Zookeeper 3


All animal keeper levels are responsible for animal husbandry, including training and enrichment. Additionally, animal keepers are responsible for maintenance of habitats, holdings, and public areas as assigned. All keeper levels will expect to be responsible for normal keeper duties as part of the daily responsibilities. The Keeper III will report to the Keeper IV-Lead Keeper and Animal Department Managers. This position has no direct staff reports but will liaise with animal managers.

Essential Duties, Skills, and Responsibilities:

  • Monitor health and behavior of the animal collection and communicate changes to supervisor and veterinary staff. Oversee administration of medications as applicable.
  • Maintain a high-performance level of advanced keeper duties including excellent animal care and guest interactions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to form and maintain positive relationships within the work environment.
  • Actively participate in the improvement of area policies, procedures and protocols to ensure the highest standards of care for the collection and the safety of staff and guests with the willingness to provide constructive feedback.
  • Support and participate in the coordination of collaborative efforts pertaining to the care of the collection including, but not limited to, training, enrichment, research, and education.
  • Complete behavioral management training and utilize operant conditioning techniques.
  • Actively foster constructive attitudes and positively participate in a team environment.
  • Support Utica Zoo and its departments which include marketing, education, veterinary services, facilities and external department initiatives.
  • Demonstrate the ability to coordinate and supervise activities of interns and volunteers.
  • Communicates effectively with supervisory staff and co-workers, both written and orally.
  • When possible, actively participate in workshops, seminars, activities, and conferences aimed at continually improving job knowledge and professional development.
  • Must be willing to fully support Utica Zoo’s strategic plan, mission and values, and work with all zoo staff to support these plans.
  • Responsible for special projects, procedures, and goals set forth by the animal department managers.
  • Support Utica Zoo’s conservation and research initiatives.
  • Must be dependable and willing to work flexible hours, weekends and holidays.
  • Keeper III will show ability to gain additional responsibilities above a Keeper I or II. This may include coordination of programs or service on committees.
  • Keeper III would be eligible for participation in SSP and studbook management, at the approval of the Utica Zoo and AZA, as well as participation in SSP correspondence, transaction coordination and ZIMS input.
  • Keeper III will maintain an active role in the Utica Zoo emergency response team, as deemed necessary by animal management.
  • Keeper III will remain proficient and up-to-date on all aspects of husbandry for the areas assigned as part of their role. This will include frequent rotation between 2 or more areas. There will also be expectation that this keeper level will be able to fill in other areas outside of their oversight as well.
  • Keeper III will deliver a positive visitor experience including engagement, and assisting them in having a great experience at the Utica Zoo.
  • Keeper III will provide mentorship to, and give input into evaluations of Keeper levels I and II.
  • All keepers will be expected to become familiar with husbandry standards and AZA Animal Care Manuals.
  • Keeper III is recommended to consider membership in professional organizations such as AZA and AAZK.
  • Keeper III will assist with protocol development and review, with final approval from animal managers.
  • This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive; therefore, the employee may be required to perform other reasonably related duties as assigned by management.



  • Four-year degree in biology, psychology, or related field is preferred; sufficient relevant experience will be considered.


  • A minimum of 4 years animal care experience as determined by Utica Zoo is required. Paid experience at an AZA accredited facility is also preferred. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Good communication skills, an enthusiasm for interacting with the public and a willingness to give regular talks to guests, special groups, etc.
  • Experience with operant conditioning and enrichment techniques is preferred.
  • Must have strong written and oral skills.
  • Demonstrate computer proficiency to complete the functions of this position.
  • Must have the ability to use light power tools after suitable training.
  • Must being willing to receive TB test annually.


  • Must obtain and maintain a valid New York driver’s license within six months of employ.


  • Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions and have the physical ability to perform strenuous work. Must be capable of lifting 50 lbs or more.


This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Therefore, the employee may be required to perform other reasonably related duties as assigned by the immediate supervisor or other management. The company reserves the right to revise or change job duties as business requirements dictate. It is mutually agreed that this job description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment.

Utica Zoo is an EOE and provides a Smoke-free and Drug-free Work Environment


  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Holidays
  • Weekend availability

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • Utica, NY 13501: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required)

Compensation and Benefits:

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $16.00 – $16.99 per hour; Union negotiations are pending; starting salary modifications may occur when negotiations are complete.


  • Dental insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee discount
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance

How to Apply:

Please send resume AND cover letter with salary requirements to: HR@uticazoo.org OR fill out the application below.

Application materials without salary requirements will not be considered

Applications also accepted through Indeed.

Fill out my online form.

The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 8/3 for BREWFEST and will reopen with normal hours on 8/4!