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Zookeeper I, Aquarium

Houston Zoo
Houston, United States Posted: May 18, 2023

Houston Zoo is seeking to add a new member to the Aquarium team! A successful candidate for this position is a motivated, energetic, thoughtful, and team-oriented individual with significant experience in the husbandry of teleost fishes, elasmobranchs, aquatic invertebrates, and live food cultures.

Our program allows for the opportunity to work with a diverse collection of marine and freshwater inhabitants located across the Zoo, participate in conservation projects, and contribute to the ongoing growth and development of the organization. Our team’s primary goals are to ensure the highest quality of life for our collection, develop critical skills, work towards a sustainable future, and provide innovative solutions to daily challenges.

Our Mission:

The Houston Zoo connects communities with animals, inspiring action to save wildlife.

Our Vision:

To be a leader in the global movement to save wildlife.

Job Duties and Responsibilities
  • Carries out all aspects of the daily care of assigned animals including cleaning, feeding, exhibit maintenance, general upkeep of support facilities.
  • Maintains clean and organized exhibits, holding areas, service areas, keeper areas, and equipment.
  • Prepares and feeds appropriate diets as per established feeding practices and diet sheets.
  • Administers prescribed medications, supplements, or treatments under the guidance of the Supervisors or Veterinary Staff.
  • Records and reports any abnormal animal health or behavioral issues to the Zoo Supervisor.
  • Maintains daily reports, logs, training and enrichment records, research, or veterinary records, as appropriate and according to established guidelines. This position requires basic computer skills with ZIMS and Microsoft Office software applications.
  • Understands and applies a practical understanding of operant conditioning as it relates to the management of appropriate species in the collection (e.g., elasmobranchs and chelonians).
  • Understands and applies the basic principles of animal enrichment as part of the daily management of species under the employee’s care.
  • Maintains water quality through filtration, addition of supplements, water testing and water changes where appropriate. 
  • Maintains aesthetics with various tools typically used on aquaria.
  • Participates in keeper chats, tours, animal presentations or demonstrations, and/or other public interactions as requested by the Zoo Supervisor.
  • May assist with departmental research projects, conservation, AZA, or other industry activities as directed/approve by the Supervisor.
  • Contributes to saving animals in the wild through reduction of waste, water and energy usage and inspiring guests and staff to take wildlife-protecting actions.
  • Actively pursues feedback and strong communication with team members and seeks out additional resources to develop skills for themselves and the team.
  • May be required to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Education and Experience
  • Requires a minimum of three years of animal experience in animal care at an AZA or equivalent facility, gained through employment or internships. Experience working with fishes, elasmobranchs and aquatic invertebrates is required.
  • Bachelor's degree (BA or BS) from four-year college or university in zoology, biology, psychology, animal husbandry or a related field.
  • A certificate of completion from an acceptable animal care program may be substituted for a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Valid Texas driver’s license or ability to obtain one within 60 days of employment.
  • Open Water SCUBA certification is required.
About Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is made up of many moving parts with over 6,000 permanent residents (our animals) for whom we provide housing, meals, medical care and, yes, even education! There are over 2 million guests each year who come to experience our incredible variety of animals and ecosystems, as well as attend special private and public events and entertainment. Our dedicated staff works around the clock to ensure that the Zoo is always running smoothly for the safety and well-being of our residents and guests. We strive to ensure the protection of all the counterparts of the animals we have at the Zoo and in the wild.

Join the Houston Zoo and become a part of an organization that is focused on the preservation of wildlife and their habitats by combining conservation with education and promotion of sustainable livelihoods in the local communities. Houston Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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