POSITION TITLE                            Zookeeper

DEPARTMENT                               Animal Care

REPORTS TO                                 Lead Keeper and Assistant Lead Keeper

PAY RATE                                      Based on experience

EXEMPT/NON-EXEMPT               Non-exempt

FULL-TIME/PART-TIME               Full-time


The Metro Richmond Zoo’s mission is to promote animal conservation and inspire guests by providing up-close, educational encounters with the wild. The zoo is situated on 150 acres of land and is home to over 2,000 animals representing 190 species from around the world. The zoo is accredited by the Zoological Association of America and is well-known for its conservation programs for cheetahs, African penguins, and Diana monkeys


Under the guidance of the lead keepers, zookeepers are responsible for providing high quality care to all animals at the Metro Richmond Zoo including all species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Zookeepers prepare and distribute diets, clean exhibits, provide enrichment, and more. The zoo can assist zookeepers with housing if needed.


  • Oversee daily husbandry for a wide variety of animals in zookeeper’s area
  • Prepare and distribute regular and special animal diets
  • Properly clean, disinfect, and maintain animal exhibits
  • Spray, scrub, sweep, rake, shovel animal feces
  • Prepare and distribute animal enrichment items
  • Understand and maintain safety standards for animals, guests, and team members
  • Observe animals daily to monitor health and well-being
  • Observe animals daily to monitor for illness or injury and report appropriately to vet team and lead keepers
  • Assist vet team as needed with administering medications, providing treatment, and handling animals
  • Identify maintenance issues and resolve or report as necessary
  • Document animal records with acccuracy
  • Assist in animal emergencies
  • Daily interaction with public through the use of ambassador animals, keeper talks, and up-close experiences
  • Lead education programs (zoo to you, behind-the-scenes tours, school presentations, animal encounters)
  • Assist the zoo in any other duties


Zookeepers must have the ability to:

  • Walk and stand and bend over for long periods of time
  • Navigate zoo grounds with or without a vehicle
  • Traverse animal exhibits by climbing, bending, kneeling, twisting, reaching, and crawling
  • Regularly move 50 lb objects
  • Perform duties for 8 hours a day
  • Have a full range of motion in the back and all extremities
  • Work in a non-smoking environment


Zookeepers must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher or have a high school degree with at least 2 years of paid animal experience
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Be self-motivated in work ethic and be willing to learn and integrate information, knowledge, and direction quickly
  • Be reliable and show initiative
  • Be able to work outdoors in all weather from 0°F to over 100°F
  • Be able to communicate clearly in written and verbal forms
  • Have good interpersonal skills
  • Be able to interact with guests in a courteous and professional manner
  • Be able to handle stressful situations calmly and effectively
  • Be able to maintain focus and mental stability at all times
  • Be able to handle multiple tasks
  • Be able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Have great attention to detail
  • Have a deep love for animals and their wellbeing
  • Have intermediate computer skills (proficient in Microsoft Office and Google Drive)


  • Full-time employment
  • 40 hours a week (Zoo does not offer overtime hours)
  • 5 days a week
  • Must have ability to work flexible hours, including weekdays, weekends, holidays, and some early evenings 


  • Free zoo and zipline tickets
  • Food and merchandise discounts
  • Work with a variety of exotic animals
  • Day-time hours (no nights)
  • Variable work tasks
  • Fast-paced: no dull moments
  • Work outdoors and indoors
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Medical
  • Retirement with company match
  • PTO
  • Some paid holidays


Team members and interns may not arrive on duty under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since this position is a safety-sensitive position, team members may be subject to random alcohol and drug testing. 


This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties performed by the team member or intern. All team members and interns are required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by their supervisors. 


 Complete employment application

2   Prepare resume and optional cover letter

3   Drop off in person or email both documents to [email protected] and include the position you are applying for in the subject bar