Zoo New England

One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA 02121

Date Posted:
February 22, 2023

Eastern Massachusetts



Extern/Seasonal Zookeeper


Assist in the daily care and welfare of an assigned group of captive animals, while contributing to conservation, education, science, and customer service.

Priority given to applicants who apply in the first 14 day (on or before March 7, 2023)

Duties & Responsibilities

· Participates in the care and feeding of the animal collection, which may include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.

· Participates in preparing diets according to specifications, checking foodstuffs for spoilage, feeding animals according to procedures.

· Cleans exhibits and adjacent public areas to insure sanitary and safe conditions by hosing, scrubbing, sweeping, raking, shoveling, and disinfecting to remove manure, unconsumed food, litter, and foreign objects.

· Assists in shifting protected contact animals when directed by an attending zookeeper or supervisor; able to shift free contact animals as assigned.

· Observes animals for unusual behaviors or appearance, signs of illness or injury, aggression, breeding, births, egg laying, hatching, deaths, and eating habits. Report observations to attending zookeepers.

· When applicable, assists zookeepers in the artificial incubation of eggs and hand-raising of young by maintaining equipment and applying appropriate techniques to insure viability, health, and survival of eggs and hatchlings.

· Continuously monitors animal wellness. Provides approved behavioral and environmental enrichment in accordance with zoo policy. Cooperates with existing operant conditioning programs, and strictly follow procedures.

· Under the direction of his/her supervisor, assists Curators, zoo veterinarian and veterinary staff in capture and restraint of zoo specimens for medical procedures or animal transfers using appropriate techniques and equipment.

· Under the direction of his/her supervisor, medicates animals according to the veterinarian's instructions to insure adequate health maintenance of the collection including measuring out medication or putting medication in the food or water. Reports levels of medication and informs supervisor of refill needs.

· Under the direction of his/her supervisor, acclimates animals to exhibits, stalls, chutes, crates, halters or perches for use in medical procedures, transfers, or educational demonstrations.

· Under the direction of his/her supervisor, assists in transfer of animals by capturing, restraining, crating, and transporting.

· Adheres to ZNE Sustainability Policy and incorporates sustainability efforts into daily routines. Supports and promotes ZNE conservation initiatives.

· Maintains exhibits, public areas, off-exhibit holding areas and grounds. Records temperatures; reports equipment not working, uses power tools once trained, landscapes, and removes snow to provide access for staff and animals

· Interacts with and answers questions of zoo guests by providing information about zoo animals and policies, conducts tours and interviews as assigned to meet the education and guest relations needs of the zoo.

· Monitors working laborers and contractors for animal safety and watches animals for signs of stress.

· Attends safety training as required. Invited to attend keeper training and other professional development programs when offered, with supervisor approval

· Participates in formal and informal programs to educate the public.

· As assigned by his/her supervisor, assists in research projects designed to improve animal care.

· Participates in integrated pest control management as directed by the Pest Control Manager. May include, setting and clearing traps, and reporting problem areas

· Carries a two-way radio as assigned and handles it responsibly.

· Assists in department record-keeping by contributing to daily keeper reports, individual care charts, census forms, enrichment calendars, ASRs/event reports, and professional communications regarding all aspects of the collection’s maintenance.

· May be assigned to work in any area of either zoo.

· Performs related work as required and/or assigned.

· Inventories and submits requests for zoo equipment, supplies, feeds, and repair and maintenance materials, to his/her supervisor as needed.

· Participates in departmental meetings and makes suggestions regarding husbandry, exhibition, and development of standards and procedures.

· Responsible for informing coworkers and supervisors of operational and/or procedural changes in order to maintain good communications.

· Exhibits positive attitude, affect, attitude, articulation and affability, which will serve to enhance the performance of co-workers.

· Identifies and reports needed work orders to his/her supervisor.

· Participates in the care and feeding of the animal collection, which may include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.

· Participates in preparing diets according to specifications, checking foodstuffs for spoilage, feeding animals according to procedures.

Physical Demands

· Constantly moves about on foot from one animal area to another

· Frequently raises/lowers, transports, and positions heavy objects such as bags of grain and bales of hay weighing up to 50 pounds from truck to ground, from ground to barrels or pallets grasping with hands and arms, to maintain food stock and supplies

· Frequently reaches, pushes, pulls and throws objects with hands such as to open and close doors/gates, or deliver food stuffs to animals at a distance

· Frequently uses good balance to climb, ascend/descend stairs and ladders, works atop rockwork, and traverses uneven or slippery exhibit terrain to clean enclosures and feed animals

· Frequently stoops, kneels, or crouches to work, such as to clean, feed or observe animals

· Frequently converses with guests, co-workers and contractors to exchange accurate information for animal welfare, education and safety purposes. Must be able to inspect, detect and identify animal health and welfare concerns and safety issues using hearing (radio)

· Frequently inspects, detects and identifies animal health and welfare concerns and safety issues using, sight (including color identification to see blood in stools), and smell (to detect moldy food stuffs, change in stools, etc.)

Work Conditions

· Constantly working in outdoor climatic conditions including rain, extreme cold or heat, and humidity

· Frequently working around moving mechanical parts such as hydraulic doors, fans, pumps, heaters, etc.

· Frequently exposed to and working in close contact with a variety of exhibit animals (including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects), animal waste, dander, feathers, hay, dust, allergens and contagious diseases

· Frequently working around electric fencing

· Occasionally working in small spaces with loud animals

· Frequently handling toxic and/or hazardous materials for cleaning enclosures and medicating animals

· Occasionally working in confined or cramped spaces

· Frequently working from an elevated position

· Occasionally assist in emergencies with high stress situations, e.g., Fire, hazmat, animal incident (Animal Recovery or Crowd Control Unit), human health or injury, natural disaster, criminal incident, resource loss or compromise, or emergency assistance to guests as directed


Minimum Job Requirements

  • Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

· TB tested negative within the previous12 monthsbefore starting,if working in primate areas, and testedevery 3 years thereafter; fully vaccinated for COVID-19

· Good work history.

· Must speak and read English, and possess written and oral communication skills to understand instructions and information of a technical nature.

· Must have the ability and willingness to enhance the knowledge and skills needed to provide professional animal care

· Must have the ability and willingness to function independently and as a member of a team.

· Must have the ability to work for extended periods in harsh climatic conditions.

· Must have the ability to work safely around dangerous animals, chemicals, and around animals with contagious diseases.

· Must have no allergies, diseases, or conditions that would prevent working in any area of the Zoos. Yearly TB Test required.

· Must be capable of basic math.

· Must be able to withstand physical hardships associated with duties, i.e. animal restraint.

· Must be able to lift at least 50 lbs.

· Ability to use hand and small power tools.

· Must be able and willing to work weekends, holidays, and overtime.

Preferred Job Requirements

· High School Diploma or GED

Zoo New England is an Equal Opportunity Employer by Choice


How To Apply:
Please apply by using this link: https://zoonewengland.bamboohr.com/careers/200
Apply by:
March 07, 2023
15.00 / Per hour
About this Organization:
Zoo New England is the private, non-profit organization responsible for the operation and management of the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Massachusetts.

Zoo New England is dedicated to teaching wildlife and wild land preservation through responsible management and exhibition of wildlife. Our mission is to inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research, and education.