Apply: Marine Mammals Caretaker

At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

The Oklahoma City Zoological Park & Botanical Garden is seeking an enthusiastic and team oriented individual to join the Marine Mammal care team to maintain the welfare of the Zoo’s assigned animal collection and its environment through the implementation of departmental activities and staff training. The ideal candidate must have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff at all levels and possess excellent communication and organizational skills to function effectively in a team environment.

The Animal Caretaker of Marine Mammals is responsible for maintaining the welfare of the Zoo’s assigned animal collection and its environment through daily husbandry, operant conditioning training and enrichment.  Under the direct supervision of the Assistant Curator, this position performs a variety of skilled/semi-skilled work required for the care and safety of animals, staff and the public.  In addition, the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff at all levels and possess excellent communication and organizational skills to function effectively in a team environment.

Essential Functions of the Position

  • Actively participates in daily advanced animal husbandry techniques following established standard operating procedures for animal care, food preparation, and clean up, including proper maintenance and sterilization of equipment.
  • Maintains and renovates exhibits, service areas, and equipment including executing underwater maintenance and cleaning of deep water habitats.
  • Supports daily purposeful enrichment and documentation to promote, encourage and evaluate natural and engaging behaviors.
  • Develops a basic understanding of and supports operant conditioning training for advanced behaviors and public demonstrations. Participates in Zoo wide Training program.
  • Observes, monitors, and reports animal behavior changes and medical problems.
  • Assists in veterinary medical procedures. 
  • Educates the public and provides positive guest experiences.
  • Collaborates with other Zoo departments.
  • Participates in collaborative efforts to research natural behaviors of the animals in the area.
  • Maintains a superior level of showmanship while performing support/back-up roles in daily shows, guest interactions, and other programs as applicable.

Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of and ability to participate in general animal husbandry, handling, and capture/ restraint practices and procedures, and all appropriate documentation that may be required.
  • Knowledge of basic chemistry methods and water quality testing (if required as part of the job).
  • Knowledge of general buildings and grounds maintenance and repair work.
  • Knowledge of and experience with basic computer operation.
  • Knowledge of the policies, practices, and procedures of the Oklahoma City Zoo and the assigned department and area (to be acquired within 30 days of hire).
  • Skill in public speaking.
  • Skill in preparing and maintaining a variety of records, reports, and correspondence using appropriate format and computer software.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, professional colleagues and the public, both in person and through phone, e-mail and written correspondence.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; skill in working in an environment subject to constant interruptions and quickly changing priorities; ability to prioritize responsibilities when necessary; effective time-management skills.
  • Strong sensory skills, such as eyesight, hearing, and/or dexterity. Follows dive safety guidelines established by the dive safety officer during underwater activities

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • None

Physical Demands

  • Required to walk, sit and stand for periods of time.
  • Ability to push, lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Ability to bend, stoop, kneel and move intermittently throughout the day.
  • Ability to perform basic swimiming skills in shallow and deep water

Work Environment

  • Indoor/Outdoor.
  • Work around and in shallow and deep water environments
  • Driving around the Oklahoma City area throughout the year.
  • Exposure to fumes, odors, dust, moving mechanical parts and vehicles, on an occasional basis.
  • Noise level is usually quiet to moderate, with occasional increases due to large groups of people in Zoo buildings and on ground.
  • Exposure to external environmental conditions, such as heat, cold, rain, snow and ice.
  • Exposure to potentially dangerous animals.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which may include evenings and/or weekends and holidays and during emergency situations such as dictated by weather.
  • Elements of the position require employees to wear a wet suit for extended periods throughout the day.
  • This position requires direct contact with raw seafood

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, psychology, zoology or related field.  1-year of experience working with animals (volunteer work included) pinniped experience preferred
  • OR, an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed in this job description.
  • Maintains SCUBA certification.
  • Ability to pass departmental swim test, which includes, but is not limited to minimum requirements for treading water, breath holding, free diving and endurance.
  • Must possess a valid Oklahoma motor vehicle operator’s license and pass a Driver’s History check to operate Zoo vehicles.
  • Successful completion of a pre-employment background check, and a drug test.
  • Ability to pass annual TB tests.

This is your opportunity to be a part of a distinguished and advancing organization in a remarkable area. Please send cover letter, resume and references to: Human Resources Department, Oklahoma City Zoological Park, 2101 N.E. 50th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111 or email

The Oklahoma City Zoo has a Smoke-Free Environment, is a Drug-Free Workplace, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

First consideration given to applicants that apply by 4/23/2019.

Please answer the simple math question below to submit the form.
2 + 2 =
Search the site