Veterinarian- Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Posted: 1 December 2023| $90,000-$110,000| Full time


The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is seeking candidates for the position of Associate Veterinarian to join our collaborative animal care team. Under the direction of the Senior Director of Veterinary Services, the Associate Veterinarian 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 veterinary staff also works closely with veterinary and human medical specialists when advanced diagnostics or therapies are needed for animal patients. Competitive candidates will possess strong leadership skills, will have substantial experience in the veterinary care of a broad taxonomic group of exotic animals as well as excellent communication, interpersonal, and teamwork skills.

essential accountabilities

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.
  • Adhere to and participate in annual update of preventative health care program including: routine examinations, quarantine, parasite control, vaccination programs, tuberculin testing, and infectious disease screening.
  • Provides daily communication with 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

  • Assists with the movement of animals by providing necessary 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.
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations relating to animal care and treatment.
  • Researches current literature on health concerns identified in animal collections. Researches 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 assist in the disposition of nuisance wildlife potentially injurious to the zoo collection, including euthanasia.

Planning and Personnel Management

  • Directly manages hospital team including vet techs and hospital zoo keeper. Assists in orientation and training for new veterinary staff. Supervise veterinary students, veterinary technician students, and volunteers.
  • Effectively communicates with area curators, ZAMS, lead zookeepers and zookeepers on a daily basis, ensuring communication flows effectively from the hospital to animal staff.
  • Ensures animal, employee and other issues in the hospital are appropriately investigated and addressed immediately and that a status/progress report is given to the CVO and area curators in a timely fashion.
  • Assists in formulation of and adhering to veterinary care budgets.
  • Assumes other responsibilities as necessary to assure achievement of established objectives.
  • Manages payroll for direct reports and oversees the implementation of wage and hour regulations.
  • Manages the schedules for all direct reports and oversees the implementation of appropriate regulations.
  • Actively participates in the zoo’s emergency response team.

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.
  • Provides regular performance feedback to reporting staff. Completes timely and appropriate written evaluations that highlight strengths and areas for improvement.


  • Veterinary Degree (DVM, VMD, or overseas equivalent) from an accredited School of Veterinary Medicine required.
  • 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.
  • Must have or ability to obtain a valid California driver’s license.
  • Excellent written and verbal English communications skills required. 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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