Orangutan Keeper

    • Job Tracking ID: 512699-850399
    • Job Location: Atlanta, GA
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: March 24, 2023
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:

Job Title: Primate Keeper I, II or III

Department: Primates

Reports to: Lead Keepers and Curatorial Staff

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Job Status:

Keeper I: Full-time hourly starting at $15.70. Pay commensurate with experience.

Keeper II: Full-time hourly starting at $17.95. Pay commensurate with experience.

Keeper III: Full-time hourly starting at $19.33. Pay commensurate with experience.


         **Zoo Atlanta is committed to regularly evaluating keeper salary**               


Who we are: Minutes from downtown, Zoo Atlanta is the oldest and one of the most respected cultural destinations in the Southeast’s largest and most vibrant city. Culture, dining, nightlife, and famously eclectic neighborhoods, not to mention a temperate climate year-round, attract a growing number of newcomers to the one-and-only Atlanta. Atlanta is known as the "City in the Trees," with the Zoo and surrounding neighborhood showcasing why. The zoo is in a strong financial position and is committed to investing in our staff and facilities to continue our focus on animal care, research, and conservation. We offer competitive pay rates, a diverse animal collection and an enriching work environment. We are looking for new team members dedicated to providing the best in animal welfare.


About the Zoo Atlanta Primates Collection: 

Zoo Atlanta is home to a number of highly endangered primate species, including western lowland gorillas, Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, golden lion tamarins, drill monkeys and lemurs. We currently have the largest populations of gorillas, orangutans and drills in the country. Having such large populations adds considerably to our ability to conduct meaningful scientific studies, also making Zoo Atlanta a site for groundbreaking Primate Research.




What we offer: As a workplace, Zoo Atlanta is very proud of a commitment to diversity and inclusion and a competitive compensation and benefits package. Benefits include but are not limited to outstanding medical coverage and 403b retirement program match; vacation time buy and sell; professional development training; paid time off for community volunteering; and more.

Perks for this full-time position include:

  • Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, and other supplemental insurance
  • Retirement Savings Plan (403b) with employer match after 12 months of service
  • Paid time off includes vacation, sick and personal days plus holidays
  • Up to $3,000 in relocation assistance for qualifying positions
  • Tuition assistance program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Employee short term and long-term disability insurance paid for by Zoo Atlanta
  • Opportunities for professional development paid for by Zoo Atlanta
  • Local discounts and free admission to partnering attractions
  • Complimentary family Zoo membership
  • Discounted pricing on individual and family education programs, such as Safari CampTwilight TrekNightCrawlerSurvival Safari, and much more!
  • Join the standby list for free behind-the-scenes encounters with elephants, lemurs, giant pandas, aldabra tortoises!



Who you are: Animal keepers are responsible for animal welfare and husbandry, including training and enrichment. Additionally, animal keepers are responsible for maintenance of habitats, holdings, and public areas as assigned. The Keeper I, II, or III will report to the area managers. For more information about our mission, animal, conservation, and research programs visit Zoo Atlanta is home to one of North America’s largest populations of gorillas and orangutans. Our primate programs are nationally and internationally recognized with our research, training, enrichment, and animal care techniques contributing to the world’s knowledge of ape biology, behavior, and management.   Zoo Atlanta is also the only facility in North America that houses drill monkeys, considered endangered by IUCN. Our small primates live in dynamic mixed species habitats.  


We are currently searching for an orangutan keeper.


How to apply: Please apply directly on the Zoo Atlanta Careers website at



  • Additional responsibilities given based on Keeper Level hired in as.
  • Must be willing to support Zoo Atlanta’s strategic plan, mission and values, and work with all zoo staff to support these plans.
  • Maintain a high-performance level of excellent animal care.
  • Participate in and support collaborative efforts pertaining to the care of the collection including training, enrichment, research, and education.
  • Complete behavioral management training provided by Zoo Atlanta and utilize operant conditioning and enrichment techniques.
  • Complete animal welfare training provided by Zoo Atlanta, participate in animal welfare assessments, and contribute to follow-through on animal welfare action items when necessary.
  • Effectively monitor health and behavior of the animal collection and communicate changes to supervisor and veterinary staff.  Oversee administration of medications as applicable.
  • Actively support and implement area policies, procedures, and protocols to ensure the highest standards of care for the collection and the safety of staff and guests.
  • Maintain the highest level of safety in the work area through implementation of safety protocols and procedures. 
  • Use strong interpersonal skills to form and maintain positive relationships within the work environment.
  • Maintain a high-performance level of guest interactions including scheduled on-ground talks.
  • Positively promote and foster work that improves department function and productivity.
  • Communicates effectively with supervisory staff and co-workers both written and orally.
  • Write daily reports, logs, animal records, and other records as assigned.
  • Oversee activities of interns and volunteers.
  • Responsible for special projects, procedures, and goals set forth by the area managers.
  • Must be dependable and reliable: be timely, be responsive, be organized, meet deadlines, take responsibility, and help other zoo staff as needed.
  • Employees must strive to decrease our environmental footprint to serve as models to our patrons to do the same through education and example.
  • Must be able and willing to work flexible hours, weekends, and holidays.
  • Must be able to be trained and carry pepper spray.
  • Must be willing to comply with department PPE policy.
  • 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.

Experience and Skills:


  • Prior related animal care experience is strongly preferred.  Paid experience at an AZA accredited facility is preferred.
  • Experience with operant conditioning and enrichment techniques is preferred.
  • Must have the ability to: demonstrate focus, follow written verbal instructions, effectively promote organization, manage stress to perform the job effectively, remember details, manage time effectively, apply critical thinking techniques, analyze, and solve problems.
  • Demonstrate computer proficiency to complete the functions of this position.
  • Must be able to use light power tools after suitable training.
  • Primate experience preferred.



  • 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 with a safe driving record.



  • 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.