Amur Tiger

Amur Tiger

Tigers are the largest of the wild cats and the Amur tiger is the largest of the tiger species. They range in size from 400 to 700 pounds for adult males and 200 to 300 pounds for females.

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Jobs & Internships

Job seekers interested in permanent employment for animal care or labor/maintenance should complete a county application, located on the Onondaga County website:
Thank you.

Paid Positions - Friends of the Zoo

Go to the zoo every day and be a part of the success of one of the most beloved attractions in the region!

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is home to approximately 700 animals on 43 acres attracting more than 370,000 visitors each year and ranks among the top 10% of zoos in the nation.

The Friends of the Zoo exist to provide financial support to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

Jungle Café Assistant Manager

Friends of the Zoo seeks a top candidate to fill a key position in our Jungle Café reporting to the Jungle Café Manager.

Position Description:

  • Assists Café Manager in operating a multi-location quick service food operation including the Jungle Café, two concessions stands, portable cart(s) and vending units.
  • Responsible for café operations and supervising staff when manager is not present.
  • Provides exceptional customer service and assures overall food quality.
  • Promotes the Zoo and its mission.
  • Regular full time, non- exempt position pending criminal/driver history records.

Responsible to: Jungle Café Manager
Responsible to: Jungle Café Staff

Essential Job Functions:

  • Adheres to all established cash control policies and protocols for all facets of the business including café safe, cash back-up, deposits and daily close-outs.
  • Ensures that all staff are following the same;
  • Capable of managing inventory receiving and maintaining all associated reports, prepares invoices and funding requests for vendor payments;
  • Contacts vendors to place orders for inventory and supplies in a prompt manner as needed to ensure adequate inventory levels;
  • Implements directives of the manager on effective, proper and efficient methods for inventory storage and organization;
  • Support the café manager in achieving long and short term department goals and objectives;
  • Availability to work a 40 hour work week, including at least one week-end day;
  • May be requested to extend hours as needed.

Desired Training and Experience:

  • Previous customer service, foodservice and staff management experience particularly with part-time seasonal positions;
  • Knowledge of NYS Department of Health and Labor codes;
  • Computer knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook preferred;
  • Working hazards include hot surfaces, wet floors, and sharp objects;
  • Must be self-motivated, capable of working independently as well as with a team;
  • Ability to lift heavy items (50 lbs.)

Click here for a full job description.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume and three business references to or mail to

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Attention: Human Resources
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204

No phone calls please

Jungle Café Staff (Part-Time)

If you are interested in working in a fast-paced, unique environment Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is looking for you! We are now accepting applications to fill part-time positions in our Jungle Café.

We are seeking candidates that are energetic, customer- and team-oriented. Candidates with food and beverage, customer service or parks experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

Compensation: $8.75 per hour

Completion of a successful background check is required for employment. Working papers are required for anyone under 18 years of age.

For a complete job description, click here.

To apply:
Applications are available at the membership desk, email your resume to (Word or PDF attachments only), or mail your resume to:

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Attention: Human Resources
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204

No phone calls please!


Gift Shop Staff (Part-Time)

Join the team at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, the number one family entertainment destination in Central New York! Friends of the Zoo is seeking part-time staff for our retail gift shop, The Curious Cub. Weekday availability is a must.

We are looking for candidates that are energetic, customer- and team-oriented. Retail experience preferred.

Compensation: $8.75 per hour

Completion of a successful background check is required for employment. Working papers are required for anyone under 18 years of age.

For a complete job description, click here.

To Apply:
Applications are available at the membership desk, email your resume to (Word or PDF attachments only), or mail your resume to:

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Attention: Human Resources
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204

No phone calls please!


Customer Service Representative/Membership Desk

Friends of the Zoo is seeking a part-time employee to fill an open position at our membership desk 3-4 days a week, including weekends, from 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; days may vary. Additional days may be required for seasonal and/or vacation coverage.

The candidate must have proficient computer skills, ability to handle cash/credit transactions and have excellent customer service skills both written and verbal.

Candidate must be able to lift 50 lbs.

Background check completion is a requirement for employment.

Compensation: $8.75 per hour

For a complete job description, click here.

Please apply either in person at the membership desk between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., by email at or mail to

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Attention: Human Resources
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204

No phone calls please!






The Rosamond Gifford Zoo and Friends of the Zoo offer animal-related internships, as well as internships in our marketing, event planning and education departments. Unless otherwise noted, internships are unpaid.

Graphic Design Intern
The graphic design internship provides upper-level college students studying graphic design with practical learning experiences in the areas of advertising and graphic design. This internship supports the zoo's marketing department with projects such as print and online advertising, posters, flyers, booklets, brochures, large-scale displays, signage and web support. The intern will also assist with tasks and activities that support marketing initiatives and special event promotions to increase public awareness and excitement for the zoo and its programs. Internship is unpaid.

Applications are accepted year-round. Please submit your resume, cover letter and portfolio samples via email to Maria Simmons, director of marketing, at Now accepting applications for fall 2015.

Event Planning Intern

Event planning internship inquiries should be directed to Jim Mahler, director of food & beverage, at Internship is unpaid.


