How to Become a Zookeeper
A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for work at a zoo, though you must have lots of relevant experience. Even so, most animal-related zoo jobs require a university or college education in zoology, biology, veterinary technician, animal care, or other animal-related subjects.
As an example, here's the job description for our Keeper Grade One:
- performs general day-to-day care and feeding of the animals in his/her section.
- cleans exhibits and holding areas, observes the Collection for signs of illness, indifference or injury and reports as required.
- maintains tools and equipment in good repair and working order
- assists with the care and treatment of sick and injured animals
- answers questions from visitors and helps with group tours
- assists in the general tidiness of the Zoo with particular attention to litter that may be harmful to animals
- provides regular activities for the enrichment of the animals
- participates in keeper talks and demonstrations
- assists in the training of animals when required
- works in a safe manner in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and WHMIS
- graduate of an animal-related community college or university course, along with previous experience working with large animals
- previous experience in the attraction trade an asset
- able and willing to meet with Toronto Zoo visitors for purposes of answering questions and providing Zoo related information
- good oral and written communication skills
- knowledge of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and WHMIS
- able to meet the physical demands of the job
- able to work weekends, holidays and evenings
- good public speaking abilities for presenting the Zoo's "Meet the Keeper" talks and for media interviews