Senior Animal Keeper

Orana Willdife Park

Senior Animal Keeper – Rhino & Ungulate Section – New Position

Thank you for your interest in the above position. The following information will assist you in
completing the application process and we look forward to receiving your application.

Set in 185 hectares, Orana Wildlife Park (Christchurch) is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. The
Park is home to 1,000 animals representing over 90 different species. The focus of our collection is
New Zealand native fauna and African savannah wildlife. Orana continues to work through our
exciting development plan to ensure the Park continues to evolve into the future. Operated as a
charitable trust, Orana fulfils an important role in managed zoo-based breeding programmes.

Construction of a new rhino international quarantine facility is complete, as part of “Project Rhino”,
a joint international effort aimed at building a large genetically sustainable insurance population of
white rhinos outside of Africa to help save this iconic species from extinction. The first import is
currently in the advanced planning stages.

We have a fantastic opportunity for a suitably skilled person to join our dedicated exotic species
animal keeping team. This newly created position will be largely focused on the care, breeding,
training and conditioning of white rhino once the animals arrive. We are seeking to employ an
experienced senior exotic animal keeper with demonstrated supervisory skills. You will need to be
a highly driven and energetic individual with a passion for wildlife/animal care and public education.

The ideal applicant will possess the following skills and attributes:

  • A minimum of seven years animal husbandry experience in a modern zoo setting, working
    across a broad range of ungulates with particular emphasis on rhino and antelope species.
  • A qualification in zoo keeping (or similar) would be considered an advantage.
  • Proven ability to supervise and train other keeping staff.
  • Experience in nutritional planning, breeding plan implementation and animal introductions.
  • A mature attitude, a team player with a positive outlook and an ability to build quality internal
    relationships across all staff teams.
  • Experience in completing quarantines for new and/or sick animals according to requirements
    would be considered an advantage.
  • Good communication, with a professional approach towards visitors.
  • A background in training/conditioning animals is desirable.
  • High level of physical fitness (heavy lifting will be required).
  • Good practical and maintenance skills, e.g. exhibit maintenance, fence maintenance, electric
    fence repairs, etc.


Duties will include:

  • Training and supervision of other animal keepers and work experience students.
  • Providing daily care and welfare to a variety of animals.
  • Setting the work standard, being able to work with minimal supervision.
  • Involvement in zoo-based breeding programmes.
  • Be familiar with all safety procedures and equipment, along with ensuring all such procedures are followed at all times.
  • Implementing behavioural enrichment programmes including training and conditioning animals for health checks.
  • Conducting fun, informative presentations to educate visitors on the plight of exotic fauna.
  • Animal observations and record keeping.
  • Maintaining animal enclosures and exhibits.
  • Implementing the organisation’s Health and Safety and Safe Operating Procedures.

The working week for the position is to be determined and will involve working full time, 40 hours
per week. This work roster may include working one or both weekend days. Hours of work are
8:30am to 5:00pm. The salary for the position will be negotiated with the successful applicant in the
range from $54,000 up to a maximum of $62,000 per annum. Salary will be in accordance with skills
and experience.

If you wish to apply, we invite you to request an application pack by calling us on 03 359 7109,
emailing [email protected] or visiting Please complete our
official application form included in the pack and return to us by 5pm, Friday 19th May 2023 by
either email or posting to: Manager of Exotic Species, Orana Wildlife