NC Zoo - Dept of Natural and Cultural Resources
May 20, 2024
4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro
Job Type
Salary range
Education Experience Preferred
Bachelor’s degree in a natural science program from an appropriately accredited institution
Professional Experience Preferred
Two years of experience in the development and presentation of natural science interpretive and educational programs
Contact Name
Ellie Meadows


The North Carolina Zoo is seeking to add an enthusiastic Animal Ambassador Specialist to joins its Animal Ambassador program. This person is responsible for designing and presenting animal programs for guests of all ages, leading VIP encounters and tours, and helping with other educational programming as assigned (e.g., camps, overnights, corporate programs). Primary duties include daily husbandry (feeding, watering, cleaning, housing), providing approved environmental enrichment, preventative and acute medical care, daily recording keeping, team communication, and all safety practices; as well as plan, implement, and evaluate operant conditioning program. This position provides care to animals in the Animal Ambassador Program. Monitors health and behavior; provides nutrition, keeps animal enclosures and adjacent areas clean and safe; monitors enclosure security; moves, captures handles, and restrains animals; provides medical treatment; provides environmental enrichment to animals; keeps written records documenting animal husbandry; provides specialized animal care; works in and around exotic and potentially dangerous animals. Assists with on-the-job training for new and/or experienced animal ambassador staff, seasonals, and interns.

Position Requirements:

  • Rotating weekend, evening, and holiday work is required.
  • Employee considered "Essential Staff" and required to make good faith effort to get to work on adverse weather days and during zoo emergencies.
  • Must meet DNCR Fleet Safety Guidelines and have ability to obtain and maintain a valid North Carolina driver’s license to drive a state vehicle.
  • Required to participate in the Zoo's occupational health program due to exposure of animal containment areas.
  • Must have the agility and physically ability  with or without an accommodation to: regularly and safely lift up to 25 pounds occasionally and/or exert up to 50 pounds; stand for sustained periods of time; negotiate uneven outdoor terrain on foot.
  • Must be proficient in public speaking, including but not limited to dealing effectively with large numbers of people of all ages.
  • Ability to capture, handle and restrain live exotic and potentially dangerous animals and use associated capture equipment.
  • Position is required to become certified as an animal trainer within the Zoo’s Animal Behavioral Management Program.

Learn about the NC ZOO:   
Learn about employee perks/benefits:


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies


**To receive credit for your work history and credentials, you must list the information on the application form. Any information omitted from the application form, listed under the text resume section, or on an attachment will not be considered for qualifying credit.**

  • Demonstrated experience in animal husbandry and operant conditioning, specifically for animal handling techniques in accordance with AZA’s standards and philosophy.
  • Demonstrated experience in environmental and conservation education.
  • Demonstrated experience in public speaking, including but not limited to dealing effectively with large numbers of people of all ages.
  • Must be highly proficient in Microsoft Office, including Excel, Word, Publisher, and Power Point.

Management Preference: 

  • Demonstrated experience with and able to use educational bio-facts and props, and other standard education presentation equipment.
  • Knowledge of life support system equipment operations such as light timers, supplemental heaters, humidifiers, etc.


Minimum Education and Experience Requirements


Some state job postings say you can qualify by an “equivalent combination of education and experience.” If that language appears below, then you may qualify through EITHER years of education OR years of directly related experience, OR a combination of both. See for detail.


Bachelor’s degree in a natural science program from an appropriately accredited institution
two years of experience in the development and presentation of natural science interpretive and educational programs;
an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Supplemental and Contact Information


 Primary Purpose of the Organizational Unit:
The North Carolina Zoo exists for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of all of North Carolina's citizens and visitors to the zoo. The mission of the zoo is to encourage the understanding of and commitment to the conservation of the world's wildlife and wild places through the recognition of the interdependence of people and nature. The Zoo displays, conserves and protects representative examples of natural beauty, plant and animal species and ecological features of the North American and African regions of the world through the presentation of live animal exhibits from these regions.

Department Information:
The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) takes care of the things that people love about North Carolina, literally from A to Z. The Arts to the Zoo, and so much else – parks, aquariums, historic sites, archaeology, African American Heritage Commission, science and history museums, the state Symphony, Library and Archives, historic preservation, land and water stewardship, and more. These places, and the ideas they represent, create a shared identity in North Carolina. They provide common ground. Everyone is welcome. The Department’s vision is to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina. Our goal is to promote equity and inclusion among our employees and our programming to reflect and celebrate our state's diverse population, culture, and history. We encourage you to apply to become a part of our team. Check out this amazing video about our Department.

The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) selects applicants for employment based on required education and experience and job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age (40 or older), disability, National Guard or veteran status, genetic information, political affiliation or political influence.

Please be sure to complete the application in full. Resumes may be uploaded with your application, but will not be accepted in lieu of a fully completed application and will not be considered for qualifying credit.  "See Resume" or "See Attachment" will NOT be accepted.

Degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions.  Transcripts, and degree evaluations may be uploaded with your application.

To obtain veterans preference, you must scan and upload a copy of your DD-214 or discharge orders.

Technical issues submitting your application, please call the NeoGov Help Line at 855-524-5627.

Applicants requesting and receiving an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are eligible to submit paper applications via mail or by fax.  Please call the human resources office for assistance.

If multiple applications are submitted to an individual posting, only the most recent application received prior to the closing date will be accepted. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on the closing date.

Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to provide information regarding the status of your application over the phone. To check the status of your application, please log in to your account.  Upon the closing date, applications are "Under Review" and will be screened by Human Resources for the qualified applicants. The hiring process may take an average of 6 – 8 weeks.

It is the policy of the State of North Carolina and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources that all employees provide proof of employment eligibility (immigration and naturalization) on the first day of employment.   We participate in E-Verify (Employment Eligibility Verification System).