The work involves responsibility for providing all primary care for the Burnet Park Zoo animal collection and doing general maintenance, housekeeping, and groundskeeping work for the zoo facility. Primary care is delivered through daily observation of animals, daily gathering of vital signs and statistics of each animal, correlation of all observations with cumulative knowledge of their behavior, and daily independent implementation of proper zoo management techniques as authorized by the zoo's administrative staff through consultation and continuing study. A Zoo Attendant would be the first to recognize any changes in the health of the animals. An employee in this class does manual work in cleaning, repair, construction and general care of animal exhibits, buildings, and grounds to promote the comfort and safety of animals and visitors of the Zoo. An employee in this class is under the direct supervision of the Zoo Superintendent, Curator and/or Veterinarian. Supervision is exercised by an employee in this class when training new employees or when directing the activities of summer employees, zoo volunteers and Education Department Docents. Work is often performed under adverse weather conditions. Work may be performed under potentially dangerous circumstances. Work may require operation of a motor vehicle. Does related work as required.




Inspects all animals under care frequently throughout the day for motor ability impairment, blood loss or other discharge observed, signs of fighting or stress, signs of sexual behavior, pregnancy, the presence of extoparasites such as fleas, ticks and mites, the presence of lesions or tumors, abnormal behavior patters or other signs of illness.

Reports injuries and illness of animals to the Zoo Veterinarian, and Curators.

Assists the Veterinarian and Curatorial Staff in the diagnosis, and in the subsequent treatment and extended care of sick of injured animals including the administration of medication and physical therapy.

Assists in the capture and restraint of any and all animal species for the purpose of diagnosis of illness, administration of medication, confinement for transportation, or the shifting of animals between exhibits.

Aids in the design of animal diets through daily observation and analysis of the animals' food intake and metabolism to determine the diets nutritional effectiveness, may do diet research for animals under his/her responsibility.

Examines fecal material and urine for signs of abnormal functioning of the digestive tract, the presence of parasite infestation, and the animal's ability to metabolize foodstuffs.

Feeds and waters animals under care; cleans and disinfects food and water dishes.

Cleans animal cages, pens and barns; disinfects animal areas and cages, cleans buildings and public areas; removes all waste to dumpster.

Observes public in area to prevent undue harassment or injury to animals and to insure the safety of the public.

Answers questions from the public about animals making use of acquired knowledge through independent research, and in‑service training as well as through practical work experience, may give educational animal demonstrations (both on and off zoo grounds) and zoo tours.

Does routine groundskeeping work such as, cutting grass, raking leaves, picking up debris and snow removal.

Does routine maintenance work for the zoo facility; does painting, minor carpentry work, keeps drains unclogged, repairs fencing, patches concrete.

Cares for trees, shrubs, plants and flowerbeds on zoo grounds.

May drive motor vehicles to deliver hay or feed to animal areas, to pick up supplies from sources outside the zoo grounds, or to transport animals to the offices of the veterinary staff or other zoos.






May hand rear, handle for gentleness training or participate in training program for animals under care. (This may include 24 hours a day care in administering a specialized feeding schedule and other vital maternal care. This may also be extended on a progressively limited basis, over a period of up to two (2) months, providing for any and all needs of the juvenile animal. Appropriate dietary, behavior, and habitat research may also be required).

May prepare animal diets by reading diet she eats and placing food on appropriate dishes, scrubs and disinfects food preparation area.

May direct the activities of new employees, seasonal employees, and volunteers in their responsibilities.


When on Evening or Night Shift:


Makes regular rounds of zoo with punch clock, checking in at designated stations.

Observes all animals for injury or illness, or animal out of enclosure.

Checks all locks, looks for broken windows and any other conditions which might endanger animals.

Reports any condition of animal or building, which might result in damage to animals before morning to the Zoo Superintendent.

Reports any intruder to Park Patrol and City Police, and Zoo Superintendent.

Prepares daily report listing any changes in animal behavior, acceptance of food and eating levels of animals, daily work not complete and reason.




Working knowledge of animal care and feeding practices.

Working knowledge of materials, methods, and equipment used in cleaning and caring for buildings and grounds.

Ability to acquire fairly acute observational skills.

Ability to understand and use the concepts of normal and abnormal animal behavior, stress, flight distance, territoriality, social dominance hierarchy.

Respect, interest and liking for wild animals and their comfort and well being.

Skill in handling animals.

Ability to courteously and tactfully deal with members of the public with regard to situations potentially injurious to the animal collection or the public.

Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.




A. Six (6) months of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in the care and/or handling of animals in a zoological or wildlife park, veterinarian's office, or business or enterprise related to the care and/or handling of animals; or,

B. Successful completion of nine (9) semester credit hours from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university in a curriculum related to physical, biological or animal behavioral sciences; or,

C. An equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of (A) and (B).


12/87 Revised