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Zoo Veterinarian

Garden City, Kansas, US
Closing date
Jun 23, 2024

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Aquarium / Zoo / Botanical garden
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Lee Richardson Zoo

Lee Richardson Zoo is a municipally owned and operated AZA-accredited facility located in southwest Kansas. The zoo is free to pedestrians and regarded as a treasure of the community. Garden City is a diverse community that is located 75 miles east of the Colorado state line and 200 miles west of Wichita, Kansas.

Zoo Veterinarian

Lee Richardson Zoo, a department of the City of Garden City, is accepting applications for Zoo Veterinarian. Under direction of the Zoo Director, this position is responsible for the clinical, surgical, preventative, diagnostic, and emergency medical care to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the zoo's animal residents. The position is responsible for organizing, prioritizing and overseeing the health care of the Zoo's animal residents. The position is also responsible for maintaining the animal medical records for the zoo's residents and maintains the animal hospital facilities for day-to-day care as well as emergency animal care. The position works with zoo management staff in making animal-related decisions.

Examples of Duties

* Works with animal care staff to implement a preventive medicine program that includes quarantine (including establishing and updating pre-shipment requirements), routine exams, disease monitoring, parasite control, vaccinations, tuberculin testing, dental prophylaxis, zoonotic disease prevention, and periodic nutrition reviews.
* Conducts daily inspections of the zoo residents. Diagnoses illness and injury in those animals and provides appropriate treatment and therapies (performs surgery as needed, etc..). Responsible for pre-op and post-op care of animals.
* Participates in dialogue with senior managers and other staff about animal care, welfare, nutrition, breeding, husbandry, and housing. Keeps relevant people accurately informed and up-to-date on both positive and potentially negative information. Provides weekly updates for Director/Deputy Director regarding health of the zoo's residents, with communication more often when necessitated by exigent circumstances. Attends relevant staff meetings and training at the zoo.
* Performs gross necropsies and collect samples for histopathology, prepares necropsy reports, analyzes findings, and formulates recommendations for preventive measures.
* Prepares and maintains required records, ensuring accuracy and professionalism.
* Provides training for keepers and other staff in appropriate animal handling during veterinary procedures, animal health evaluation, preventive health care, and prevention of zoonotic disease transmission and other topics as assigned.
* Ensures compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations related to animal care, transport, treatment, and the handling of controlled substances. Maintains standards and regulations of AZA, AAZV, USDA and other regulatory agencies and associations as they apply to zoological institutions and veterinary programs/facilities.
* Participates in addressing emergency animal situations including capture and restraint of animals, and foreign animal disease outbreak policy/response.
* Collaborates with colleagues and local, national, and international veterinary and medical specialists on clinical cases as needed.
* Maintains adequate supplies of pharmaceuticals and veterinary equipment on site.
* Participates in AAZV and other professional organizations and forums; remains current on continuing education requirements.
* Manages the veterinary care for all dogs assigned to the Garden City Police Department K-9 Unit.
* Oversees animal nutrition (diet formulation and review) and pest control program within the zoo. Advises on disinfecting agents and chemicals used in the zoo, as well as the toxicity of plants.
* Assists with operant conditioning of zoo residents to facilitate their willing participation in medical procedures. Participate in welfare assessment process as well as enrichment approval process.
* Participates as Chair of the Institutional Care and Use Committee to evaluate research proposals, and submits Annual Report on Conservation and Science - Research to Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Conducts and assists with the zoo's collaborative research efforts.
* Monitors budget related to animal health services.
* Represents the zoo at professional meetings and conferences, with relevant vendors, and others.
* Responsible for coordinating coverage of veterinary services during extended work or personal absences.

Typical Qualifications

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Proficient in Microsoft Office products (Word, Outlook, Excel). Experience with computerized record-keeping systems for animal health records is beneficial. Ability to respond effectively to sensitive inquiries and complaints. Ability to adapt communication-based on audience and purpose with inclusivity. Ability to work effectively within diverse teams and environments, as well as individually. Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Assesses and prioritizes multiple tasks, projects and demands. Communicates effectively both orally and in writing. Maintains confidentiality of work-related issues and Zoo/City information. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables. Ability to work weekends, holidays, and after-hours. Knowledge and skill in the care, handling, and treatment of a wide variety of domestic and exotic animal species.

Experience Required

Education, Certification, and Experience: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in Veterinary Medicine; licensed in the State of Kansas or ability to obtain a reciprocal license in the State of Kansas within 90 days of employment required. The following are also required: A DEA permit for controlled drugs and Schedule II narcotics, including etorphine is required within 90 days of employment. A USDA Category II accreditation to certify health for interstate and international transport of animals. Completion of a veterinary internship which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities for a minimum of one year or equivalent knowledge, skills, and abilities gained through full-time, hands-on experience is required. If participating in an internship, exotic animal health care at a zoological facility is preferred. Valid driver's license required.

Further Comments

Supplemental Information Environment: Work is performed indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather, depending on need. Conditions include extreme, moderate, and temperate cold and heat, snow, fog, ice, rain, sleet, hail, wind, dust, humid and dry. Will work with chemicals and drugs as required. Surfaces: a variety of substrates including concrete, gravel, dirt, mud, bedding (i.e. straw, wood chips), mulch, and grass. Physical Characteristics: This position must frequently lift and/or move up to 30 pounds, and occasionally lift and/or move up to 60 pounds. This position requires extensive standing, walking, sitting, use of hands, reaching, climbing, stooping, kneeling, bending, crouching, crawling, seeing, hearing, and speaking. This position may assume awkward positions for long periods of time. This position relies heavily on all senses every day to evaluate patients.


Paid time off; health insurance; continuing education opportunities; working at a mission-driven, values based facility with like-minded dedicated staff.


Range starts at $43.62 per hour (salaried)

How to Apply

Apply online at and include resume and letter of interest.

Lee Richardson Zoo

312 Finnup Drive

Garden City, KS 67846

Phone: 620-276-1250

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