Lead Keeper - Herpetology

    • Job Tracking ID: 512699-747495
    • Job Location: Atlanta, GA
    • Job Level: Any
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: October 28, 2020
    • Years of Experience: Not Applicable
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:

Job Title: Lead Keeper Herpetology

Department: Herpetology

Reports to: Asst/Curator of Herpetology

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Job Status: Full-time

Job Purpose: Zoo Atlanta is looking for an upbeat and focused lead keeper to join our Herpetology team. This is a working supervisor position working with the Associate Curator and a team of five keepers for daily management of over 120 reptile, amphibian, fish, and feeder invertebrate species. The successful candidate will actively participate in and oversee daily husbandry routines within diverse habitats in a recently constructed zoo complex focused on reptiles and amphibians.

We are looking for someone with a desire to excel as a leader, positive supervisory experience, an overall knowledge of basic and advanced herpetological husbandry techniques. Additionally, someone with strong communication and organizational skills, knowledge of appropriate operant conditioning and enrichment techniques, self-motivation, experience monitoring and maintaining aquatic life support systems, and the ability to set our team of keepers up for success.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the following skills, abilities, and experience:

  • Positively manage keeper staff, volunteers, and interns while maintaining an environment of respect and inclusivity.
  • Coordinate collaborative efforts pertaining to the care of the collection including, but not limited to, veterinary communications, training, enrichment, facility needs, research, and education.
  • The ability to meet challenges with a solution-oriented approach.
  • 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.
  • 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 to ensure department success while supporting Zoo Atlanta’s strategic plan, mission, and values.
  • Good communication skills to maintain positive relationships within the Herpetology department, the ability to foster an environment that improves department productivity, and a goal to not just meet, but to exceed industry standards.
  • Implement and enforce area policies, procedures, and protocols to ensure the highest standards of care for the collection and the safety of animals, the team, and guests while adhering to AZA, OSHA, and other regulatory standards. This includes conducting animal welfare assessments with the team and improvement or updating of protocols and procedures when appropriate.
  • Promote communication and information sharing between multiple departments at Zoo Atlanta as well as the larger zoological community as a whole (i.e. participation in AZA programs, conservation work, research, and/or other initiatives beyond Zoo Atlanta’s gates are encouraged where appropriate).
  • The ability to use light power tools after proper training.
  • This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive; therefore, the successful candidate may be required to perform other reasonably related duties as assigned by management.


  • Five or more years of professional experience as determined by Zoo Atlanta is preferred. Paid experience at AZA-accredited facilities is strongly preferred.
  • Supervisory experience is preferred
  • Four-year degree in biology, psychology, or related field is preferred although sufficient relevant experience will be considered.
  • Experience with appropriate modern operant conditioning and enrichment techniques.
  • Must have good communication skills including strong written, oral, and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrate computer proficiency to complete the functions of this position.
  • Experience monitoring and managing aquatic life support systems.
  • Enthusiasm for interacting with the public and a willingness to give regular presentations to guests, special groups, etc.
  • Must be dependable and willing to work flexible hours, weekends, and holidays.
  • Must be able to 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.

Experience and Skills: