Veterinarian II- Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Posted: 7 December 2023| Full-Time |$100,000-$120,000


The Veterinarian ll provides excellent clinical care for a diverse collection of more than 250 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. The position provides guidance to zoo personnel in animal hygiene, nutrition, zoonosis, and animal management programs. Duties also include compiling and maintaining veterinary treatment and animal health records and coordinating animal research projects. The Veterinarian will also work closely with veterinary and human medical specialists when advanced diagnostics or therapies are needed for animal patients.


Daily Medical Care

  • Provides medical and surgical treatment to the zoo animal collection to the highest industry standards as needed including but not limiting to procedures involving immobilization/anesthesia, physical restraint, physical examination, surgery, radiology, ultrasonography, endoscopy, phlebotomy, cystocentesis, fluid administration, intubation, anesthetic monitoring, bandaging, wound care, dentistry, medication administration and treatment of the zoo’s animal collection.
  •  Ability to assume primary veterinarian role in immobilizing various species of animals including carnivores, primates, hoof stock, etc.
  • Assists in the development of an annual update of preventative health care program including routine examinations, quarantine, parasite control, vaccination programs, tuberculin testing, and infectious disease screening.
  • Provides daily communication and direction to keeper staff on active medical cases and visualizes patient progress routinely.
  • Effectively prepares and maintains medical records including all animals treated or examined. Inputs medical records, testing results, and necropsy/histology reports into ZIMs record keeping program. Ensure that medical records are updated and maintained at a high level of accuracy and professionalism.
  • Works with the Nutrition Services Manager and animal care staff to assist in formulating diets that balance nutritional objectives, with husbandry and behavioral objectives.
  • Adjusts prescribed diets as required to ensure that nutrition, health and husbandry objectives are being met.

Excellent Animal Care

  • Carries out all procedures required in the transfer of animals in and out of facility which includes but not limited to anesthetic exams, diagnostics, health certificates, and any other regulatory requirements.
  • Conducts or arranges necropsy examinations on all deceased collection animals and provides interpretation of findings to animal care staff.
  • Ensures compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations relating to animal care and treatment.
  • Research current literature on health concerns identified in animal collections.
  • Research environmental and nutritional needs of the animal collection.
  • Provides on-call coverage for animal care and ensures routine and emergency care is provided as needed.
  • Provides expert guidance to Zoo personnel in animal hygiene, nutrition, zoonoses, and animal management.
  • Monitors and analyzes current husbandry practices as they relate to disease prevention.
  • Participates in review of research requests submitted to Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and actively completes requests of approved research programs as indicated.
  • Undertake or assists in the disposition of nuisance wildlife potentially injurious to the zoo collection, including euthanasia.

Planning and Personnel Management

  • Assists with the implementation of veterinary care budgets.
  • Assists in orientation and training of new Veterinary staff.
  • Supervise veterinary students, veterinary technician students, and volunteers.
  • Oversees staff performance, providing general feedback and correction when appropriate, and communicates serious or ongoing issues to the Sr. Director of Veterinary Services.
  • Ensures efficient and effective workflow, making appropriate logistical decisions and planning for current and future workflow needs, including interdepartmental scheduling.
  • Effectively communicates with animal husbandry staff on a daily basis, ensuring communication flows effectively from the hospital to animal staff.
  • Ensures animal, employee, and other issues in the hospital are brought to the prompt attention of the Sr. Veterinarian.
  • Assumes other responsibilities as necessary to assure achievement of established objectives.
  • Interfaces with zoo guests in such a way that guests feel that zoo staff are approachable, knowledgeable and eager to assist with questions or concerns.
  • Effectively interacts with zoo staff in a professional manner, maintaining appropriate workplace relationships. Actively assists other staff as needed.
  • Actively participates in the zoo’s emergency response team.
  • Performs Incident Commander duties as needed.

Management Accountabilities

  • Customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgement during the course of the workday. Actively demonstrates leadership through actions, reactions, decisions, and professional demeanor. Practices solution-based problem solving and learns from mistakes. Works with the team to find solutions and asks for help when you need it.
  • Reports to meetings/activities fully present, prepared and punctual. Thoughtfully prioritizes needs in order to be respectful of each other’s time. Respond to emails and other communications in a timely manner. All written communication contains professional and proper language. Demonstrates follow through and is accountable for the management of the team.
  • Willingly engages the team/ Zoo staff and proves to be an inspirational leader. Actively create connections that encourage open and honest communication with all.
  • Remains accessible to the Zoo staff by cell phone. Uses professional courtesy and only call/texts on day off in the event of an emergency.


  • Veterinary Degree (DVM, VMD, or overseas equivalent) from an accredited School of Veterinary Medicine required.
  • Minimum three years’ applicable experience in zoo medicine. Experience in an AZA facility preferred.
  • Previous first-hand experience immobilizing hoof stock, dangerous carnivores, primates
  • License to practice or ability to obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine in the state of California.
  • Completion of an internship or residency in zoo animal medicine or equivalent experience required. Applicable experience in an AZA facility preferred.
  • USDA accreditation to certify health for interstate and international transport of animals.
  • Ability to obtain DEA license.
  • Ability to quickly make appropriate decisions and demonstrate leadership in emergency situations.
  • Strong planning, analytical and decision-making skills are required, with the ability to work in a dynamic, evolving organization.
  • Must have or ability to obtain a valid California driver’s license.
  • Excellent written and verbal English communications skills required, including the ability to present information to small and large groups. Bilingual communication skills a plus.
  • Ability to work evenings, weekdays, weekends, and holidays.

physical requirements

These are physical and mental requirements of the position as it is typically performed.  Inability to meet one or more of these physical or mental requirements will not automatically disqualify a candidate or employee from the position.  Upon request for a reasonable accommodation, the Zoo may be able to adjust or excuse one or more of these requirements, depending on the requirement, the essential functions to which it relates, and the proposed accommodation.  

  • This position involves sitting, standing and walking. The employee may be required to bend, stoop, or kneel to examine and treat animals.
  • The employee is regularly required to lift and/or carry up to 30 pounds, and occasionally up to 50 pounds.
  • Hand/finger dexterity to properly handle medical tools and equipment.
  • Close visual acuity for medical/surgical procedures and to view a computer monitor and read printed materials; distance vision sufficient to monitor animal activities and general surroundings.
  • Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication (in person and via telephone), at normal speaking levels with or without correction.
  • Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word. The employee must convey detailed or important spoken information to others in small and large group settings.

work environment

  • The position functions primarily indoors with regular exposure to outdoor Zoo environments.
  • The employee is regularly exposed to a variety of animals with risk of animal bites (including venomous), zoonotic disease, and other animal-related injury.
  • Occasional local travel including animal transport is required.

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