Animal Keeper - Farmyard (Entry Level Position)

Orana Wildlife Park

Set in 80 hectares, Orana Wildlife Park (Christchurch) is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. The Park is home to 400 animals representing over 70 different species; the focus of our collection is New Zealand native fauna, domestic animals and African savannah wildlife. Following the completion of our Great Ape Centre, home to New Zealand’s only gorillas, Orana is part way through an exciting development plan to ensure that the Park continues to evolve into the future. Planning is advanced on our next major capital project – a new Native Species Centre, a state of the art incubation and chick rearing facility showcasing a range of native species that will enable Orana to make a greater contribution to New Zealand species conservation. Additionally, a Maud Island Frog Habitat is due for completion soon.

Operated as a charitable trust, Orana fulfils an important role in managed, zoo-based breeding programmes and is involved in Department of Conservation breed for release recovery programmes for endangered New Zealand species including whio, pateke and orange-fronted Kakariki,  along  with  contributing  to  the  captive  breed  for  release  component  of  the  kiwi programme.

We have a fantastic opportunity for a suitably skilled person to join our dedicated NZ Fauna and Domestic animals team. This position will be centered around our Farmyard focusing on our many exciting rare/heritage animal breeds. The Farmyard is a key area of the zoo and an important part of the visitor experience as people can interact with our delightful animals.

You will need to be a highly driven and energetic individual with a passion for animal care and public education, seeking to start a career as an Animal Keeper.


The ideal applicant will possess the following skills and attributes:

  • Previous animal husbandry experience, particularly working with a range of domestic farm animals such as horses, llamas, alpacas, pigs and chickens.
  • Interest in endemic New Zealand fauna, particularly birds and reptiles.
  • Responsible mature attitude and team player.
  • Superb communication and customer service skills.
  • Knowledge and experience in pest control/trapping is highly desirable.
  • High level of physical fitness with good practical skills.
  • Interest in conservation and caring for New Zealand’s native and domestic fauna.


Duties will include:

  • Providing a high standard of daily care and welfare to a variety of domestic animals in the farmyard.
  • Daily behavioural observations, health checks and record keeping.
  • Implementing behavioural enrichment programmes.
  • Conducting fun and informative presentations to educate and engage visitors in experiences with our farm animals.
  • Native planting and predator control.
  • Maintenance of aviaries, enclosures and surrounding habitats.

As animals require care seven days a week, the position will be based on a roster system including weekends and public holidays. The working week for the position is yet to be determined but will involve working both Saturday and Sunday. Rostered days off (weekdays) can be negotiated. This position is full time, 40 hours per week. Hours are 8:30am to 5:00pm. Salary will be in accordance with skills and experience.

If you wish to apply, then we invite you to request an application pack by telephone (03 359 7109) or email (   All applications must be submitted on the official application form included in the pack by 5 pm, Friday 13th March 2020