Zookeeper Belfast, Northern Ireland

Full Time Belfast, Northern Ireland 24948 - 27344 GBP ANNUAL Today
Job description

Belfast Zoological Gardens

Belfast, Northern Ireland
Closing date for applications is: 2nd Oct 2023
Employee Resourcing Unit ([email protected])

Animal Care


Contract type:

£24,948 - £27,344 per annum with weekend enhancement

Job description


28 April 2021



Place and Economy

Post number:



Belfast Zoo

Job title:



Scale 5


Main purpose of job

To be responsible to the Curator or other responsible officer to undertake, either individually or as part of a team, the feeding, cleaning and general welfare of animals and the maintenance and security of enclosures at the Zoological Gardens.

To be responsible for interacting with visitors and other Zoo users through presentations, tours, talks and events as required.

Summary of responsibilities and personal duties

1. To be responsible for the general welfare and husbandry of Zoo animals including the cleaning and inherent safety of enclosures, the preparation and storage of animal food and the feeding of animals.

2. To supervise and be responsible for the work of volunteers, students, researchers, and invited guests or interested parties working, helping and refurbishing etc. all enclosures within the immediate area of animals.

3. To train and be trained in all aspects of animal husbandry.

4. To keep a varied, detailed and complete record of all animals within a given remit including but not limited to daily report sheets, quarantine records and veterinary records.

5. To supervise and be responsible for patrolling the Zoo as required and the direction and diplomatic control of visitors on a daily basis including the use of appropriate measures to deal with unforeseen situations.

6. To communicate orally and in writing on a range of Zoo issues to a range of Zoo stakeholders including veterinary care, the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI), public relations, interest groups, senior managers and at special events.

7. To organise, implement, maintain and control many varied interactive, fundraising and hospitality events involving the public and any other interested parties.

8. To be responsible for using and maintaining a variety of machinery and equipment.

9. To use and apply all appropriate chemicals and related substances in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and CoSHH or other relevant health and safety regulations.

10. To implement all relevant Belfast City Council and Zoo health and safety policies and procedures including various daily checks (including dangerous animals, escape and lost children); and acting as a keyholder for all animal enclosures and public areas.

11. To liaise with external contractors working in the Zoo over working arrangements, timing and nature of work to be done in and around animal enclosures.

12. To carry out minor repairs and maintenance on animal enclosures as required until full remedial or other appropriate action can be taken.

13. To maintain the cleanliness and general safety of the areas around animal enclosures through litter picking and associated activities.

14. To administer and maintain a working knowledge of appropriate and relevant drugs and medication for the treatment of animals under suitable veterinary guidance.

15. To motivate and manage any staff that may be assigned to the post holder to ensure effective service delivery and to be responsible for reviewing and implementing a proper staff training and development programme.

16. To participate in all induction and in-service training provided by Belfast City Council and in the induction and support of all newly appointed staff and other human resource management policies and procedures, as appropriate, including, absence management, disciplinary and grievance procedure.

17. To participate as directed in the Council’s recruitment and selection procedures.

18. To act in accordance with the council and departmental policies and procedures including customer care, equal opportunities, health and safety, safeguarding and any pertinent legislation.

19. To undertake the duties in such a way as to enhance and protect the reputation and public profile of the council.

20. To undertake such other relevant duties as may from time to time be required.

This job description has been written at a time of significant organisational change and it will be subject to review and amendment as the demands of the role and the organisation evolve. Therefore, the post-holder will be required to be flexible, adaptable and aware that you may be asked to perform tasks, duties and responsibilities which are not specifically detailed in the job description but which are commensurate with the role.

Employee specification


14 April 2021



Place and Economy

Post number:



Belfast Zoo

Job title:



Scale 5


Essential criteria


(a) Applicants must, as at the closing date for receipt of application forms, be able to demonstrate on the application form, by providing personal and specific examples, at least one year’s relevant zoo keeping experience.

Special skills and attributes

Applicants must be able to demonstrate, by providing personal and specific examples, evidence of the following special skills and attributes which may be tested at interview:

Technical knowledge: An understanding of the role of a zookeeper and the role of the modern zoo.

Customer care skills: Good inter-personal skills with an awareness of the importance of customer care.

Supervisory skills: The ability to supervise and be responsible for the work of volunteers, students, researchers etc.

Communication skills: Good oral and written communication skills when dealing directly with veterinary care, PSNI, public relations, delivering animal talks to the public, and so on.

Work planning and organisational skills: The ability to organise, implement, maintain and control day to day animal husbandry.

Health and safety awareness: An understanding of the health and safety policies and procedures to ensure that such regulations are applied for members of the public, staff and safeguarding of the animals.

Short-listing criteria

In addition to the above experience, Belfast City Council reserves the right to shortlist only those applicants who, as at the closing date for receipt of application forms:

  • in the first instance, can demonstrate on the application form, by providing personal and specific examples, at least two years’ relevant zoo keeping experience; and
  • in the second instance, have a relevant qualification in an animal discipline such as the City and Guilds Zoo Animal Management Certificate, Advanced National Certificate in Zoo Animal Management, Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals, or equivalent qualification.


London, United Kingdom
Unknown / Non-Applicable
Company - Public
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