Zoo Openings

Zoo Openings

Jun 24, 2014


Children’s Zoo Specialists are both animal care specialists and educators responsible for an animal collection consisting of domestic and exotic animals for programming, contact and exhibit. Children’s Specialist are responsible for providing animal care, monitoring animal health, maintaining cleanliness of animal areas, providing enrichment, exhibit maintenance and improvements, and preparing and presenting engaging public education presentations for children and families. Children’s Zoo Specialists work in all areas of the Children Zoo which includes: the Farmyard, Underzone, Discovery House, Nature Exchange, and Birds Landing.


The focus of the Children’s Zoo SpecialistIII – Animal Presentations and Trainingwill beto assist Supervisor in the establishment, implementation, maintenance and oversight of animal operant conditioning training plans for all Children’s Zoo animals for the purposes of husbandry procedures, veterinary treatment and educational presentations. CZ Specialist III facilitates communication flow in department, leads work group on a daily basis in completing assigned duties and serves as the contact for the department in supervisor’s absence.



  • Consistently demonstrates excellence in all aspects of animal care. Closely observes and monitors animals for health and behavioral issues. Thoroughly communicates daily status of animals in writing and verbally to coworkers, supervisors, curator and veterinarians. Competent in the use of electronic records and can provide assistance to others. Prepares and presents diets according to diet plan. Medicates animals as directed. Develops plan and performs operant conditioning for animals to accomplish training and husbandry goals. Provides rotating and appropriate enrichment for animals. Follows protocols and operating procedures to maintain a high level of animal care and safety.  Observes and corrects or reports procedures or maintenance practices that vary from USDA, AZA, program animal or other relevant standards.
  • Acts as liaison for department to any outside department coordinating program animal schedules; insuring instructor animal handling trainings are completed and maintained; facilitating communications; assuring that  any handlers from outside the Children Zoo are compliant with CZ protocols and procedures; assures program animals are trained properly to best suit education program needs.
  • Provides mentoring to develop individual trainers and training teams as well as participate as CZ Department liaison to DZM ACT Committee; communicating ACT strategies and initiatives to CZ Supervisor and assisting in compliance and coordination of CZ training plans.
  • Within goals and outcomes established by the Conservation & Education Division and LFCZ Department, develops and implements age-appropriate, creative and engaging activities and programs for the LFCZ audience. Actively takes initiative to facilitate guests’ appreciation of animals and sense of connection with nature. Engages in positive guest interactions with an audience of children and their families. Provides animal encounters, formal and informal presentations, and other educational opportunities for visitors. Monitors guests and manages as needed to ensure animal and human safety and protection of Zoo property.
  • Trains and provides guidance to CZ Specialists and volunteers, serve as an information resource regarding animals and facilities.  Coordinates tasks for the day based on supervisor’s prioritization, and ensures that staff complete desired goals.  Sets an example for work group through positive demeanor and behavior and cultivates and maintains positive relationships inside and outside of section.  Assists supervisor in keeping team cohesive, productive, and efficient.  Ensures that work section has tools and materials needed to complete tasks safely and properly.  Leads work group in absence of supervisor; coordinates activities of other departments in the section and keeps curator/vets apprised of any major animal or facility concerns/issues.   May be responsible for scheduling, work orders and other duties; leads section projects.
  • Communicates problems regarding facilities, safety, and personnel to the supervisor.  Recommends viable suggestions to improve operations.
  • Follows Dallas Zoo employee operating procedures without fail and supports organizational policy.  Represents Dallas Zoo in a professional manner at all times.
  • Clean exhibits and holding areas to maintain a high level of sanitation.  Perform minor facility maintenance and exhibit modifications as appropriate. Maintain Zoo equipment and property in clean, safe and appropriate condition; return it ready for next use.  Conduct facility and vehicle inspections as assigned. Participates in exhibit renovation and improvement projects.
  • Maintains, submits and utilizes accurate reports and records.
  • Follows all safety protocols and understand staff role in emergency procedures. Responds according to emergency response protocols and assumes leadership role if needed.
  • Seeks out, studies and shares materials that support continual learning regarding animal care and well-being, behavior and natural history, operant conditioning and training, guest engagement, and conservation behavior.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.




  • Must have at least three to four years of animal care and training experience combined in a professional setting. Must have mastery of USDA regulations and AZA guidelines, including those for program animals, pertaining to zoo animal welfare; recognizes deviation from these policies/regulations and recommends corrective action.
  • Must have a proven record of accomplishment in animal training and public presentation with program/contact animals.
  • Must have experience in development and implementation of a comprehensive animal training program.
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED. Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, zoology or related field strongly preferred or equivalent combination of training and experience.
  • Shows demonstrated excellence in previous work setting related to animal care and training, guest engagement, team work, communication, and all aspects of safety including emergency situations.
  • Demonstrated track-record in professional development and expanding job knowledge.
  • Demonstrated skill in creating and executing employee trainings as related to animal training plans.
  • Demonstrated excellence in interpersonal skills. Must display a high level of customer service skills and a positive and professional attitude. Must have a desire to engage and work with large groups of children and adults; must demonstrate calm, professional and pleasant crowd management skills under a wide variety of circumstances.
  • Must be flexible, self-motivated and a team player. Proven skill leading work groups in completing assigned goals. Effective communication style with diverse personalities
  • Ability to think and plan ahead for various contingencies. Proven record that demonstrates initiative in observing, interpreting and solving problems using appropriate resources.
  • Takes direction well and willing to support organizational decisions and policies. Must be able to establish and maintain an effective rapport with all levels of management, employees and zoo guests. Must be able to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Computer knowledge essential, including basic proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).  Knowledge of ZIMS and or other animal record-keeping, a plus.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively in English both orally and in writing.   Spanish fluency a plus.
  • Must be able to walk, stand, sit, kneel, stoop, crawl, twist, reach above head, pull bend, climb stairs and ladders and carry up to 50lbs.
  • Must be able to work holidays and weekends.
  • Must be able to actively work outdoors in hot or inclement weather.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license with reliable transportation

How to apply

Apply online: You may download an application or e-mail a resume with cover letter to zoojobs@DallasZoo.com. Be sure to place the job code of the position for which you are applying in the subject line. Job codes are on the individual job listings.

Apply by mail: Download and mail a completed application or resume with cover letter to: Dallas Zoo Management, Inc. Attn: Human Resources 650 S. R.L. Thornton Frwy Dallas, TX 75203

Apply by fax:  Download and Fax a completed application or resume with cover letter, Attn: Human Resources at 469.554.7388.

Apply in person:  You may complete and turn in an application or drop off a resume with cover letter, Attn: Human Resources.

Please note:  All applicants desiring to be considered for more than one posted position must apply for each position separately.

Due to the heavy volume of applicants, only those selected for interviews and/or further screening will be contacted.

Successful candidates must pass pre-employment drug screening, background check and TB test.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for this position without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era. EOE M/F/D/V  www.DallasZoo.com.

Join the Dallas Zoo Management, Inc. community to experience a unique, challenging and rewarding career. If you are interested, please email your resume and cover letter to ZooJobs@DallasZoo.com. All applicants MUST place job code CZS3 in the subject line to be considered.