Cheetah Program Leader

Lincoln Children’s Zoo Core Values

  • We are there for each other.
  • We generate enthusiasm.
  • We are humble.
  • We go above and beyond.

Come work for one of the top 10 fastest growing zoos in the country! The Lincoln Zoo is home to an extremely diverse collection of animals including tigers, red pandas, Humboldt penguins, and giraffes. Our Zoo is the 2nd largest tourist attraction in Nebraska. During the pandemic in 2020, we successfully opened the 2nd phase of our $25 million expansion debuting our giant anteaters and cheetah habitats, including a cheetah chase encounter. The first phase of our expansion opened in 2019 that expanded our Zoo footprint by 10 acres with giraffes, Sumatran tigers, and an indoor play structure with spider monkeys. Rated among the nation’s best zoos for Children, we have been featured on the Today Show, Time Magazine, ABC News, USA Today, Buzzfeed, CNN and National Geographic. The Photo Ark project began with a photograph of one of our naked mole rats.

The Lincoln Children’s Zoo is looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to work with the Zoo’s Ambassador Animal area as Cheetah Program Leader. Under the direction of the Director of Education, the position of Cheetah Program Leader is the primary keeper for the daily care of cheetahs and giant anteaters. Additional responsibilities may include the care of multiple species within our Ambassador Animal program including serval cat, two-toed sloth, harris hawk, among other species. Duties include daily husbandry and maintaining cleanliness of animal enclosures and ensuring that Zoo policies and protocols are followed consistently. This position will regularly interact with Zoo guests through animal encounters, presentations, and special experiences, answering questions, and providing animal information to ensure an excellent guest experience. Cheetah Program Leader will train ambassador animals through operant conditioning with the guidance of the Director of Education. 

Principal Duties:

  • Deliver daily animal presentations to Zoo guests with multiple animal species showcasing their natural behaviors
  • Performs daily husbandry for multiple taxon within the designed Ambassador Animal Areas
  • Implement effective behavioral enrichment and training for selected animals
  • Actively observes animals’ behaviors, checking for signs of illness or disorder; reports any irregularities and abnormal behavior to supervisor
  • Assists in treating animals under the supervision of the veterinary staff
  • Maintains adequate stock of all supplies and reports low quantities to supervisor
  • Thoroughly cleans and disinfects assigned animal enclosures and ensures cleanliness throughout the day
  • Assists in emergency responses and actively participates in all safety drills
  • Assist in training part time staff and volunteers as needed
  • Work closely with multiple departments at the zoo
  • Continue to uphold the zoo’s mission both on and off zoo grounds
  • Performs special assignments and projects as requested
  • Other duties as assigned

Necessary Skills and Requirements:

  • Ability to interact with Zoo guests in an engaging and welcoming manner
  • Ability to work as an effective team member as well as function independently
  • Understand the knowledge of animal biology and the basic care of multiple taxon
  • Strong experience in public speaking
  • Must be able to work weekends, nights, and holidays as needed
  • Excellent communication skills


  • Experience working with cheetahs
  • Animal training experience 
  • Strong understanding and experience with operant conditioning
  • Available to work nights, weekends, and holidays
  • At least 2 years experience at an AZA Zoo, preferably in training and/or public presentations

To apply: email the your resume to

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