Jobs at Woodland Park Zoo

THE JOB OF THE ZOOKEEPER


Zookeepers feel they have the best job in the world! They spend a part of each workday chopping food, scrubbing cages, and raking up poop, but they also train animals, landscape exhibits, and share the wonders of nature with zoo visitors.

Some keepers are highly specialized and especially knowledgeable about particular groups of animals such as great apes, elephants or reptiles. Others are generalists, who pride themselves on being able to provide excellent care for just about any animal placed in their care.

Keepers must be excellent observers, learning the habits and behaviors of the species and the individuals for which they care. Professional keepers must be able to detect subtle changes in an animal’s physical or psychological condition and then work with curators, veterinary staff, and nutritionists to react accordingly.

Zookeepers also work closely with zoo managers on conservation, reproductive husbandry and research projects that may provide important information to help preserve rare and endangered species and habitats.

Some keepers also are involved with making presentations to the public, teaching zoo visitors and the community about the natural history of the animals they care for.

Zookeeping is physically demanding, and keepers are often exposed to the varying types of weather as they do their work. They must be able to juggle priorities on a daily basis, as they deal with an ever-changing collection containing new, newborn, aged, or unwell animals. Along with the elation of working with animals, there is worry and frustration when things don’t go well.

For more information

Zookeeper FAQ

American Association of Zoo Keepers

ON THE CAREER TRACK

Internships, externships and job shadowing at the zoo

Hundreds of individuals contact Woodland Park Zoo every year asking about the possibility of internships or job shadowing in zoo keeping, animal health veterinary work, horticulture and other vocations. Due to the volume of requests, staffing and space limitations, we ordinarily are unable to honor most requests. However, intern opportunities occasionally arise in several areas. Learn more.

 
 

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