Commissary / Quarantine Keeper

General Statement of Duties

The Commissary / Quarantine Keeper will prepare diets for zoo animals, organize and clean kitchens, inventory and stock food prep areas, organize and clean grain and feed rooms, as well as have the same responsibilities as other fulltime zookeepers in regard to the care and husbandry of quarantined animals. In this capacity, the quarantine keeper will work with a variety of species across all taxonomic classes on a regular basis. Zookeepers are responsible for the specialized work involving all aspects of general care and husbandry of zoo animals including maintaining/cleaning adjacent areas.

Commissary responsibilities

  • Prepare diets daily for Zoo's animal collection (follow written and oral instructions concerning type and quantity of foods to be prepared and size of portions; obtaining necessary ingredients from the storage areas/coolers/freezers, and washing, cleaning, peeling, cutting, chopping, grinding, dicing and/or slicing foods as required; accurately measure and weigh portions and package foods in accordance with instructions.)
  • Prepare food enrichment (e.g., frozen icicles) as scheduled and instructed. Work with keepers on preparing other kinds of enrichment as needed.
  • Maintain cleanliness, organization, and sanitation of dishes, work areas, all surfaces and equipment.
  • Organize and inventory grain and feed rooms, hay storage areas, coolers, and freezers.
  • Pack and deliver diets and supplies (e.g., hay and grain) throughout Zoo as per instructions.
  • Will assist in receiving deliveries (e.g., meat, fish, grain, hay, wood shavings, and other supplies) and checking against packing slips.
  • Inventory and assist in ordering commissary supplies.
  • Interact with and educate the public, VIPs, and/or media about animal nutrition and department animals/operations through tours, keeper chats and other special events as assigned. Considerable interpersonal skills will be required and a high degree of appreciation of guest service is necessary.


Quarantine Zookeeper responsibilities

  • Provide all aspects of daily care for the animals in assigned exhibits and holding areas. Including but not limited to:
    • Innovative animal husbandry that is in compliance with AZA and USDA standards.
    • Preparation and feeding of approved diets.
    • Monitoring of physical and behavioral aspects of the animals under assigned care.
    • Implementation of the behavioral program of the animals under assigned care which include the animal training (operant conditioning) and enrichment programs.
    • Designing and maintaining proper animal enclosures/props/exhibits.
    • Utilizing preventative husbandry techniques and providing proactive health care as required.
    • Provide proper care for neonates and young (may require care outside of normal working hours).
    • Work with the veterinary and animal care teams to provide specialized care to hospitalized or quarantined animals as needed.
  • Maintain animal exhibits, and holding areas as well as behind the scenes keeper areas in a clean and presentable condition at all times.
  • Observe the animal collection for any signs of illness, lethargy, injury, or dietary problems and report any problems to the Area Supervisor or Animal Care Director.
  • Assist the Animal Care Director, Area Supervisor and/or Veterinarian in routine animal examinations and medicate animals with any prescribed treatments.
  • Must be able to establish and maintain an effective rapport with all levels of management, employees, and zoo guests.
  • Must be flexible, self-motivated, enthusiastic, and a team player.
  • Maintain daily reports, medical records, enrichment logs, and other records as needed in the assigned area.
  • Participate in the animal behavior management program (animal operant conditioning training and enrichment program) as directed.
  • Perform basic restraint, crating/uncrating and transport of animals as required and must have the ability to operate various sizes of animal squeeze cages for medical purposes.
  • Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
  • Must be able to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Area Supervisor or the Animal Care Director.


Health and Safety

  • Maintain a current tetanus vaccination (5 years) and must be willing to be TB tested annually.
  • This position involves considerable physical exertion, including daily lifting of heavy items, such as food buckets, bales of hay and boxes of produce. It requires long periods of walking and standing on a routine basis. This position will involve routine exposure to soiled materials and light chemical substances such as cleaning solutions as well as require the person to work in refrigerated walk-in coolers and freezers.
  • Must be able to climb ladders/stairs, lift crates/animals and/or equipment/food stuff weighing 70lbs or more repetitively.
  • Must be agile and flexible to maneuver in and around animals within exhibits, corrals and holding areas.
  • Must be able to operate mowers, handle fire hoses and regular hoses for cleaning, operate weed eaters, hay elevators, motorized carts, and load and operate wheelbarrows loaded up to 150 lbs.
  • Must be able to tolerate strong odors, dust, hay, animal fur/hair/dander, and various weather conditions.
  • Must be able to or willing to learn how to shoot rifles, shotguns, and capture dart guns as required and/or directed to assist in the animal escape and recovery plan.
  • Must be certified, or able to become certified in CPR/AED within 1 year of employment.



The Commissary /Quarantine Zookeeper reports directly to the Area Supervisor. This is an hourly non-exempt position that helps oversee volunteers, Junior Zookeepers, and interns; however, this position does not have any direct reports.


Education, Experience and Qualifications

  • Requires a 4-year college degree in Biology, Animal Science, Zoology or related field; or an equivalent level of work experience and education as determined by the hiring authority.
  • Previous zoo keeper or zoo commissary experience is desired.
  • Must be able to work a flexible work schedule including weekends, holidays, mornings, and evenings as required.
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • Must pass a background check prior to employment.

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