective communicator with excellent guest service and possess the ability to work confidently and calmly in a dynamic environment.

This position provides care for injured, sick, or orphaned native wild animals that come through The Living Desert’s Native Wildlife Conservation Program (NWCP). This individual works as a team member with the primary rehab keeper, veterinary staff, and volunteers/interns, as well as with the larger Animal Care Team to uphold the mission of The Living Desert and the NWCP.

The Veterinary Services Team is considered the primary animal health team for The Living Desert animal collection and Rehabilitation facility.

* The Veterinary Services Team endeavors to practice state of the art veterinary medicine and maintain high standards of veterinary professionalism.

* The Veterinary Services Team must have great enthusiasm for the profession of zoological medicine.

* The Veterinary Services Team must adhere to the highest animal welfare standards, and utilize these in a team-oriented work style.

* The Veterinary Services Team performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that will move The Living Desert forward into the future.

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 Responsibilities and Duties include, but are not limited to:

* Upholds wildlife rehabilitation standards and policies, including maintaining a quiet, low-stress environment, following measures to prevent imprinting, and minimizing handling of patients.

* Provides daily care for wildlife rehab patients including handling/capture, (hand)feeding, medicating, cleaning, weighing, enriching, assessment for release.

* Observes and reports on general health, habits, behavior and appetite of rehab animals to Veterinarians/Veterinary Technicians

* Works with veterinary staff to treat illnesses and injuries.

* Provides humane euthanasia of wild animals, when appropriate.

* Maintains up-to-date record-keeping systems for patients.

* Upholds biosecurity measures to prevent disease transmission.

* Releases recovered patients to appropriate wild habitats.

* Interacts with community members: answering rehab phone calls and emails, speaking with finders in person when they bring an animal for rehabilitation.

* Interacts with zoo guests at the wildlife hospital during keeper chats.

* Promotes coexistence with wildlife.

* Oversees adult and teen volunteers and interns.

* Researches the natural history of desert species to provide best care.

* Writes success and topic of the month stories for the rehab information center.

* Maintains a clean rehab setting by washing and disinfecting dishes, enclosures, etc.

* Partakes in written and physical labor projects, performs routine maintenance.

* Safely works with rabies-vector species, after receiving pre-exposure inoculations.

* Communicates effectively with the full-time rehab keeper and veterinary staff to ensure timely information sharing

* Other related responsibilities as necessary to accomplish department objectives



* Bachelor’s 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 wildlife rehabilitation experience substitutes for one year of college level work.)

* Experience with wildlife rehabilitation is preferred although animal care experience with wild birds, small mammals, and reptiles is also beneficial.

* Ability to use computer programs, phone system, and hand-held radio.

* Excellent communication and guest service skills.

* Strong observational and decision-making skills.

* 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, medical equipment, standard capture equipment, small hand held 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 (carnivores, venomous animals) and potential for zoonotic disease exposure.

HOLIDAY WORK: Holiday, evening and weekend work required. Available on as needed basis for emergencies.

TRAVEL: Occasional off-site travel to release rehabilitated animals.


How to Apply:

Qualified applicants should send resume, cover letter and names and contact information for three (3) references to Dr. Andrea Goodnight, Head Staff Veterinarian, at

Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2018.

The Living Desert

47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260

(760) 346-5694




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.

Request Form

*required field