Outback Station- Lead Keeper

    • Job Tracking ID: 512699-579302
    • Job Location: Atlanta, GA
    • Job Level: Management
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: June 13, 2017
    • Years of Experience: 5 - 7 Years
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:

Zoo Atlanta Job Description

Job Title: Lead Keeper Updated 2017

Department: Outback Station, Mammals

Reports to: Curatorial Staff

FLSA Status: Exempt

Job Status: Full-time

Job Purpose:

The Lead Keeper is a supervisory position that also plays an active role in regular animal husbandry. Lead Keepers are responsible for implementing departmental activities and staff training for the area. The Lead Keeper is responsible for overseeing animal husbandry, including training and enrichment. Additionally, lead keepers are responsible for maintenance of habitats, holdings, and public areas as assigned. Working with the area curators, the Lead Keeper is required to provide and promote positive leadership in a team environment. The Lead Keeper reports to the area curators as part of a cohesive management team. Outback Station is home to naked mole rats, bushdog, tanuki, red kangaroo, and a contact yard with goats, sheep, and Kune Kune pigs.


  • Effectively monitor health and behavior of the animal collection and communicate changes to supervisor and veterinary staff. Oversee administration of medications as applicable.
  • Coordinate in the collaborative efforts pertaining to the care of the collection including, but not limited to, training, enrichment, research, and education.
  • Complete behavioral management training and both utilize and model operant conditioning and enrichment techniques.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate initiative towards continually improving advanced keeper dutiesincluding excellent animal care and guest interactions.
  • Use strong interpersonal skills to form and maintain positive relationships within the work environment and the ability to foster these skills in others.
  • Demonstrate leadership through example by fully supporting Zoo Atlanta’s strategic plan, mission and values, and work with all zoo staff to support these plans.
  • Positively promote and foster work that improves department function and productivity to exceed standards as well as using leadership to promote a team environment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to positively manage keeper staff, volunteers and interns.
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet challenges with a solution oriented approach.
  • Actively pursue opportunities to participate in workshops, seminars, activities and conferences aimed at continually improving job knowledge and professional development with the goal of benefitting the Zoo Atlanta organization.
  • Promote communication and information sharing between the zoological community.
  • Represent Zoo Atlanta by participating in AZA programs, TAGs, SSPs, studbooks, etc.
  • Responsible for special projects, procedures, and goals set forth by the Curator or Assistant Curator.
  • Support Zoo Atlanta’s conservation and research initiatives.
  • Must be dependable and willing to work flexible hours, weekends and holidays.
  • Outback Station includes a contact yard and supervision will be required of not only keeper staff, but also Volunteens, adult volunteers, and interns.

  • The ability to use light power tools after suitable training.
  • Good communication skills, an enthusiasm for interacting with the public and a willingness to give regular talks to guests, special groups, etc.
  • While the Lead Keeper must be able to function as a team member, they also must be willing and able to provide necessary leadership and mentoring to staff.
  • 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.


  • A minimum of 10 years’ exotic animal care experience as determined by Zoo Atlanta is required. Paid experience at an AZA accredited facility is preferred.
  • Experience with operant conditioning and enrichment techniques is preferred.

  • Experience in a petting zoo, contact yard, or similar environment preferred.
  • Must have strong written and oral skills.
  • Demonstrate computer proficiency to complete the functions of this position.


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


  • Must obtain and maintain a valid Georgia driver’s license.


  • Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions and have the physical ability to perform strenuous work.


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.

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

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