Zookeeper - Elephants

Date: May 22, 2023

Location: Wichita, KS, US

Company: Sedgwick County

Department:  Zoo 

Pay:  $18.17 per hour  

Work Schedule:   


Sedgwick County offers a comprehensive benefits package for full-time employees that includes health coverages, paid leave, regular compensation reviews, retirement plans, and professional development opportunities.  For more detailed information, please visit our benefits page at SCBenefits.


In a team setting provides daily care for a multigenerational, multi-sex herd of African elephants. Care includes but is not limited to: feeding, cleaning, observing, recording, and reporting behavior. Participates in elephant welfare assessment practices. Conducts training and enrichment activities. Inspects facilities for security, safety, repair and maintenance. Interacts and provides customer service to all zoo defined customers.


Animal Care and Management

  • Demonstrates and maintains knowledge of basic elephant natural history and behavior.
  • Acquires and maintains a working knowledge of AZA Accreditation Standards for elephant management and care.
  • Observe and understand the complexities of animal behavior, including individual animals and larger social context, animal general health, and behavior
  • Recognize abnormalities and potential medical conditions.
  • Effectively and timely communicates to supervisors and veterinary team observations of animal behavior and health conditions.
  • Prepares animal diets.
  • Uses positive reinforcement training in a restricted contact situation, trains elephants to assess medical conditions and to maintain a safe working environment.
  • Under the direction of veterinarians and/or supervisors administer medications or treatment as instructed.
  • Actively participate in team problem solving and decision-making processes.


Animal Welfare

  • Through consultation with supervisors and other resources, maintain and develop a skillset of positive welfare and animal training as outlined in the elephant management plan.
  • Conduct and evaluate enrichment activities to satisfy the requirements of the elephant management plan and AZA standards.
  • Use operant conditioning in a restricted contact environment to conduct and evaluate positive reinforcement training to satisfy the requirements of the elephant management plan and AZA standards.
  • Maintain thorough and accurate record keeping; animal training, enrichment, behavioral observations and health conditions.
  • Participate in animal welfare assessment activities.


Area Maintenance

  • Clean and maintain service areas, animal habitats, and public viewing areas. Areas are to be clean, organized and free of clutter. Public areas are to be clean, presentable and aesthetically pleasing for zoo defined customers.
  • Use skid steers, ATVs, wheel barrows, rakes, shovels, hoses, scrub brooms, tubs and a variety of other tools.
  • Complete daily inspections of animal habitats and associated facilities for security and safety concerns.
  • Notify needs of minor repairs to facilities or promptly submit concerns to supervisor.
  • Ensure that habitats are ready for public display in a timely manner.
  • Communicate any pest control concerns to supervisors or veterinary team.


Minimum Qualifications: Two years coursework from an accredited college or university in Biology, Zoology, or a related field. Education may be substituted with experience, with one year of experience for one year of education. One year of experience at an AZA Facility. Per Sedgwick County Policy, this is a driving level position that requires a valid US driver’s license without restrictions and current proof of automobile insurance.


Preferred Qualifications: Degree in Zoology or Biology from an accredited college or university. Three years of experience as a zookeeper in an AZA Facility. Valid State of Kansas Driver’s License. Experience with operant conditioning and enrichment techniques, experience with power tools, experience using a skid steer and bobcat.


It is the policy of Sedgwick County not to discriminate in its programs or services provided to the general public, including employment and all other activities, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other similarly protected status. Sedgwick County is committed to making the application, interview, and pre-employment testing process accessible to persons with disabilities. If you wish to volunteer information regarding any special assistance you may need, please notify Human Resources by phone at (316) 660-7050, TDD (Kansas Relay at 711 or 800-766-3777). Do not use this phone number for employment questions. This number is provided only for those requiring ADA assistance. You will be contacted should the department feel that you are a qualified candidate.

Nearest Major Market: Wichita

Job Segment: Veterinarian, Veterinary