Careers - Zoo Keeper
Have you ever thought of a career in a zoo? We explore some key roles at ZSL and what they entail
Qualifications and experience
At least five good GCSEs and at least one A-level. BTEC qualification in Animal Science or Husbandry is also acceptable.
What zoos look for
Someone who can demonstrate a genuine interest in animals and their welfare and an interest in conservation. Someone who is fit and healthy, not afraid of hard physical work and prepared to work regular weekends. Someone who is self-disciplined and a team player. Also someone who is happy to talk to visitors and answer questions.
What the work involves
Cleaning out dens and enclosures; preparing food; observing animals and keeping records; giving talks to visitors, working with the vet if animals become ill.
To become a Qualified Keeper, you need to complete a three-year training period. During this period, you will need to successfully acheieve the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals (DMZAA). The training period includes learning about nutrition, enclosure design, health, safety and hygiene, restraint and transport of animals, conservation, disease and the husbandry needs of different types of animal.
Applying for a job
This is a very popular position. At ZSL we look for a disciplined and practical approach to animal welfare, enthusiasm, a commitment to conservation and a willingness to communicate with visitors. Jobs are advertised on the ZSL website.