Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$16 adults, $10 children
 

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Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$16 adults, $10 children
 

View All Rates ›
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Full-Time Avian & Reptile Keeper

Date Posted
June 29, 2022
Type
Full Time

Job Details

Reports To: Avian and Reptile Area Supervisor
Status:  Non-Exempt

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization and home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Position Purpose

This position is under the direct supervision of the Bird and Reptile Supervisor and is responsible for performing a variety of tasks related to animal care of approximately 35 species of birds including Cassowary, Crowned Cranes, Sarus Cranes, King Vultures, Budgerigars, Kori Bustards, Blue Cranes, Kookaburras, Cinereous Vultures, Nicobar Pigeon, Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon, Black Swan, Eclectus Parrot and 3 species of reptiles including Aldabra Tortoises. Please note we do not take care of the zoo’s penguins

Essential Functions

The following duties are essential to this position. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all inclusive.  Other duties may be required and assigned.

  • Provides for husbandry needs of all animals in care by participating in daily cleaning, diet preparation, feeding, training, enrichment, and daily observations.
  • Responsible for daily observation of animal health and welfare. Reports abnormal behavior and problems to area supervisor. Maintains accurate daily records of animal collection.
  • Cooperates and assists with veterinary treatments and instructions.
  • Participates in membership programs including tours, presentations and lectures.
  • Adheres to established animal handling, chick, breeding, and related safety protocols.  Participates in established animal escape drills and procedures.  Under supervision, captures, restrains, and transports animals.        
  • Assists in protected and free contact training animals for husbandry and medical needs using operant conditioning.
  • Performs minor repairs and improvements of exhibits under supervision.
  • Identifies and communicates with maintenance repairs needed for the safety of animals, visitors and staff as well as overall upkeep of the facilities.
  • Functions effectively in both team and individual settings, and works toward adopting and creating best animal welfare practices.
  • Collaborates with area supervisor and team to achieve common husbandry goals. 
  • Actively supports area policies and procedures, mission, vision, values, and strategic plan of the Blank Park Zoo.
  • Other duties as assigned.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES

 Assists with supervision of interns, volunteers, and seasonal staff.

Requirements

Competencies

  • Resourceful - Understanding of, or has the ability to, research all applicable topics as they relate to modern zoological management, operations of an attraction and customer service. 
  • Flexible - Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments while also maintaining composure in an environment that can be stressful.
  • Independent - Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate a capacity for detail and follow-up.
  • Positive - Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.
  • Clear communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Critical thinking- Ability to make decisions while under pressure or solve complex problems that arise on a daily basis
  • Innovative - Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern related to animal care.
  • Efficient- Ability to complete tasks in a thorough but quick manner.
  • Customer–oriented – Must be able to exercise professional customer service skills at all times, with many different types of people and in all situations

Work Environment

While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to stand, walk on even terrain, climb, and utilize manual dexterity to use various tools, machines, and equipment. Most of the job tasks are completed inside. However, the incumbent is occasionally exposed to all types of weather conditions including extreme heat and cold, snow, hail, wind, and rain. Some work is required in small and/or confined spaces.  Incumbents are exposed to noisy environments such as mowers and motors. 

Physical Requirements

The physical requirements described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to successfully perform the essential functions.

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly   

Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Adjusting or moving objects up to 50 pounds in all directions.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Communicating with others to exchange information.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

Operating machinery and/or power tools.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.
☐ Never        ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

Driving.
☐ Never        ☒ Occasionally           ☐ Constantly

Stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling –
☐ Never         ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

Reaching with hands and arms.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Tasting or smelling.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Vision
☒ Close vision;  ☒Distant vision;  ☒ Color vision;  ☒ Peripheral vision;  ☒Depth perception;  ☒ Ability to adjust focus

Lifting Requirement.
☒ > than 50 pounds       ☒ Up to 50 pounds        ☐ Up to 40 pounds        ☐ Up to 25 pounds        ☐ Up to 10 pounds

Required education and experience

  • Four-year college degree in Biology, Zoology, Animal Ecology, or a related field.
  • 1+ years of paid experience in animal husbandry (preferably in a zoo setting).
  • Experience with Microsoft office, Excel spreadsheets, and Google drive are preferred or ability to obtain.

Additional eligibility requirements

  • Must be insurable to drive a zoo vehicle.
  • Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo
  • Must be able to operate various equipment, including skid loaders, trailers, and large vehicles.
  • Must be able to maintain calm and act professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.

Licenses/Certifications

  • Valid Iowa motor vehicle license
  • Willing to obtain First Aid/CPR Training

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Contact Information

To Apply

Please complete the online application and attach a cover letter and resume. 

Click here to apply online.

 

 

Affirmative Action/EEO statement

Blank Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and give employment and promotional consideration without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and any other protected class as required by local, state, or federal law. We seek applicants for employment who are dedicated, hardworking and seek fulfilling employment. In return Blank Park Zoo offers competitive income, benefits, and an excellent working environment.

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