JOB POSTING: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

08/01/2022 3:17 PM | Chase LaDue (Administrator)

Job Title: Seasonal Animal Care Assistant- Elephants

  • FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

    Hours: This is a seasonal position that can work up to 40hrs per week. Position runs through the end of 2022.

    About the role: 

    We are looking for an enthusiastic and driven animal care professional to join our team as our herd has grown by two! Our program tends to be unique to other programs in the US currently. We have 5 wild born females, one zoo born breeding male, and 2 calves with 2 more on the way. We have tasked ourselves to maintain them as a socially cohesive herd and minimize the impact we have in taking away their time to be elephants. Translation, we do not train every elephant every day! We manage their living spaces to provide the opportunities needed for skin care and exercise to maintain optimum welfare and a healthy herd. We continually evaluate behavior to maintain and improve female herd dynamics, facilitate natural breeding, and provide for appropriate social opportunities for all our herd members. We strive to provide the maximum amount of choice and control to our elephants with everything that we do. Qualified candidates must function as a part of the elephant team to ensure a safe and productive work environment. Duties will include but are not limited to all aspects of the daily management of African elephants including daily cleaning and exhibit maintenance, feeding, enrichment, detailed record keeping, behavioral observations, browse identification, general maintenance, public demonstrations, and all other duties as assigned.

    Duties and Responsibilities (include but not limited to):

  • ·       General exhibit and holding area cleaning and maintenance
  • o   Cleaning all elephant holding and exhibit spaces
  • o   Cleaning all tools, equipment, and service areas
  • o   Weed eating in and around habitats
  • ·       Planning, implementing, and evaluating daily resource management to improve elephant wellness 
  • ·       Diet prep and daily supply runs to the commissary
  • ·       Behavioral observations, video review, and detailed record keeping
  • ·       Collection and identification of approved browse species
  • ·       Regular team meetings
  • Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • ·       At least 3 months of internship experience in animal husbandry, preferably with elephants or other large mammals, at an AZA accredited institution.
  • ·       An ability to work in a fast paced and dynamic environment. 
  • ·       The ability to work well as part of a team, by listening and contributing.
  • ·       An understanding of behavioral welfare and its importance.
  • ·       An understanding of behavior-based enrichment, how to implement and evaluate its effectiveness.
  • ·       The ability to follow all protocols and standard operating procedures to assure the highest level of animal welfare.
  • ·       Be able to give/receive constructive criticism regardless of prior experience.
  • ·       Excellent communication skills, written and verbal, both with their peers and all other zoo personnel.
  • ·       Great attention to detail in all aspects of their work and record keeping.
  • ·       An excellent safety records.
  • ·       A strong work ethic.
  • ·       Strong public speaking skills. 
  • ·       Basic computer skills for data entry utilizing Microsoft programs.
  • Candidates might be (depending on position) required to pass a pre-employment background check, drug test, negative skin tuberculosis test, and possess a valid driver’s license with a good history.

    Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

  • ·       Will sometimes work extended/odd hours including weekends, holidays, and some night programs.
  • ·       Must be able to walk long distances across the zoo.
  • ·       Must be able to work outdoors for prolonged periods in the weather and temperature extremes common to Omaha, Nebraska.
  • ·       Must be able to stand, sit, kneel, bend, twist, reach above head and climb.
  • ·       Will lift, push, pull, and/or move up to 50 pounds routinely and occasionally up to 70 pounds using safe and proper lifting methods.
  • ·       The position involves working within 3+ acres of outdoor exhibit space and a 25,000 square foot elephant barn. 
  • ·       Exposure to biting flies and mosquitos is likely.
  • ·       Standard workday often has minimal keeper/elephant interaction


The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain, nor is it to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and objectives required of employees assigned to this job. 

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC.

The Elephant Managers Association (EMA) is an international, 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.

All rights reserved. © 2023 Elephant Managers Association.

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