Temporary Keeper Hiring List - Zoo Nutrition

Brookfield Zoo - Brookfield, IL4.2

CZS is currently soliciting on-line applications from qualified and experienced animal care professionals for placement on a hiring list for temporary positions. The list will be used to select qualified candidates for temporary full-time zookeeper positions which arise due to employee absences, leaves, and position vacancies. These temporary assignments may range from several days or weeks to several months, or more, depending on the particular assignment. Placement on the temporary keeper hiring list does not guarantee employment.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which operates the Brookfield Zoo, is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Humane Association. Brookfield Zoo provides state-of-the-art care through top-notch medical, husbandry, and nutrition programs to thousands of animals representing over 500 species. Those who work in Zoo Nutrition Services are not working with animals. CZS is one of the few zoological organizations in the world with professional nutritionists on staff. There are less than 20 zoo nutritionists in the United States, many of whom interned or received training at Brookfield Zoo. The ultimate goal of our nutrition program is to help provide nutritional diets to keep zoo animals around the world healthy.

There is a direct relationship between the nutritional status of an animal and its diet. But studies of free-ranging animals rarely provide data on the quantity of food consumed or the nutrient content of those food items. It is therefore important to compare the nutritional status of captive and free-ranging animals since captive animals have known, quantified food and nutrient intake. Animals require as many as 64 nutrients to maintain optimal health. High nutrient levels in the body may indicate potential disease or excesses in dietary nutrients. Low nutrient levels in the body may indicate disease, deficiencies in available nutrients, or a malabsorption syndrome. To assess the nutritional health of animals, researchers need to determine the normal values for captive and free-ranging animals. Understanding nutritional status is vital to efforts to successfully conserve and propagate animal populations, in the wild and in captivity.

Zoo Nutrition Services staff serve as members of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Nutritional Advisory Group, a scientific body that helps bring the results of research to the attention of other institutions. They also work closely with the Comparative Nutritionist Society (CNS), comprising representatives from universities, government agencies, agricultural industries, and others. Through their networking activities, research efforts, and information sharing, Zoo Nutrition Services helps zoos and aquariums around the world ensure the best health of the animals in their care.

Qualified individuals selected for consideration will be placed on the list for a period of up to six (6) months and may be contacted for temporary positions as they become available during that time. Individuals wishing to be considered for a longer period of time must reapply to be considered.

Placement on the list will be based on the Society's assessment of each candidate's skills, experience, ability, training, availability and other job-related criteria. Consideration for individual temporary openings will be based on the candidate's suitability for the specific opening involved. The current pay rate for these union positions is $22.57/hour. Fringe benefits include only 401k plan and paid time off. Temporary full-time Keepers receive valuable hands-on zookeeping experience, and they may apply and be considered for openings for regular, full-time zookeeper positions as they become available.

Position Requirements and Specifications

Temporary zookeepers generally must be available to begin within 14 calendar days or less of receiving notice and must be able to work rotating schedules, which includes weekends and holidays.

A Bachelor's Degree in zoology, animal science, or other related biological field is preferred, a practical understanding of the principles of animal behavior, good interpersonal, communication and decision making skills, and a valid driver’s license. Valid medical authorization card required for positions with commercial motor vehicle driving responsibilities. An understanding of practical principles of nutrition, food science/service, cafeteria, and warehousing is required; food product or food handling experience or nutrition, food science/service, warehousing, and cafeteria equivalent experience preferred. Prior experience as a zookeeper with animal diet preparation is preferred. A Temporary Keeper position in Zoo Nutrition Services does not include contact with animals.

Additional Information

In order to be considered, submit your on-line application for this opportunity and each animal area of interest no later than March 31, 2019. Please visit the CZS Career Center www.czs.org/careers to obtain more details about the Temporary Keeper Hiring List opportunities and to apply by submitting your profile.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile. Please visit our website at www.czs.org/czs/careers. Please look for requisition 1819BR.

Schedule Details

This position requires the ability to work rotating schedules, which includes weekends and holidays.

Job LocationChicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo
Zip Code


DepartmentAnimal Programs Administration

Animal Programs

Union StatusUnion
Work Shift

Rotating Schedule