Seasonal Animal Keeper – New Forest Wildlife Park

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Seasonal Animal Keeper 2023

Position: Full time seasonal zookeeper position July through to October 2024 to start ASAP

Salary starting: (£23,795.20)

About Us:

New Forest Wildlife Park is an established and expanding family run business. New Forest Wildlife Park is one of two diverse zoos within our company.  We endeavour to attain the highest standards of animal husbandry, conservation, and education. Our mission is to promote and achieve the global conservation of animals and their habitats through education and interaction with the public.

To this end our two centres’ hold an important and diverse range of species. New Forest Wildlife Park promotes both U.K. and European native species. Focusing on both extant and extinct species. In addition, some important exotic species.

Overview of Role:

 We are seeking an Animal Keeper to work with a wide range of species within our collection. The successful candidate will be expected to maintain high standards of animal welfare and husbandry. To be able to keep daily checks and records of animals within all sections.

Working hours are 40hrs per week on a rota system including weekends and Bank Holidays. A flexible approach to working hours is necessary.

The role is physically demanding. As our site is mainly outdoors the successful candidate must enjoy working in all weather conditions both independently and part of the team.

Applicants should have a passion for working with a variety of animals within a zoo environment. Any experience with native U.K. and European species, or farm/ domestic/ stock handling would be an advantage. Agricultural background and good stock handling/ hands on is essential. Excellent communication skills, public facing and customer service is essential in this role.

You will also be expected to spend a proportion of the daily routine helping out with grounds maintenance and a variety of other tasks, (non-animal) related, will be part of the position.

Relevant qualifications will be taken into consideration and a background of basic animal management/ conservation-based learning at college or university will be an advantage. The qualities we are looking for are passion, positivity, drive, common sense, enthusiasm and focus, over academic qualifications. Actual hands-on experience and a good solid previous work experience/ volunteering position which has been long term is a key factor. Full training will be given, and individual personal experience will be taken into consideration. CPD will be encouraged.

 Main Duties:

  • Assisting with the cleaning of all areas within the zoo.
  • Assisting with enclosure/paddock servicing, maintenance, and refurbishment.
  • Assisting with the preparation of approved diets, nutrition, and enrichment.
  • Assisting under instruction/supervision the carrying out of correct feeding procedures where this is deemed appropriate by the Animal Manager.
  • Ensuring that safety and emergency procedures are always followed.
  • Assisting where appropriate with the movement and/or training of animals, “Meet the Animals” etc. as directed by senior staff.
  • Maintaining courteous and helpful relations with visitors.
  • Reporting defects and repairs required to the Animal Manager or more senior staff.
  • Assisting in various projects related to animal management as directed by senior animal management staff.

Working with Category 1 DWA animals and previous experience is preferred, particularly with large carnivores.

Personal Specification:

  • Practical experience of animal management with a range of domestic and exotic species in a zoological setting is a preferred requirement.
  • Broad taxonomic knowledge on a range of species managed within zoological collections. A particular advantage would be carnivore/mustelid, native wildlife and strigiform husbandry.
  • Willingness to work and learn about evolving husbandry management within zoological collections. Including positive re-enforcement training for behavioural management and methods of enrichment for a range of species.
  • Knowledge of techniques in handling and restraining animals for movements and veterinary procedures.
  • Be able to demonstrate initiative and a pro-active approach to completing tasks beneficial to the section/department.
  • Willingness and drive for continued CPD and a long-term career approach to working in a zoological collection.
  • Keeper experiences are an essential part of our business. An ability to share knowledge and ensure all our visitors have a positive experience during their visit.
  • A full clean driving licence is required.
  • Accommodation will not be provided on site.
  • Public transport is not available must have own means of transport.
  • No telephone or Skype interviews. Interviews will be held outside at the New Forest Wildlife Park. Consisting of a full day hybrid interview/ part formal and part day out with the keeping team.
  • We are seeking to secure the position as soon as possible, so interviews will be held at our earliest convenience. Position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is

To Apply:

Applicants MUST SUPPLY their C.V., Application form and Covering Letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability). For all application forms and application returns please email

 Closing date: midnight Thursday 18th July 2024.

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