Zoo Curator (#RM0140)
$26.23-$31.89 Hourly / $4,547.31-$5,527.28 Monthly / $54,567.75-$66,327.44 Yearly


Under direction, performs technical and supervisory work in the procurement, display, and care of zoo animals and exotic species; participates in planning and promoting animal exhibits and collections; and does related or other work in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


An incumbent in this class supervises employees who monitor, care for and feed zoo animals, coordinates daily zoo activities, and is responsible for planning, supervising, and participating in the procurement, display and care of animals for San Joaquin County’s Micke Grove Zoo, and for the education of staff regarding the animal collection.


  • Advises and assists administrative staff in planning the zoo collection; manages the acquisition and disposition of animals through purchase, sale, trade, or loan agreements; develops zoo collection plan and recommends appropriate animals/species for collection. 
  • Establishes, maintains, and implements zoo collection records and computerized databases; prepares reports; correlates records with international systems; publishes surplus or wants requests; maintains health, inventory and other records of zoo collection. 
  • Plans and researches the care, propagation and exhibition of wild animals; oversees behavioral enrichment and training programs; assists in development of care and handling protocols;  assists in the planning and design of enclosures;  recommends repairs and improvements.  
  • Arranges for the care and transportation of animals in transit; designs crates; coordinates food, water and medical requirements; maintains and secures required permits from federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. 
  • Participates in the recruitment and hiring of, and assigns, schedules, supervises, and evaluates animal care staff involved in the feeding, housing, propagation, and care of animals in the collection; trains and educates staff regarding animals, their habitats, and proper exhibit methods. 
  • Coordinates veterinary care program; schedules veterinary visits; makes treatment decisions; acts as liaison between staff and veterinarian regarding animal concerns; oversees non-routine veterinarian procedures and emergencies; transports animals as requires. 
  • Recruits, trains and assigns volunteers to assist in animal care. 
  • Establishes and maintains liaison with other zoos, governmental institutions, and professional organizations to exchange information and ideas on exhibits, zoo improvements, and for assistance in locating species; establishes and maintains professional contacts. 
  • Assists in developing and presenting interpretive programs; writes reports and articles and gives lecture on animals, their habits and biology, and the role of a zoo in the community; encourages interest in and understanding of the zoo. 
  • Participates in preparing and monitoring zoo budget; orders food, supplies and equipment needed for zoo operations and animal care; processes invoices for various accounts and maintains files. 
  • Attends meetings and conferences related to zoo and zoo accreditation. 


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

Experience:  Three years in the care, propagation, and procurement of animals or exotic species for a zoo, including one year as a supervisor.

Substitution:  Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of two years. 


Special Requirements: 1) Upon job offer, incumbents must successfully pass a Tuberculosis test and maintain a negative Tuberculosis test for duration of employment; and 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.


Principles and practices of supervision and training; zoological park operations and management; behavior, enrichment, habitats, and biological and psychological needs of a variety of non-domestic animals; methods of animal care, including nutrition, breeding, housing and medical treatment; zoonotic diseases, symptoms and controlling diseases; principles of modern animal exhibitory techniques and conservation; federal, state and local laws and regulations governing holding, transporting, exhibiting, public contact, acquiring, and disposing of exotic species; zoo recordkeeping and database management; basic budgeting principles; basic computer and modern office automation technology, including pertinent software; report preparation and presentation.


Plan, organize and supervise the acquisition and care of zoo animals; prioritize and delegate work; train and evaluate employees and volunteers; plan, develop and manage an animal collection for zoological institution; develop, prepare and implement policies and procedures; operate computers and related software; operate motorized equipment and small tools; establish effective interpretation programs; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, other agencies, and the public; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.


Mobility-Operation of a data entry device, sitting, frequent walking and standing, pushing/pulling, bending, driving; Lifting-Frequently 5-50 pounds or less; 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; may require overtime, evening or weekend work; Emotional/Psychological-Frequent public contact and decision making; frequent concentration; 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.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RM0140; EST: 2/11/1987; REV: 3/8/2006;