Lead Keeper- Primates

    • Job Tracking ID: 512699-644996
    • Job Location: Atlanta, GA
    • Job Level: Management
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: August 16, 2018
    • Years of Experience: 5 - 7 Years
    • Starting Date: ASAP
Invite a friend
facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email

Job Description:

  • Job Title: Lead Keeper

  • Position Posted 8/2018

    Department: Primates

  • Reports to: Curatorial Staff

    FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

    Job Status: Full-time

    Job Purpose:

    Zoo Atlanta houses a diverse collection of primates including the largest zoological collection of apes in the country. We are seeking an experienced keeper to add to our team. Lead Keepers are responsible for implementing departmental activities and staff training for the Primate Area. animal husbandry (including training and enrichment) and maintenance of exhibit, holding and public areas of the assigned department. The Lead Keeper position is a managerial position and is expected to demonstrate leadership and provide support and guidance for the department. This includes promoting and fostering work that improves department function and productivity to exceed standards as well as using leadership to promote a team environment. The Lead Keeper accepts supervisory functions in the absence of curatorial staff, particularly in situations that require immediate action. The lead keeper will report to the department curators. A minimum of five years’ animal care experience in a zoological setting is required.


    • Will be expected to demonstrate and maintain a high level of performance of general keeper dutiesincluding excellent animal care, facility maintenance, record keeping, and advanced experience with training and enrichment
    • Maintains the highest level of safety in the work area through implementation of safety protocols and procedures
    • Participates in visitor interactions including scheduled on-ground talks to our guests
    • Participate in and support collaborative efforts pertaining to the care of the collection including research and education
    • Assists with departmental and/or zoo wide behavioral management programs
    • Actively fosters constructive attitudes and a team orientation among staff and have the ability to appropriately delegate responsibilities and affectively address performance deficiencies
    • Promote communication and information sharing between units
    • Communicates effectively with staff
    • Oversee activities of interns and volunteers
    • With the curatorial staff, responsible for staff schedules and daily implementation of policies, procedures and protocols to ensure the highest standards of care
    • Participates in daily husbandry
    • Supervises keepers, the training routines and animal management skills
    • Demonstrate leadership through example, fully supporting Zoo Atlanta’s strategic management plans, mission and values and work with keepers to support these plans
    • Represents Zoo Atlanta by participating in AZA programs, TAGs, SSPs, studbooks, etc.
    • Responsible for special projects, procedures, and goals set forth by the Curatorial staff
    • In conjunction with the curators, the lead acts as area coordinator in working with staff from other departments including veterinary, collections, marketing, education, maintenance, horticulture and other departments
    • When possible, actively participate in workshops, seminars, activities and conferences aimed at continually improving job knowledge and professional development
    • 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 five years of prior animal care experience at a zoological facility is required
    • Supervisory experience is preferred
    • Good communication skills, an enthusiasm for interacting with the public and a willingness to give regular talks to visitors, special groups, etc.
    • Experience with husbandry, training, enrichment and research, preferably at an AZA institution. Familiarity with exhibit design, maintenance and construction
    • Demonstrated ability to apply operant conditioning techniques and experience with enrichment techniques
    • Able to safely operate a vehicle and use light power tools after suitable training
    • Strong organizational and time management skills and the willingness to oversee the daily running of the department as needed
    • Strong interpersonal skills
    • Demonstrated leadership, personnel management skills and the ability to lead a team
    • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills along with basic writing and computer skills to complete records and other written work as required
    • Ability to interact positively with zoo guests and zoo staff
    • Must be able to support management goals and Zoo Atlanta’s mission
    • Must be willing to work flexible hours, weekends and holidays


    • Four-year degree in anthropology, biology, psychology, or related field preferred


    • Must be able to obtain and maintain a valid Georgia driver’s license


    • Must be able to work outdoors in inclement weather and have the physical ability to perform strenuous work, including lifting at least 50 pounds repetitively


    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

    To apply for this position, please go to our website:

Experience and Skills: