Keeper – Dartmoor Zoo

Posted: 21 June 2022   |   Full-Time   | Plymouth, United Kingdom
Application deadline: 4 July 2022


The position requires a dedicated individual who will take direction from the Curator in carrying out the operations of the mammal, reptile, and avian areas of Dartmoor Zoo. This includes all aspects of animal husbandry, animal welfare, habitat maintenance and holding area management. The position will also participate in and assist with the development of the mammal, reptile, and bird training programme. The position will also be responsible for maintaining organised written records pertaining to health, feeding, water quality and behavioural observations. As a keeper you will be expected to learn and improve your knowledge and skills on a daily basis.


Position: Permanent
Hours: Full-time (37.5 hours per week) on a rota basis
Wage: £21,000 per year

Duties and Responsibilities

As a member of the animal care team, you will:

  • lead by example by being patient, kind, humble, respectful, selfless, forgiving, honest and committed when interacting with one another, guests, and animals.
  • provide for the needs of all animals related to the bird, mammal, and reptile collection by performing habitat cleaning, holding and back of house maintenance, diet preparation, feeding, training and enrichment provision, all to high standards.
  • keep work areas clean and organised, and report mechanical failures to supervisors in a timely way.
  • prepare and continually enhance animal areas for aesthetic, reproductive, behaviour, and animal safety (i.e. perching material, nest boxes, “furniture”, live or artificial plants, etc).
  • maintain records pertaining to feeding, water quality analysis, behavioural observations, training activities and medical procedures.
  • cooperate with animal health services staff for animal health issues, treatments, and veterinary procedures, transfers and crating.
  • assist in all other animal care department activities when needed.
  • host animal experiences and give presentations for the public.
  • participate in Dartmoor Zoo related education, public relations and membership programs including facility tours and lectures. 
  • at the direction of other departmental managers, interact with and respond to public/media requests for information.
  • comply with safety and security directives, policies and procedures.
  • adhere to area specific standard operating procedures (SOP’s)
  • maintain discretion with confidential information.
  • attend departmental meetings and participate in developmental seminars and workshops as required.
  • act as a resource and mentor for all trainee keepers and other newly hired keepers.
  • act as a resource and mentor to students, volunteers & placements.
  • perform other related duties as required.

The Perfect Fit

To be successful in this role, you must have:

  • a Bachelor’s Degree in biology or a related field (or 3 to 4 years of full-time mammal or avian experience in a zoo or aquarium), with specific knowledge of animal husbandry and behavioural conditioning.
  • 3 to 4 years (or 4+ years without a degree) experience of working with animals in a zoo or aquarium setting. Emphasis should be on animal care, training, enrichment, exhibit and holding area maintenance. (Domestic pets do not count).
  • a basic understanding of all species within Dartmoor Zoo’s collection.
  • the ability to perform all basic husbandry tasks relating to care for all species within the collection.
  • knowledge of the maintenance of aquariums, aquatic life support systems, and use of water quality testing equipment.
  • knowledge of ZIMS.
  • good written and oral communication skills.
  • the ability to use Word Processing and Spreadsheet software.
  • demonstrable discipline and have a history of a consistently high degree of work quality.
  • the ability to work a flexible schedule which will include weekends and/or evenings and bank holidays.
  • a valid driving licence with a good driving record.
  • the ability to travel when necessary, usually not to exceed four weeks at one time.
  • the ability to respond to emergencies on an on call basis. 
  • good health and be capable of performing strenuous and/or heavy physical labour, and be able to work in all weather conditions.
  • COVID vaccinations (to reduce the risks to our vulnerable animals)

It would also help if you have:

  • a First Aid certificate


Applications: via application form only (visit
Application deadline: 4th July 2022

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