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Animal Keeper - Native Species - Herps 

EOE StatementWe are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.
Category Animal  

General Summary: The Animal Keeper will provide care and maintenance of the animals and their associated exhibits and holding areas. The Animal Keeper is responsible for working collaboratively with other keepers and coworkers to achieve departmental and Zoo-wide initiatives. The Animal Keeper will report to his or her assigned Area Manager and the Assistant General Curator.



Essential Functions:


Primary Function:


  • Observe animals’ appetite, disposition, habits, physical appearance and/or excreta to detect and assess indications of stress, illness, welfare, and medical and behavioral trends;
  • Inspect enclosures, tanks, fencing, pools, furniture and public areas for cleanliness and/or structural defects and to perform minor repairs and maintenance as needed;
  • Prepare diets for animals, clean and fill water containers, and place food in exhibits or holding areas at specified times and in compliance with established practices for the assigned work area(s);
  • Maintain facilities, public areas, exhibits, and associated animal areas according to the area protocols or as directed by management;
  • Transfer animals in accordance with departmental policy and standards from one enclosure to another for animal management purposes;
  • Provide species appropriate and approved enrichment to animals in accordance with departmental policies and guidelines;
  • Participate in planning, execution and data collection for approved research projects;
  • Work collaboratively with other zoo staff and departments to support institutional advancement opportunities, marketing initiatives, conservation programs, public relations communications, and the development of educational materials;
  • Provide routine maintenance of facilities and minor repair of equipment, exhibits, and all associated animal areas;
  • Maintain familiarity with all animal recapture and restraint equipment and all animal recapture policies;
  • Capture and restrain animals for required veterinary and management procedures;
  • Assist with medical care procedures and administer medical treatments as directed and prescribed;
  • Implement pest management strategies;
  • Assist in the coordination of building maintenance and other projects. Escort and carefully monitor facilities and contractor activities in animal areas;
  • Act as a member of the Animal Recapture Team as needed and directed;
  • Travel periodically to attend professional development opportunities;
  • Perform other duties as assigned; and,
  • Adhere to all policies and procedures of the Zoo.


Communication (Internal and External):


  • Maintain reports on all animal conditions in daily reports, diaries, electronic records, etc.;
  • Review all available animal management records, reports and diaries as directed in order to plan and execute daily operations in assigned area(s);
  • Provide regular updates to the Area Manager on the condition and status of the animal collection;
  • Attend all staff and departmental meetings, and attend all staff training sessions as directed;
  • Interpret the Zoo to guests, donors, and zoo associates; and,
  • Promote the mission of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.


Management of Resources (financial, human resources, facilities):


  • Unload and store commissary items;
  • Maintain equipment and tools in a good state of repair; and,
  • Inspect and maintain safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, eyewash stations, and PPE.
Position Requirements

Minimum Qualifications:




  • Bachelor’s degree in zoology, biology, or a related field of study strongly preferred.




  • Three years of paid or unpaid professional animal experience preferred; Experience may NOT include pets;
  • Experience in a zoological or related institution strongly preferred;
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license; and,
  • Must be familiar with computer operations including email, Microsoft Office programs and data entry.


Traits Desirable:


  • Ability to work with a wide variety of individuals from ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds;
  • Ability to operate both independently and as part of a team in a productive, respectful, and efficient manner with proper time management skills;
  • Extremely well organized, self-directed, collaborative, and detail oriented; and,
  • Possess a positive attitude and a general philosophy/outlook in line with the Zoo’s mission.




  • Must be able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including computer, telephone, radio, and vehicles, hand tools, animal restraint and capture devices, incubators, gardening/carpentry tools and machinery, scales, etc.


Working Conditions:


  • Must be able to lift 75 pounds with assistance and 50 pounds unassisted as needed;
  • Must be able to climb a ladder carrying up to 15 pounds;
  • Must be able to exert up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, 25 pounds frequently and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.
  • Physical demands are in excess of those for sedentary work; Must be able to stand and remain active for an eight hour shift; must be able to stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, push, pull, climb, balance;
  • Must be able to travel large areas of the Zoo on foot as needed;
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule to include weekends, holidays, and special events;
  • Must be able to work in an outdoor weather environment in all seasons and weather, including heat/humidity, cold temperatures, and/or wet conditions;
  • Exposure to zoonotic diseases and risk of animal attack;
  • Exposure to potential environmental hazards such as poison oak/ivy, uneven terrain, and insect bites/stings; and,
  • Initial tuberculosis (TB) test and physical required;



The statements above are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of all personnel so classified. Therefore, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change.

Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Shift Various Shifts  
Position Animal Keeper - Native Species - Herps  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  
Open Date 4/8/2020  
Location The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore  
About the Organization Founded in 1876, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest zoo in the United States and is internationally known for its contributions in conservation and research. More than 1,500 animals are represented in the Zoo's varied natural habitat exhibits in areas such as Polar Bear Watch, the Maryland Wilderness, African Journey and the award-winning Children's Zoo. Situated in Druid Hill Park near downtown Baltimore, the Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. For more information, visit  

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