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Animal Care Specialist

Recruitment #0314-RA0705-TM


This part-time / temporary recruitment is being given to fill vacancies in the Parks and Recreation division and to create a referral list to fill future vacancies. This position which is located at Micke Grove Zoo will be responsible for maintaining the care, feeding, and cleaning of zoo animals. Candidates will need to be available days, evenings, weekends and holidays.

Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an application. A completed application must be postmarked or received online by the final filing deadline.

NOTE: All correspondences relating to this recruitment will be delivered via e-mail. The e-mail account used will be the one provided on your employment application during time of submittal. Please be sure to check your e-mail often for updates. If you do not have an e-mail account on file, Human Resources will send you correspondences via US Mail.


  • Monitors the health and well-being of living animal collections by noting physical or behavioral changes, and takes appropriate action; observes for signs of illness or injury, including diet consumption and other variables used to assess animal condition; records and reports problems and consults with supervisory staff and veterinarian as necessary; captures, moves or isolates animals as circumstances require, ensuring safety of the animals, staff and the public.
  • Prepares and distributes animal diets; prepares meals according to prescribed needs of animals; adds dietary supplements; maintains safe and sanitary food preparation and storage areas; monitors food and supplies inventory; prepares lists and orders food and supplemental items; rotates stock to ensure fresh food supply.
  • Cleans, disinfects and maintains animal exhibits and veterinary facilities; removes waste; cleans and disinfects water bowls and water areas; rakes and disposes of leaves and litter; makes minor repairs to maintain integrity of enclosures; monitors for pests and predators; checks operating systems and makes seasonal adjustments as conditions require.
  • Provides animal enrichment to simulate natural conditions; researches natural behavior and habitats; plans and implements training projects; documents effectiveness of enrichment provided; identifies and installs appropriate exhibit furnishings, such as perching, nest sites, foraging areas, resting platforms, landscape materials.
  • Prepares, distributes, and documents medications, and provides health care under veterinary direction; may calculate and measure restraint drugs; captures or restrains animals for veterinary care procedures and animal management needs; monitors animals during post-operative recovery period.
  • Maintains exhibits, grounds, service areas, and support facilities to provide a safe, attractive and healthy environment for animals, and the public; maintains operations of aquatic systems; monitors equipment to maintain required safety standards for zoo species and the public; assists in planning or design to update or create new exhibits.
  • Supervises and inspects volunteer staff work; trains volunteer staff.
  • Interacts with zoo visitors and general public; explains and enforces zoo regulations and policies; provides information on animal natural history, care and conservation; answers routine questions by zoo visitors; makes presentations to community groups; communicates with professional peers on questions affecting species management and care.
  • Provides safe transport of zoo specimens for acquisition, disposition and/or veterinary medical needs and provides species-appropriate temporary housing as required.
  • Prepares records and reports regarding zoo activities, as required.

    Education:  Graduation from a four year accredited college or university with major coursework in biology, zoology, wildlife management, wildlife ecology, animal behavior, or a closely related field.


    Experience:  One year paid experience caring for zoo animals and/or exotic species in a zoo or similar setting.


    Substitution:  Additional qualifying paid experience caring for zoo animals and/or exotic species in a zoo or similar setting may be substituted for education on a year for year basis.



    Special requirements:  1) Upon job offer, incumbents must successfully pass a tuberculosis test and maintain a negative tuberculosis test for duration of employment; 2) receive inoculation for rabies within six months of employment.


    Certifications:  1) Obtain First Aid/CPR certificate within six month of employment; and 2) obtain firearm safety training certificate within six months of employment.


    License:  Possession of a valid California driver’s license.


    Note:  Supplemental application must be submitted with employment application.


