The work involves responsibility for a broad spectrum of exotic animal care for a homogeneous section of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo of the Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation. This responsibility includes but is not limited to diet, medication, animal training and breeding. An employee in this class exercises direct supervision over a number of subordinate staff as well as volunteers engaged in care, handling, treatment and feeding of zoo animals. General supervision is received from the Director of Natural Resource Facilities and Services. The Curator of Animals classification is distinguished by the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out responsibilities for their assigned areas and by their participation in the management of the zoo. Does related work as required.




Participates in the care, handling, treatment and feeding of zoo animals.

Supervises subordinate staff engaged in the care, handling, treatment and feeding of zoo animals, and to the extent necessary, supervises maintenance of staff engaged in buildings and grounds maintenance and repair.

Conducts and participates in the public programs of the zoo, attends professional seminars to enhance knowledge of zoo activities and participates in exhibit design work for the zoo.

Facilitates zoological research on the animal collection.

Participates in zoo management by establishing animal management plans and by researching and identifying animal inventory to locate and purchase zoo specimens.

Maintains accurate records pertinent to animal health, history, breeding, diet and, shall review daily animal reports to determine and authorize change in care, treatment, handling and/or feeding of animals.




Good knowledge of care, handling, treatment and feeding of a taxonomic subset of animals in the zoo’s collection.

Good knowledge of behavior, characteristics, diseases, injuries and pests of zoo animals.

Good knowledge of disease and injury, pest control, housing and diet of zoo animals.

Good knowledge of the principles and practices of zoology.

Good knowledge of the principles and practices of supervision.

Good problem solving skills.

Ability to supervise subordinate employees.

Skill in the handling of zoo animals.

Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.






Four (4) years of permanent competitive class status in the title of Senior Zoo



Open Competitive:


A. Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a baccalaureate degree including or supplemented by successful completion of thirty (30) semester credit hours in physical, biological or behavioral sciences and two (2) years of professional* level experience, or its part time

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equivalent, in the care of captive wild animals in a zoo or wild life park; or,

B. Six (6) years of paraprofessional or professional level work experience, or its part time equivalent, in the care of captive wild animals in a zoo or wild life park, two (2) years of which must have been professional* level experience; or,

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


NOTE: For the purpose of meeting these minimum qualifications, professional level experience is defined as experience which included as a regular and recurring function of the position work activities such as supervising staff and/or volunteers, performing tasks with a greater degree of independence and a lesser degree of direct supervision, assisting program administrators in developing programs, etc. Experience as an entry level keeper or attendant is not considered as qualifying experience for professional level.


5/06 - Revised