Job Listing: Animal Keeper

Job Postings ,

Virginia Living Museum - Newport News, VA

Closes - Open until filled.

Position Title – Animal Keeper

Salary - Based on experience.

Job Type - Full-Time

For more info and to apply: Click here.

General Statement of Duties

The Animal Keeper is responsible for all aspects of Museum’s bird, mammal, and terrestrial invertebrate collections, both ambassador and exhibit animals, including but not limited to cleaning, feeding, inspecting/observing specimens, maintaining exhibits, implementing veterinary, nutrition and enrichment programs, and record-keeping. Acquires and maintains appropriate knowledge about animals, exhibits, museum policies, procedures, and facilities. The Animal Keeper works in cooperation with Animal Welfare and Conservation staff as well as other departments to achieve established facility/operational and AZA standards. Interact with visitors routinely through formal and informal programs. This position recognizes the capacity to achieve greater results by integrating skilled volunteers, as well as leveraging their diverse knowledge and skills. This position reports directly to the Bird and Mammal Curator.


  • A passion for animals, their welfare and conservation.
  • Bachelor’s degree or current progress towards it in biology or related field. Significant professional animal care experience may be considered.
  • Minimum one year of experience in general animal husbandry.
  • Ability to handle animals with confidence and patience.
  • Experience with current training and enrichment practices.
  • Current rabies vaccination or agree to be vaccinated at museum expense.
  • Ability to physically maintain enclosures and cages to safely and effectively house small to large birds and/or mammals.
  • Proficiency in the use and operation power tools, hand tools in order to make exhibit repairs/improvements while ensuring safety of coworkers, general public and animals.
  • Excellent reliability, communication, and observational skills.
  • Ability to speak to groups of all ages.
  • Must be self-reliant and motivated.
  • First Aid/CPR certified or willing to become at the museums expense.
  • Must be able to remain calm, make sound decisions and provide clear directions in a crisis situation.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be a positive, enthusiastic representative of the Virginia Living Museum.
  • Enhance guest experience by interacting with museum visitors, providing engaging tours, educational enrichment activities and answering their questions.
  • Enhances the Guest Experience by providing excellent ambassador and exhibit animal husbandry.
  • Ensure proper AZA protocols and safety guidelines are followed.
  • Help to ensure all quarantine procedures are followed, including the cleaning of foot baths and proper use of PPE.
  • Train, supervise, and work with animal care volunteers: Including but not limited to proper sanitation of enclosures and dishes; proper preparation of diets (including measuring properly, proper handling of meat, and use of proper cutting boards); protection from zoonosis; recordkeeping; and proper handling of select ambassador and exhibit animals.
  • Develop and provide regular enrichment to the collection.
  • Maintain accurate cleaning, feeding records and charts.
  • Assist with veterinary care and provide medications as needed.
  • Prepare diets for birds and mammals.
  • Engage with the public, responding to inquires both on-site and over the telephone.
  • Properly secure all animal enclosures on a daily basis.
  • Accept food deliveries and assist with any other deliveries.
  • Ensure all animal habitats are safe and look professional, report work orders for maintenance to Bird and Mammal Curator. Make sure animal rooms are clean and uncluttered.
  • Maintain adequate supplies for the animal rooms and keep Bird & Mammal Curator up to date on the inventory in a timely manner.
  • Follow safety guidelines and report any safety concerns to supervisor.
  • Follow museum dress code.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Essential Job Requirements

  • Must be able to express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word and perceive detailed information through oral communication.
  • Ability to lift and/or exert up to 50 pounds of force alone, 75 pounds with assistance.
  • Must comfortable around a variety of animals.
  • The candidate must have visual acuity to be able to operate motor vehicles and/or equipment.
  • Must be able to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions.
  • Must be able to move throughout the Museum’s building(s) and outdoor trail as needed.
  • The candidate will be subject to outdoor environmental conditions such as wind, humidity, and extreme temperatures.

Supervision Exercised: None

This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by this employee. This position, Animal Keeper will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other related duties as assigned by the appropriate Supervisor/Director. The Virginia Living Museum reserves the right to update, revise or change the job description and related duties at any time.

Qualified applicants please submit a VLM application, cover letter, resume and references.
No phone calls, please.
FAX: 757-534-7419