Skip to Main Content

Seasonal Zookeeper

Seasonal Zookeeper

Come join us at the Great Plains Zoo as a Seasonal Zookeeper!  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.  Zookeepers at our Zoo work with a variety of species across several different taxonomic classes on a daily basis.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide all aspects of daily care for the animals in assigned exhibits and holding areas including but not limited to:
  • Innovative animal husbandry that is in compliance with AZA and USDA standards.
  • Preparation and feeding of approved diets. 
  • Monitoring of physical and behavioral aspects of the animals under assigned care.
  • Implementation of the behavioral program of the animals under assigned care which include the animal training (operant conditioning) and enrichment programs.
  • Designing and maintaining proper animal enclosures/props/exhibits. 
  • Utilizing preventative husbandry techniques and providing proactive health care as required.
  • Provide proper care for neonates and young (may require care outside of normal working hours).

Maintain daily reports, medical records, enrichment logs, and other records as needed in the assigned area.

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.


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. 

The Great Plains Zoo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to foster a greater understanding of our natural world through Education, Conservation, Recreation and Discovery. The Great Plains Zoo cares for more than 1,000 animals from around the world and offers up-close views of animals often not found in larger zoos, including giraffes, tigers, black rhinos and a national award-winning snow monkey exhibit. The Zoo is an accredited member of the AZA and sees over 300,000 visitors annually. 

The 45-acre Great Plains Zoo is located in Sioux Falls, SD, a growing city with: 

  • A metro population of 259,000 * A healthy economy and a robust arts and cultural scene 
  • Recognition from Forbes magazine as the best small metro area in the nation for business and careers (Oct 2018) 
  • Coverage from Wall Street Journal (May 2017) under the headline "As Many Midwest Cities Slump, Sioux Falls Soars"

Proof of U.S. Citizenship or immigration status will be required upon employment. Criminal convictions are not an absolute bar to employment, but will only be considered in relation to specific job requirements.

  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.