Temporary (Seasonal) Zoo Keeper

The Great Plains Zoo is currently looking to fill a seasonal (temporary) zoo keeper position as part of the zoo’s animal care team. The successful candidate will need to have the skills and competency to perform normal keeper duties (defined below) as needed in the assigned areas. Zoo keepers at this facility work with a variety of species across several different taxonomic classes on a daily basis. The position is expected to start in April and last until mid-September 2017.

The seasonal zoo keeper will be expected to work 40 hours/week and require the ability to work rotating shifts including weekends, holidays, regular and irregular hours as needed.

General Statement of Duties

Zookeepers are responsible for the specialized work involving all aspects of general care and feeding of zoo animals including the cleaning and maintenance of buildings, grounds, and exhibits.


  • Provide all aspects of daily care and husbandry for the animals in assigned exhibits and holding areas.
  • Maintain exhibits and holding areas in a clean and presentable condition at all times.
  • Observe the animal collection for any signs of illness, lethargy, injury, or dietary problems and report any problems to the Area Supervisor or Senior Director of Animal Programs (DAP).
  • Assist the DAP, Area Supervisor and/or Veterinarian in routine animal examinations and medicate animals with any prescribed treatments.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with fellow employees as well as interact and communicate well with the general public.
  • Maintain daily reports, medical records, enrichment logs, and other records as needed in the assigned area.
  • Participate in the animal training (operant conditioning) and enrichment programs.
  • Give presentations to guests on a regular basis (Keeper Chats) and answers guests’ questions about animals and exhibits.
  • Perform basic restraint, crating/uncrating and transport of animals as required and must have the ability to operate various sizes of animal squeeze cages for medical purposes.
  • Must be able to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Must be able to climb ladders/stairs, lift crates/animals and/or equipment weighing 70lbs., operate mowers, power washers, weed eaters, hay elevators, motorized carts, pickup truck, as well as load and operate wheel barrows loaded up to 150 lbs., be agile and flexible to maneuver in and around animals within exhibits, corrals and holding areas.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Area Supervisor or the Director of Animal Programs.

Health and Safety

  • Maintain a current tetanus vaccination (5 years) and must be willing to be TB tested.
  • Must pass a background check prior to employment.
  • Must be able to lift and carry up to 70 lbs.


The Seasonal (temporary) Zoo keeper reports directly to the Area Supervisor.

Education, Experience and Qualifications

  • Requires a 4-year college degree in Biology, Animal Science, Zoology or related field; or an equivalent level of work experience and education as determined by the hiring authority.
  • Previous Zoo experience preferred.
  • Must be able to work a flexible work scheduling including weekends, holidays, and evenings as required.
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license.

Employment applications may be found at www.greatzoo.org.

Résumés and completed employment applications may be sent to:

Mollye Nardi, Area Supervisor

Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History
805 S. Kiwanis Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104


Deadline for Applications: March 1, 2017