San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Animals in Action Wildlife Care Specialist, Behavior – Full Time – San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. Empowering people from around the globe to support our mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships, we support cutting-edge conservation, and bring the stories of our work back to our two world-famous front doors – the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park – giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The deep and extensive knowledge gained from more than a century of experience in wildlife care, health, veterinary services, nutrition and conservation makes us invaluable in the global effort to save species. Our team members play a crucial role in driving our conservation efforts forward and bringing us closer to a world where all life thrives.


The Wildlife Care Behavior Specialist will support San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s mission of saving species worldwide by training, handling, and caring for wildlife used for public appearances and contact, such as educational programs. This position reports to a Wildlife Care Supervisor/Manager.


  • Train wildlife in new behaviors and reinforce trained behaviors
  • Transport wildlife to exhibit or performances
  • Assist Wildlife Care Associates at performance
  • Sets up props, stages, or other performance areas
  • Manage wildlife to ensure public safety
  • Feed wildlife, keep feeding, medication and other records regarding wildlife care
  • Administer prescribed medication and nutritional supplements
  • Assist medical staff in treatment of wildlife
  • Conduct special tours
  • Train a wide variety of wildlife so that they may be used in public appearances, wildlife walk-around programs, wildlife workshops, school assemblies
  • Observe assigned wildlife with regard to general appearance, health, feeding habits
  • Clean and perform minor maintenance on wildlife habitats
  • May operate light and medium duty motorized equipment, such as trucks, skip loaders, water trucks and forklifts
  • Make informational presentations to the public
  • Answer questions and provides information to the public regarding assigned wildlife


    • One or more years of experience as a Wildlife Care Associate at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance or comparable organization.
    • Current valid California Driver’s license in good standing
    • Wildlife behavior
    • Wildlife behavior modification
    • Care, feeding and handling of wildlife
    • Safety practices around wildlife
    • SDZWA policies, procedures and regulations regarding the care, handling and training of wildlife
    • Train and control wildlife
    • Discriminate differences in animal vocalizations
    • Monitor wildlife behavior
    • Keep simple records
    • Communicate and work effectively with others (verbal and written)
    • Deal tactfully and courteously with the others in a diverse environment
    • Respond to cautions from co-workers
    • Monitor wildlife behavior and appearance
    • Operate motorized equipment and vehicles
    • Competently perform the essential functions outlined above


  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Program


  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Position Type: Hourly Full-Time Non-Exempt Union Position – If selected, there will be fees and dues to be paid to the union
  • Hourly Rate: $25.09

Be an ally for wildlife by joining our team!

At San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, we thrive on celebrating our differences. Diversity is vital for the benefit of our team members, our guests, our community, and our wildlife.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status.

If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to [email protected] and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.

As a Federal Contractor, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is required to participate in the E-Verify Program to confirm eligibility to work in the United States.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a drug free workplace.

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