Contact our HR Department at hr@pittsburghzoo.org

Position Title: Swing Keeper
Department: Mammals


The keeper position is an hourly, collective bargaining unit position responsible for the care of the animal collection.

essential job functions:

    • Provides exceptional care to all assigned animals and exhibits including daily cleaning, water quality, maintenance, feeding, and health assessments as directed by the Curatorial team and be able to perform all tasks without direct supervision.
    • Uses training (operant conditioning) and enrichment to accomplish behavior and welfare goals of the facility. 
    • Develops, implements and evaluates goal-oriented  enrichment opportunities based on behavior goals and natural history daily.
    • Requests, stores, prepares and distributes animal food and water in a timely manner.
    • Keeps feeding, breeding, health, enrichment, training and animal inventory records in required formats.
    • Properly ensures exhibits are secure and safe for all animals and guests. Inspects locks on all cages. Reports any major findings to your supervisor.
    • Maintains the appropriate environmental conditions for the assigned animals; makes minor repairs and/or refers for permanent repairs.
    • Maintains and cleans in and around exhibit and holding quarters, kitchen area, service yards, keeper areas, etc.
    • Assists  the horticulture and maintenance departments with exhibit preparation and beautification.
    • Assists in the implementation of the pest control program which includes application, monitoring and documenting activities.
    • Assists the animal health team in animal examinations, treatments and performs prescribed minor medical procedures.
    • May assist in research study procedures and in the collection of data and preparation of reports.
    • Assists in transferring and transporting of animals as requested or required.
    • Participates in regular keeper talks, answers questions and conducts tours for educational programs and the general public, gives direction as needed and polices the grounds.
    • Participates in staff training programs at the zoo or at remote locations.
    • May oversee work activities and/or provide  training to seasonal staff, volunteers and interns as required or requested.
    • Must be comfortable with talking to small groups and display excellent customer service skills.
    • Responds to emergencies as dictated by protocol.
    • Adhere to all policies and procedures upholding accreditation standards.
    • Performs other related duties as required.

Performance factors:

  • Attendance and Dependability: The employee can be depended on to report to work at the scheduled time and is seldom absent from work.  Employee can be depended upon to complete work in a timely, accurate and thorough manner and is conscientious about assignments.
  • Communication and Contact: The employee communicates effectively both verbally and in writing with superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society.
  • Relationships with Others:  The employee works effectively and relates well with others including superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society.  Exhibits a professional manner in dealing with others, and works to maintain constructive working relationships.
  • Provides excellent customer service in the areas of guest relations and park beautification:
    • Answers visitor inquiries or finds someone who can;
    • Is knowledgeable of location of exhibits, restrooms, concessions, rentals, etc.
    • Disposes of litter and waste throughout the park and zoo facilities.


A minimum of two years paid experience working with exotic animals  in a zoological park or equivalent plus a bachelor’s degree in one of the life sciences. Additional appropriate experience will be considered as a substitute for a bachelor’s degree.   Animal experience related to the species housed in the Zoo’s mammal department will take priority.  Valid driver’s license is required.


Must be able to lift 50 lbs. chest height; as well as perform a host of physical activities on a daily basis.  Some of these requirements include walking, stooping, pushing, pulling, climbing, grasping, bending, crawling, carrying, handling dexterity, etc.  The work performed is physical and demanding and also involves working outdoors in adverse weather conditions.  Must be available to work nights, weekends and holidays; minimal travel may be required.

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