Animal Department Internship
Animal-related internship inquiries should be directed to Nate Stevens, at

Available blocks and applicable deadlines are as follows:



January-May 2015

December 1, 2014

May-August 2015

April 1, 2015

August-December 2015   

July 1, 2015

Blocks may be flexible depending on student need.

The purposes of Rosamond Gifford Zoo's intern program are:

(1) to provide practical, on-the-job experience
(2) to provide exposure to zoo operations and zoo careers

Interns are supervised and instructed by permanent, full-time zoo employees. A member of the department to which the intern has been assigned will serve as the intern's mentor.

Interns are required to keep a journal and complete a management project during their term. They will complete such readings and written assignments as may be required by the department to which they have been assigned. Schedule will be agreed upon in advance.

The internship term is generally 12-14 weeks with a minimum of 12 hours per week or 4 weeks with a minimum of 40 hours per week. Interns will work on a flexible schedule, which may include some weekends and holidays. The internship term and schedule is variable and may be adjusted to meet student needs.

Interns may arrange for course credit with their school advisor. Rosamond Gifford Zoo's animal managers can certify successful completion of internships and will issue a grade transcript to all interns completing the term.

Interns will receive no monetary compensation during their internship.

Interns can be dismissed for unacceptable performance of duties/responsibilities and/or for non-compliance with Rosamond Gifford Zoo regulations and procedures.

Requirements for Application

  • All applicants must be minimum of 16 years of age. 
  • All applicants must have an overall 2.5 grade point average.
  • All applicants if accepted must submit written results of a negative intradermal tuberculosis test within the last year prior to the start of their internship. 
  • All applicants must have verification of an up-to-date tetanus vaccination.
  • Only completed application packets will be considered. A complete packet includes the following:
  • A standard application form.
  • A letter from the applicant detailing what he/she hopes to gain from the program, and how the internship relates to past experience, future plans, career goals.
  • A resume including education and relevant experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professionals evaluating the applicant's aptitude, preparation, and suitability to the program.

These requirements are to be collected by the applicant and sent as a complete packet to Nate Stevens at, or mailed to the following address:

Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Attention: Animal Department Internships
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204

Complete application packets for internships must be received by the deadline for the desired block listed above. Any applications received after the deadline date will not be considered. Incomplete application packets (missing any of the items noted 1 through 4 above) will not be considered.

Following the deadline for application submission, all packets will be reviewed by animal managers. Within 2-3 weeks after the deadline, all applicants will be notified whether or not they have been chosen for an interview. Interview arrangements will be made with selected candidates. After the interview process, prospective interns will be informed if they will be placed in the program. At that time, an animal area will be assigned and the schedule finalized.

For further information, please contact us at (315) 435-8511 x100 and ask for the appropriate person (as listed above).

Click here to download an Animal Internship Application.

Job Shadowing

All inquiries regarding the Job Shadow program should be directed to John Moakler, collection manager, at

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo's Job Shadow program offers a unique opportunity for high school students in grades 10-12 to experience a day in the life of a zoo employee. The student will spend up to one full day (8 hours) following an employee through their normal workday, helping perform their daily duties or observing when an activity requires. There may be some hands-on work with animals, under very close supervision of the keeper. Students will not be left alone with any animal at any time. If the student has a special interest in a particular animal or aspect of zookeeping (e.g. training, diets, etc) an effort will be made to accommodate the student. Job shadow candidates are accepted January-June and September-December.

Please review the following protocols established for the job shadow. If you have any questions, please contact John Moakler at (315 ) 435-8511.

  • Applications for job shadows with Parental/Guardian Permission Slip should be submitted to the zoo 4 weeks prior to the desired shadowing date.
  • If a shadowing arrangement is possible applicants will be contacted to schedule the job shadow. The work time will be scheduled by your mentor assuming approval of the shadow.
  • The shadow should have an up-to-date tetanus vaccination and must have a copy of written results of a negative intradermal tuberculosis (TB) test from within the last year, prior to the job shadow experience.
  • Minimum age: sophomore in high school. The shadow must be  responsible, and exhibit good judgment and common sense. College students interested in a zoo career should apply for an internship.
  • The shadow must be able to take and follow directions.
  • Experience with animals (including dogs and cats) is recommended, but not required. However, students with a strong fear of animals should work in a non-animal department.
  • Students should reconsider this program if they are allergic to hay, dust, or animals.
  • Appropriate clothing must be worn. Dress for outdoor weather and getting dirty. Students will be working in wet conditions and should wear sturdy shoes, boots or sneakers. 

Click here to download a Job Shadowing application.

Click here to download a Parent/Guardian Permission Form.

Please mail completed application to:

John Moakler
Collection Manager
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204

FAQ: Zoo Keeping as a Career

“Zoo keeper” is a term used to describe an individual who cares for animals in zoological parks or aquariums. A career as a zoo keeper offers a unique opportunity in the specialized and demanding profession of maintaining exotic animals for conservation, research, public education and recreation.

Interested in becoming a zoo keeper? The American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) has a comprehensive document which will give you a better idea of what the profession entails and information to start you on the road to making this a career. You can access the information by clicking on this link: