Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Sat - Sun: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mon - Fri: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

View All Rates ›

Sat - Sun: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mon - Fri: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

View All Rates ›

Seasonal Keeper - Browse/Large Mammal

Date Posted
April 14, 2021

Job Details

Reports To: Large Mammal Supervisor
Status:  Non-Exempt


This position is under the direct supervision of the Large Mammal Supervisor and is responsible for collecting and distributing browse to meet the specialized dietary and behavioral needs of all the zoo’s browsing herbivores, as well as preserving adequate browse to supply these animals through the winter months.  There will be opportunity to assist with a variety of tasks related to animal care of hartmann’s mountain zebra, slender-horned gazelle, and addax.


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.

  • Work closely with all departments to ensure browse needs and delivery are met for the zoo daily.
  • Assist horticulture with harvesting browse from both onsite and off-grounds locations.
  • Plan and execute browse acquisition opportunities, including establishing new community partners and coordinating deliveries.
  • Continue to build relationships with current partners by assisting with Des Moines Parks and Recreation and Browns Woods Stewards for browse pick ups and UPCYCLE days at Fort Des Moines Park in June, July and August.
  • Participate in staff UPCYCLE days every Tuesday and Zoo Crew and camp UPCYCLE days at Fort Des Moines Park.
  • Preserve and store browse through freezing or ensiling processes.
  • Work with volunteers for sorting and collection of browse as needed.
  • Must be able to identify approved and toxic trees and plants of Iowa.
  • Operate equipment according to safe use guidelines, including dump trucks and electric pole saws.
  • Provides for husbandry needs of all animals in care by participating in daily cleaning, diet preparation, feeding, training, enrichment and daily observations.
  • Other duties as assigned



The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo
  2. Candidate will be expected to operate various equipment, including skid loaders, trailers, and large vehicles.
  3. Ability to act calmly and professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.


  1. 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.
  2. Flexible - Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments while also maintaining composure in an environment that can be stressful.
  3. Independent - Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  4. Positive - Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.
  5. Clear communication skills, both verbal and written
  6. Critical thinking- Ability to make decisions while under pressure or solve complex problems that arise on a daily basis
  7. Innovative - Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern as related to animal care.
  8. Efficient- Ability to complete tasks in a thorough but quick manner.
  9. Customer–oriented – Must be able to exercise professional customer service skills at all times, with many different types of people and all situations


4 year college degree and paid experience in a related field preferable. Experience along with a college degree can be interchangeable at a rate of 1 year of college to 1 year of experience.


Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, to staff and to visitors of all ages.


Intermediate word processing skills, with working knowledge of Microsoft Office required.


  • Valid Iowa motor vehicle license
  • Herbicide Applicators License, provided by Blank Park Zoo


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

  • Standing – Approximately greater than 2/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Walking – Approximately greater than 2/3 of on-the-job time on uneven surfaces such as hills, snow, ice, grass, mud, etc.
  • Sitting – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Driving – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Use of hands to lift or handle – Approximately greater than 2/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Reaching with hands and arms – Approximately between 1/3 and 2/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Climbing or balancing – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Stooping, kneeling, crouching or crawling – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Talking or hearing – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Tasting or smelling – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Weight lifted/Force exerted – Ability to bend, twist, lift >50 pounds, etc. to perform maintenance and security tasks, non-continuously.
  • Vision – Close vision, distant vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.


Ability to function in all types of weather including extreme heat and cold. The majority of the job involves being outside.

Contact Information


Complete the Blank Park Zoo online application and attach cover letter and resume.

Click here to apply.

« Back

© 2021 Blank Park Zoo. All rights reserved.