Kansas City Zoo Reviews | Glassdoor

Kansas City Zoo Reviews

Updated January 4, 2019
30 reviews

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2.9
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Randy Wisthoff
19 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "KC Zoo"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    good people, fun to work with

    Cons

    not much I can say that's bad

    Advice to Management

    I don't have any advice


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Zoo keeper"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Zookeeper in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Zookeeper in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kansas City Zoo full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They have a great collection of animals.

    Cons

    There a real lack of safety. Locks that are broken won’t always be replaced. the broken locks will be reported to management, they have all the new working locks in their office, and those locks won’t be replaced. Broken locks were reported in back holdings, some in “code red”, dangerous, animal back holdings. There had been fences in bad need of replacing, animals could have easily pushed through, some holding in “code red”, dangerous, animal areas. They treat their keepers poorly. They way they talk to you is demeaning. Management is more concerned that visitors see the animals than the keeper’s safety.

    Advice to Management

    Take the safety of the animals, keepers, staff and visitors seriously. Talk to staff with respect, as if they were human beings.

  3. "Not the best job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Admissions
    Current Employee - Admissions
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kansas City Zoo full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The management is competent and friendly.

    Cons

    Hours, schedules, and work duties are not consistent. Some employees get special treatment. Communication is severely lacking when there is a schedule change. Most equipment necessary to fulfill the job requirements well, including speakers and headsets, do not work or work poorly. Additionally, the office chairs are broken.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the broken equipment and have a better system for training new employees.


  4. "Admissions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kansas City Zoo part-time

    Pros

    It was a very relaxed job, not necessarily to demanding

    Cons

    Very bad working conditions when placed around the park. Minimum restroom breaks, lack of access to water or a/c etc.

    Advice to Management

    Care more


  5. "KCZOO"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Animal Keeper
    Current Employee - Animal Keeper
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kansas City Zoo (More than a year)

    Pros

    Like it, love the people

    Cons

    Sometimes management is more about business than welfare.


  6. "Fun Place with Major Flaws"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kansas City Zoo part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I feel it has been long enough to tell you the truth about my experiences at the zoo. For the most part it is an excellent environment. Your love of zoo transfers to work ethic and happiness.
    Always a good day when you can do things that make kids smile. All employees are friendly and no one is above doing any job that needs done, not even Whisthoff. If there is a need for a job to get done someone will jump in.
    Honestly if you exclude politics the zoo is a dream to work at. Everyone works hard and tries to make the visitor experience awesome or at least pleasant. If you can get past its flaws and focus on making what small part you have better, you will really enjoy whatever time you spend here. There is always some kind of event for employees and guests. They really strive to maintain a public presence in the community.

    Cons

    Very poor response time from management to emails unless they correspond to an upcoming or current event. Don't expect a response for 2-4 weeks if you get one.

    If you say anything the management at the zoo disagrees with even if you approve outspokenly about a lot of other things, you will be reprimanded because they are afraid of losing funding if you make known behind the scenes or what should be public knowledge.

    Not enough employees when it counts, (big event days), everyone ends up scrambling and irritable. It works out but it is very flawed.

    Unable to adapt. Takes an extremely long time to change anything when it comes to internal structures. It is a lot easier for them to plan to expand the grounds than personnel.

    There is no opportunity for advancement for interns and part-time employees need a another job during slow season.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees a comparable wage to other companies and be open to change quickly. You need more young people in your management or at least assistance to help out. Pretty frustrating anytime you have to go into the office.


  7. "Former Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kansas City Zoo part-time

    Pros

    Working with animals and the public is great
    Great people to work with

    Cons

    Low pay, it is terrible. People with their masters are getting paid 10 dollars an hour

    Advice to Management

    Pay your staff more

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Eh..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kansas City Zoo part-time

    Pros

    -The people I work with are amazing.

    -I enjoy what I'm doing for the most part.

    Cons

    -The supervisors. Everything would run so much more smoothly if the management was dependable and actually listened to opinions and complaints from their staff.

    -Pay is horrible.

    -Feel unappreciated.

    Advice to Management

    Put people in charge that know what they're doing, rather than employing them because of who they know.

    Listen to your employees.


  9. "Low Morale"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kansas City Zoo full-time

    Pros

    Working outdoors and with animals.

    Cons

    All decisions, even minute ones, must run up the chain of command. This can take weeks, leading to you not being able to do your job.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Mentorship and integrity are of the least importance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Leader
    Former Employee - Team Leader
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kansas City Zoo full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Getting the courage to stand up for myself and leave.

    Cons

    Promotion of under qualified staff from within runs rampant in the Animal/Living Collections department.
    Extreme lack of accountability from the top down. This has resulted in mistakes such as animal escapes and deaths.
    Managers that fight internally, gossip and talk badly about lower level staff at weekly meetings.
    Managers that literally raise their voices and curse at upper level managers, with absolutely no regard.
    Low morale throughout regardless of the institutions attempts to improve it over the last several years.
    Extreme lack of value for employees, this is evident in the rapid rate of turnover, especially in the Animal/Living Collections department.
    Managers will take advantage of employees who work on their own time (put in a 50 hour week and get paid for 40 of it).
    Only give out overtime opportunities when AZA accreditation or USDA inspections are imminent.
    Pay their less educated maintenance staff significantly more than their college educated Animal/Living Collections staff.
    Starting pay for a zookeeper in the Animal/Living Collections department is $12/hour (Omaha's Henry Doorly is $13/hour for comparison).
    Starting pay for Assistant Manager/Team Leader in the Animal/Living Collections department is $35k annually (pre ACA overtime laws, not sure how that will be affected now), significantly lower than this position pays at almost any other AZA facility.
    Refusal to disclose rate of pay for positions throughout the establishment.
    SCUBA program is not OSHA compliant and contains divers that are not good swimmers and are fearful of water.
    AZA standards for training and enrichment are not met.
    Sea lions are aggressive towards staff and have bitten individuals sending some to the ER.
    Conservation funds are not allocated truthfully.

    Advice to Management

    Value staff and the time they give to you.
    Spend time with employees and oversee their work, evaluate it, help them improve.
    Hire individuals with relevant experience, especially in managerial positions. Do not hire somebody because they are nice or you feel bad for them, it will only hurt their career and have a negative impact on the staff they are responsible for.
    Do not guarantee animal and guest experiences before your facility, your staff and especially your collection animals are properly trained for it.