Animal Keeper
Smithsonian Institution 60 reviews - Washington, DC

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This position is located at the National Zoological Park.This position contributes to the creation of an overall environment for collection animals that ensures the health and welfare of the specimens and provides an enriching and memorable experience for the visiting public.

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in "Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery."


Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation

May need to complete a Probationary Period

Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer

Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.

Performs a variety of duties that ensure the proper care, feeding, exhibition, and propagation of a collection of Asian Elephants.

Provides for the daily care of elephants in the collection.

Actively participates in the training and enrichment programs for elephants.

Receives, inspects, stores, prepares, and issues food and dietary supplements, forage, and bedding materials;

Monitors elephants for symptoms of illness, injuries, or other unusual conditions; and reports observations.

Connects with visitors regarding animal natural history, conservation programs, natural habitats, status of elephants in the wild, care and feeding of elephants and other topics of interest.

Assists professional and scientific personnel in carrying out studies of animal collections.

In order to be rated qualified, an applicant's overall experience and training must indicate possession of the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the duties of this position.

Physical Requirements: This position requires the physical ability to perform moderately heavy work including lifting and carrying heavy objects up to 50 lbs.; work outside in all weather conditions with exposure to dirt, dust, pollen and insects; climb ladders and stairs; and stand and walk for extended periods.

How you will be evaluated: Applications will first be evaluated to determine whether the following screen out element is met:

Ability to do the work of an experienced Animal Keeper without more than normal supervision demonstrated by experience performing a full range of specialized duties that contribute to the proper care, feeding, training, exhibition, and propagation of a collection of elephants.
If an applicant meets the screen-out element, the following Job Elements will be evaluated:

Knowledge of the care of elephants and experience sharing knowledge to colleagues and peers.

Knowledge of animal behavior for natural behavior patterns (courtship, breeding, aggression, etc.) and for recognizing symptoms of unusual behavior (illness, injury, etc.).

Knowledge and experience in animal handling for routine care and capture and restraint.

Skill in conducting formal and informal animal shows, demonstrations, talks, and tours.

Knowledge of animal enrichment and training, and experience designing and implementing these with animals.
Applicants who meet or exceed the screen-out element will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria: Best Category - Meets the screen-out element and excels in most of the job related elements above. Better Category - Meets the screen-out element and satisfies most of the job related elements above. Good Category - Meets the screen-out element, but does not satisfy most of the job related elements above to a substantive degree. This category rating process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-veterans within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no veteran in that category is passed over to select a non-veteran in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied. Veterans who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. Applicants who have not submitted a resume in the USAjobs system and/or have not answered all of the announcement questions will not be considered for this position. Important Note: Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.
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The Smithsonian offers a comprehensive benefits package that
includes, in part, vacation and sick leave, holidays, health/life
insurance, accident insurance, and excellent retirement program

Please see Benefits at for a complete

Flexible Spending Accounts -

Health Insurance -

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60 reviews