The work involves responsibility for planning and directing the daily activities and operation of an assigned area in the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park. An employee in this class is assigned an area on a taxonomic basis and within this area is responsible for the oversight of the animal collection, the exhibits, and the public facilities including physical structures and grounds. Work is performed under the general supervision of the General Curator with leeway allowed for the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the daily activities and operations within their area of assignment. An employee in this class has a primary responsibility in the training and supervision of the Zoo Attendants and exercises supervision over other employees in the department such as Park Laborers who are assigned to their area. Certain assignments made to employees in this class will require reasonable access to transportation to meet field work requirements made in the ordinary course of business in a timely and efficient manner. Does related work as required.



Plans for and manages a subset of the animal collection including diet and medical management, management of social groups, hand-rearing, and animal training for husbandry and demonstration purposes.

Monitors all animals of the assigned area daily, reporting any abnormalities to General Curator.

Assists the veterinarian and administrative staff in the diagnosis, treatment, and extended care of sick or injured animals, or hand-rearing animals, including the administration of medication, physical therapy, and daily care including normal feeding and cleaning routines.

Captures or assists in the capture and restraint of any zoo animal for the purposes of diagnosis of illness, administration of medication, confinement for transportation, or the shifting of animals between exhibits.

Assists the veterinarian, General Curator and nutritionist in the design of animal diets; distributes diets and monitors consumption.

Feeds and waters animals, monitors water and diet consumption, cleans and disinfects animal enclosures, cleans and disinfects food and water dishes.

Maintains accurate records pertinent to animal history, health, breeding, diet and behavior; utilizes record information for management activities.

Assists General Curator with implementation of animal acquisition and disposition.

Assists General Curator with development of annual Animal Collections budget; maintains inventory of supplies and feeds, requisitions these as needed.

Supervises routine maintenance work within animal enclosures including painting, minor carpentry work, drain maintenance, fence repairs, concrete patching and the care of plants within the animal enclosure.

Supervises routine maintenance of public areas surrounding animal exhibits in a prescribed area of the zoo.

Operates motorized equipment to deliver feed to animal areas, to pick up supplies from sources outside the zoo, or to transport animals for whatever purpose.

Observes the public to prevent undue harassment or injury to animals and to ensure the safety of the public, answers questions from the public about the animals.

Works with Education staff in the implementation of education programs, including animal demonstrations.

Trains and supervises Zoo attendants in the performance of daily aspects of animal care and management including cleaning, diet, health, behavior, training, breeding, capture and restraint, educational presentations and activities, and exhibit maintenance.



Good knowledge of the biology and behavior of a taxonomic subset of animals in the collection, materials, methods and the full range of equipment used in the care and maintenance of animals.

Well-developed observational skills.

Respect, interest and concern for the well being of wild and domestic animals.

Skill in the handling of animals.

Ability to courteously and tactfully deal with zoo visitors.

Ability to train, supervise, and motivate zoo staff in a tactful and positive manner, encouraging, by example, the highest level of performance.

Ability to develop, plan and implement plans according to schedule.

Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.






Four (4) years of permanent, non-competitive class status in the title of Zoo Attendant.


Open Competitive:

A. Four (4) years of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in the care and/or handling of animals in an accredited zoological or wildlife park, two (2) years of which must have been in a supervisory capacity; or,

B. Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or University with an Associates degree in Animal Science or a closely related field and two (2) years of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in the care and/or handling of animals in an accredited zoological or wildlife park, which must have included the supervision of employees; or,

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



At time of appointment, candidates must have two (2) years of work experience in the taxonomic area in which the vacancy exists. The five (5) taxonomic areas include; Elephants, Birds, Reptiles/Amphibians, Fish and Aquatic Invertebrates, and Mammals.


7/01 Revised