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Under the direction of the Director of Animal Care & Conservation, the Veterinarian is responsible for providing comprehensive quality health and medical care to the animal collection at the Great Plains Zoo.  This includes, but is not limited to, the diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries, maintaining a preventive medical program, developing quarantine protocols, providing convalescent care for animals recovering from illness or injury, performing post-mortem examinations, operating a full-service clinic and laboratory as well as ensuring compliance with all appropriate regulatory agencies.

Essential Clinical Duties Include:

  • Provide comprehensive medical care to the animal collection. This includes being familiar with the biology, husbandry, and medical requirements for species in the animal collection. Applying appropriate diagnostic testing/techniques to allow for the timely identification of disease processes. Provide medical treatment for all health abnormalities. Treatment may encompass but is not limited to generation and analysis of health history, physical and/or chemical restraint, physical examination, surgery, laboratory testing of appropriate biological samples, radiography and radiographic interpretation, prescribing and delivering medications.
  • Develop and maintain a preventive medicine program which includes but is not limited to class and/or order specific protocols for quarantined animals; develop and maintain a parasite monitoring and control program; updating, modifying, and implementing vaccination protocols; disease and diagnostic testing; and periodic reviews of diets and nutrition. The program must meet AZA, AAZV, AVMA and USDA standards.
  • Perform and supervise clinical diagnostic and laboratory procedures skillfully; analyze and interpret findings.
  • Review and approve diets for animals that promote health and well-being.
  • Clinical pathology: interpret results of testing in the following areas: hematology, clinical chemistry, parasitology, microbiology, cytology, urinalysis, and serology. Ensure serum is banked on Zoo collection animals for prospective and retrospective diagnostic studies. Evaluates new procedures and techniques for incorporation into clinical pathology routine.
  • Pathology: ensures all Zoo animals receive a complete post-mortem examination to include a complete necropsy and histopathology examination where appropriate. Ensures all approved samples for research and/or education are distributed appropriately. Ensures accurate necropsy records are maintained.
  • Train on and be familiar with all chemical immobilization equipment in the zoo hospital.
  • Participate in training of other zoo staff in emergency chemical immobilization procedures.


Essential Administrative Duties Include:

  • In conjunction with the Director of Animal Care & Conservation, coordinate services of consulting and back-up veterinarians.
  • Participate in the training/on-the-job education of technician(s), interns, volunteers, students, and other staff members assigned tasks related to animal health care including but not limited to, the animal hospital, medications, treatments, animal handling and restraint, anesthesia, zoonotic diseases, husbandry and emergency preparedness.
  • Effectively communicate with staff of other institutions and related regulatory agencies.
  • Act as liaison to the USDA, DEA, SD Animal Industry board and other appropriate state and federal agencies.
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations as related to the animal collection and veterinary practices.
  • Ensure medical records are up-to-date and maintained up to AZA, AAZV and USDA standards.
  • Participate in implementing changes in animal care as related to animal health maintenance of collection animals.
  • Provide guidance and instruction to zoo animal care staff on safe handling of animals, hazardous materials, drugs, etc.
  • Consistently strive to further the mission of the organization and avidly support the Great Plains Zoo.


Core Competencies Include:

  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
  • Must have the ability to easily interact and communicate veterinary needs to a diversified staff.
  • Ability to take control and think clearly in unforeseen and emergency situations.
  • Able to initiate clinical research appropriate to the needs of the zoo’s collection and conservation plans.
  • Must be able to function in a team environment as well as perform tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Must be proficient in the use of computers including MS Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint).


Required Education and Experience:


  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD), or equivalent degree from an AVMA accredited college of veterinary medicine or equivalent.
  • Possess a license to practice veterinary medicine in the United States.
  • Possess (or obtain) a State of South Dakota Veterinary license.
  • Possess (or obtain) a Federal DEA license and the controlled substances registration needed in South Dakota.
  • Possess (or obtain) a certificate of Veterinary Accreditation by the USDA to write health certificates and perform cervid TB Testing.
  • Minimum of one – two years of clinical experience, preferably with exotics and/or zoo animals.


Preferred Education and Experience:

  • Eligibility to become board certified in zoo animal medicine.
  • Working knowledge of all aspects of animal health care of exotic and zoo animals.
  • Working knowledge of all applicable wildlife regulations and laws.
  • Knowledge of MedARKs, ZIMS with medical and/or other medical record keeping systems.
  • Knowledge of applicable AZA, AAZV, AVMA, and USDA guidelines and regulations. 
  • Knowledge of regulatory and licensing agencies that affect the operation of the Zoo and zoo hospital.


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 Zoo is an accredited member of the AZA. 

The 45-acre Great Plains Zoo is located in Sioux Falls, SD, the largest city in South Dakota.  Originally centered on quarrying and agriculturally-based industries, the economy of Sioux Falls has become greatly diversified and more service-based over the last 50 years, making the city an important location for financial services, health care, biotech, and retail trade.  Sioux Falls continues to be a growing community and offers something for everyone:

  • A metro population of 266,000
  • A healthy economy and a robust art, food, and cultural scene
  • Over 80 beautiful parks and a 29-mile paved bike trail that wraps itself around the city along the Big Sioux River greenway, through scenic urban and wildlife areas
  • Ranked #7 in th elist of 100 Best Places to Live by Livability (2019)
  • Ranked #1 for 3 years in a row as Best City For Young Professionals by Smart Asset (2019)
  • Ranked 15th Happiest City in America by WalletHub (2019)

    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.