Zookeeper holding a snake during an experience.

Specialised Elephant Keeper - Full Time

Specialised Elephant Keeper - Full Time

Australia Zoo has an exciting opportunity available for an experienced Specialised Elephant Keeper to join our team in a Full Time Capacity here at Australia Zoo!

Australia Zoo is an equal opportunity employer, where we recognise the diversity of our workforce and community – be it on the basis of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or religious belief.  We provide specific workplace programs to support diversity and equal employment opportunities for women, people with disabilities and all cultural backgrounds.

This position is primarily responsible for ensuring the care and well-being of our beautiful Sumatran elephants. You must be understanding and sensitive to the ever-evolving needs of the animals in your care. You are responsible for the animals’ exhibits, maintenance, landscaping and presentations at daily demonstrations wherever applicable.

At Australia Zoo, our keepers continually work towards providing improved facilities and care for their animals, and do so with enthusiasm and motivation toward their individual learning and training. The successful candidate will have excellent organisation, great oral and written communications and an eye for detail. The successful candidate will have the ability to work cohesively within a small team and have the ability to problem solve throughout all aspects of their day.


Primary Duties –

  • Training animals to obey verbal and non-verbal commands and addressing behavioural problems by utilising Operant Conditioning techniques
  • Undertake cleaning and maintenance of the elephant and other animal habitat as required along with general husbandry tasks within these areas
  • Assist with the planning, development and construction of habitats to ensure safety is maintained for all staff, contractors and animals nearby
  • Conducting safe “free contact” elephant handling techniques safely under the direction of senior handlers
  • Conduct frequent animal health checks and report any concerns immediately to the appropriate Head of Department and Veterinarian
  • Prepare food and conduct feeding of elephants and other animals in accordance with dietary requirements, feeding schedules and procedures
  • Maintain records of observations and reports on animal behaviour and/or breeding via ZIMS
  • Conduct environment and habitat safety checks to ensure the health and safety of all parties is maintained
  • Undertake hands-on care of animals, ensuring safety and gentle handling is maintained at all times
  • Undertake enrichment programs, adjusted and composed for each individual
  • Provide a high level of customer service at all times
  • Assist with preparation of each individual for travel in a safe manner with minimum stress to the animal
  • Undertake public speaking and/or delivery of demonstrations and educate the public about conservation
  • Knowledge of basic husbandry requirements
  • Ensure a knowledge of all relevant conservation programs Australia Zoo contributes to
  • Take responsibility for your own skill development and progression throughout all training aspects of the role
  • Work within guidelines if health and safety procedures to ensure security of animals, staff and guests
  • Commitment to the Australia Zoo Group’s policies and procedures
  • Participate in performance training and development reviews as requested by the company both on and off the job
  • Attend meetings as requested by your Supervisor/HOD or Senior Management
  • Other duties as requested by your Supervisor/HOD or Senior Management

Essential Criteria –

  • A minimum of 8 years’ experience working with elephants and large animals
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience working within the Captive Animal Industry
  • Experience conducting enriching activities, exercising and husbandry routines
  • Experience with Operant Conditioning techniques
  • A sound knowledge of elephant dietary requirements and the ability to construct, prepare and review ever-evolving feeding regimes
  • A demonstrated ability to handle conflict and high risk/high pressure situations
  • Experience conducting health checks on large species
  • Relevant qualifications / certificates (for example; Cert III in Captive Animals, Endangered Species Management Certificates, Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animal Certificates)
  • Experience with general veterinary practices, such as urine collection, blood collection and animal foot care
  • Knowledge of zoonotic diseases and up to date immunisations of all those relevant (q-fever, tetanus)
  • Knowledge of Australia Zoo’s missions and goals, along with Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors vision
  • A current manual driver’s licence and reliable vehicle for getting to and from work
  • A high level of physical fitness, and the ability to perform manual tasks
  • 7 day availability, including weekends, public holidays and school holidays
  • Proof of Coronavirus Vaccination (unless otherwise exempt)
  • Q-fever Vaccination

Preferred Criteria –

  • Current 1st Aid qualifications
  • Any other relevant certificates/qualifications involving Leadership, Training, WHS
  • Any other relevant certificates/qualifications surrounding captive animal care and isolated species care
  • Australian firearms licence
  • Experience using ZIMS and keeping accurate records of all animal behaviours and interactions
  • Experience writing policies/procedures associated with elephants and other large captive species

Apply for this job below. Applications close 15th of December 2021.

Here is a checklist of information you will need to have ready before you start to complete the employment application form:

  • Education history
  • Employment history
  • References
  • Any qualifications you may have eg First Aid
  • Any achievements you may like to tell us about
  • Your availability (what hours can you work)
  • A resume in .pdf or .doc format
  • Any other info that may support your application

Ready to Apply?