    Basic principles of biology and zoology, including animal identification and natural history, taxonomy, physiology, behavior, nutrition; animal enrichment practices; principles of ecology and population management; basic husbandry principles, including safe food handling and storage and pest control; knowledge of research methods;  zoo animal preventative medicine principles and practices; general veterinary terminology and equipment; symptoms of animal illness; basic first aid;  basic sanitation, tools and practices;  kinds and uses of basic cleaning materials and equipment; exhibit and grounds maintenance and repairs;  zoo practices and procedures; safety procedures, including accident prevention and response;  hazards of working with wild animals, including restraint practices; basic computer and modern office automation technology, including pertinent software.


    Identify changes in animal behavior or physical condition; follow oral and written directions;  interpret and apply zoo regulations and procedures;  physically handle and/or restrain wild animals, including safe use of darting equipment or firearm;  work safely and effectively with wild, delicate and potentially dangerous  animals;  perform basic mathematical calculations and make accurate measurements; operate a variety of related tools and machinery for exhibits and/or maintenance; operate variety of motorized vehicles; operate computers and related software; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing;  establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, volunteers and the public.


    Mobility-Operation of a data entry device, constant walking and standing for long periods, pushing/pulling, bending, squatting, crawling, driving; Lifting-Frequently 5-50 pounds; Vision- Good overall vision, color perception, depth perception; reading and close-up work; normal hand and eye coordination; good field of vision/peripheral; Dexterity–Normal dexterity and repetitive motion; Hearing/Talking-Frequent hearing and talking on the telephone/radio and in person; Special Requirements–Working weekends and holidays;  may require overtime evening work; Emotional/Psychological–Frequent public contact and decision making; frequent concentration required; occasional exposure to dangerous situations, including trauma, grief and death; working alone; Environmental–Frequent exposure to noise, cold/heat, hazardous materials, dirt, dust, fumes, and varied weather conditions.


    Selection Procedures

    Applicants for part-time and temporary recruitments who meet the minimum qualifications are either referred to the hiring department for further selection or they may be required to take a written examination.  If a written examination is given, the top candidates may be referred to the hiring department for further selection.

    Testing Accommodation:  Candidates who require testing accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must call Human Resources Division at (209) 468-3370 prior to the examination date. 

    Physical Exam:  Some classifications require physical examinations.  Final appointment cannot be made until the eligible has passed the physical examination.  The County pays for physical examinations administered in its medical facilities.

    Employment of Relatives: Applicants who are relatives of employees in a department within the 3rd degree of relationship, (parent, child, grandparent, grandchild or sibling) either by blood or marriage, may not be appointed, promoted, transferred into or within the department when:

    • They are related to the Appointing Authority, or

    • The employment would result in one of them supervising the work of the other

    Department Heads may establish additional limitations on the hiring of relatives by departmental rule.

    Proof of Eligibility:  If you are offered a job, you will be required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or other documents that establish your eligibility to be employed in the U.S.


    Apply Online:   

    By mail or in person:  

    San Joaquin County Human Resources

    44 N. San Joaquin Street Suite 330

    Stockton, Ca 95202                                  


    Office hours:               
    Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; excluding holidays.

    Phone:  (209) 468-3370 


    Job Line:

    For current employment opportunities please call our 24-hour job line at (209) 468-3377. 

    When a final filing date is indicated, applications must be filed with the Human Resources Division before 5:00 p.m. or postmarked by the final filing date. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of an application. Applications sent through county inter-office mail, which are not received by the final filing date, will not be accepted. (The County assumes no responsibility for mailed applications which are not received by the Human Resources Division).  

    San Joaquin County Substance Abuse Policy: San Joaquin County has adopted a Substance Abuse Policy in compliance with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. This policy is enforced by all San Joaquin County Departments and applies to all San Joaquin County employees.

    Equal Opportunity Employer:  San Joaquin County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer and is committed to providing equal employment to all without regard to age, ancestry, color, creed, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation or belief, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.  For more information go to

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    San Joaquin County
    Human Resources Division  Stockton, CA 95202
    E-mail | Phone: (209) 468-3370 | 8am - 5pm M-F | Powered by JobAps