Zookeeper I/II - Commissary

Zoo, 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene, Texas, United States of America Req #354
Wednesday, July 27, 2022


Under supervision of the Animal Care Supervisor, the Commissary Zookeeper will provide a variety of duties involved in diet preparation for all zoo animals. The zoo’s animal collection includes mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians. Primary responsibilities include diet preparation, inventory of food items, cleanliness and organization of food prep and storage areas. This position occasionally assists animal care staff with the care of a variety of animals but has limited hand-on animal experience.Employees have access to controlled substances in the performance of their job duties. Therefore, employees are required to not have any previous felony convictions related to a controlled substance.


The Zookeeper I exercises no direct supervision over other employees.The Zookeeper II may exercise technical and functional supervision over lower level staff.


Prepare diets and foods for a variety of classes of zoological specimens including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians according to established policies and procedures in accordance with industry guidelines.

Store and distribute animal diets and foods following feeding guidelines; assist Zoo Staffin evaluating dietary needs and changes of zoo animals according to established USDA and zoo policies. Follow all food safety policies.

Clean and maintain the zoo commissary building, freezer and storage rooms.

Completes required paperwork including daily reports, food inventories, work order requests, and supply requests.

Maintains all food inventory, kitchen tools and equipment, and cleaning supplies for the commissary building.

Order food from various vendors each week and assist with unloading supplies from delivery trucks.

Operate a City vehicle and/or motorized equipment (U.T.V. and golf carts).

Assists animal care staff with a variety of tasks when time allows with the husbandry of animals.

Work in a professional manner with volunteers, including interns, zoo teens, and adult volunteers, and takeresponsibility for training and guiding them in assigned tasks.

Perform other duties as assigned by the zoo management team on specific departmental needs or zoo wide needs and responsibilities; work collaboratively with other zoo staff and departments.


Perform other job related duties and responsibilities as assigned. Participate in zoo meetings, events and attend staff training sessions.


Zookeeper I

Knowledge of:

Safe driving principles and practices.

General animal diets and food handling

Hazards and inherent dangers involved in working at a zoo.

Skill to:

Operate a food grinder and knives.

Ability to use a stove or Instapot to cook produce.

Safely operate a motor vehicle.

Ability to:

Learn the diet and nutritional requirements of zoo animals.

Learn to respond to an animal or public related emergency to prevent injury.

Learn to open, enter, exit, and secure animal enclosures, and service areas.

Follow and carry out specific oral and written instructions.

Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.

Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, both internally and externally.

Follow and embrace the City of Abilene Core Values – Respect, Integrity, Service Above Self, and Excellence in All We Do.

Zookeeper II

In addition to the qualifications for Zookeeper I:

Participate on AZA Committees, as needed and as participation aligns to job related responsibilities.

Knowledge of:

Division specific operation policies and procedures.

Diet and nutritional requirements of all Zoo animals.

USDA and AZA requirements for the commissary department.

Skill to:
Communicate with all food vendors.

Initiative to fix problems when they arise.

Ability to:

Respond to an animal or public related emergency to prevent injury.

Open, enter, exit, and secure animal enclosures, and service areas.

Lead and manage a team in a manner that accomplishes the Division’s mission and treats team members with dignity, courtesy, and respect.

Experience and Training Guidelines:

Any combination equivalent to experience and training to provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities may be qualifying.Knowledge, skills, and abilities may be obtained through:


Zookeeper I:

Entry level position, but preference may be given to individuals with experience in the care of animals.


Food handling experience is preferred.

A high school diploma or GED is required.

An associate’s degree in biology, zoology, zoo technology, animal management or a related field is preferred.

License or Certificate:

A valid Texas driver’s license; the ability to obtain one within ninety (90) days of employment, or a military waiver is required.

Zookeeper II:
Four (4) years of experience equivalent to that of a Zookeeper I in the City of Abilene is required.

Demonstrate leadership and initiative through working with other staff members, participating on committees, and attending professional development courses.

Special Requirements:

Essential duties require the following physical skills and work environment:

With or without accommodation, ability to lift up to 75 pounds.

In accordance with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), employees are required to not have any previous felony convictions related to a controlled substance.

Ability to sit, stand, walk, run, kneel, crouch, stoop, squat, crawl, and climb.

Ability to display adequate field of vision and auditory acuity to be aware of animals or vehicles approaching from the rear.

Exposure to cold, heat, outdoors, and chemicals.

Ability to travel to different sites.

Ability to work alone.

Be willing to work a flexible schedule to include weekdays, weekends, evenings,overnight, and holidays.

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Min Hiring Rate $14.40
  • Max Hiring Rate $19.80
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  • Zoo, 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene, Texas, United States of America