Seasonal Animal Keeper - Birds

Animal - Zoology
Department (and Section)
Zoos and Engagement
Closing Date
Position Type
Full-Time / Seasonal
Advertised Salary
£9.50 per hour


The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation. ZSL’s mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe and through education and awareness-raising at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.

Role Profile

The Zoological Society of London is looking for a Seasonal Animal Keeper to join the Bird Section based at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for 6 months. Whipsnade Zoo’s Bird section comprises of a wide range including Gruiformes, Passerines, Penguins and Ratites. We have extensive off show bird breeding facilities at Whipsnade where we are involved with many threatened species breeding programs including those for Asian songbirds, hornbills, and cranes. As outlined in our Bird Sections Strategy we are working to develop our avicultural expertise and apply these to in-situ bird recovery programs where appropriate. The Seasonal keeper position will be varied, requiring high standards of differing day-to-day activities including cleaning of enclosures, preparation of food, maintaining exhibits.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Observing the behaviour, health and security of animals and reporting any problems to the team leader or senior staff.
  • Ensuring that conditions for the birds are of the highest standards and reporting any problems, including defects or repairs required to enclosures, to the senior staff on section and relevant departments required.
  • Assisting with the preparation of approved diets and carrying out the correct feeding procedures.
  • Cleaning and maintaining exhibits and designing enrichment devices.
  • Ensuring that safety and emergency procedures are always followed.
  • Maintaining courteous and helpful relations with visitors and media.

Click here to download the full job description

Person Specification

  • Have great customer service and communication skills as there will be a need to engage and interact with visitors
  • Good basic knowledge of animal husbandry with exotic species of birds
  • Willingness to work on and learn about evolving husbandry management within zoological collections to include positive re-enforcement training for behavioural management and varied methods of enrichment for a range of species
  • Be able to demonstrate initiative and a pro-active approach to completing tasks beneficial to the section/department without always waiting to be asked
  • A full/clean driving license - essential

N.B: This is a full time position. Flexible working is required which will include regular weekend working, bank holidays and providing assistance out of hours if required.


What do we offer?


You will have access to a blended program of Wellbeing initiatives, including confidential access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance Program as well as regular webinars and activities around mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing. The opportunity to be part of an organisation that is committed to improving diversity and inclusion.


Other benefits include 25 days holiday, life assurance, stakeholder pension (employer contribution is matched up to 12%), complimentary zoo tickets with a 30% discount in shops and online, subsidised canteen, enhanced paternity and maternity leave, season ticket loan, cycle to work scheme, subsidised gym membership and access to a wide range of learning and development opportunities.


Ultimately, you’ll know that you’ll help us to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wildlife going extinct.  

To Apply

Applicants will need to upload their CV and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the "Apply for this job online" button.

If you have any queries regarding this position or when applying through the system please contact Human Resources at


Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) Monday 30th January 2023


Please note: Due to the high volume of applications received for our seasonal animal keeper positions we cannot provide specific feedback for those who have not been selected.


The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.


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