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Jobs and Careers

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:

Responsibilities

  • 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

Qualifications

  • 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