Job Opportunities at The Gorilla Foundation 





The Gorilla Foundation, a non-profit organization best known for its 4-decade interspecies communication study, Project Koko, seeks an experienced cook to manage food preparation for two adult western lowland gorillas (Koko and Ndume).  The purpose of the job is to optimize the gorillas' health and emotional well-being while freeing caregivers to focus on communication-based care, enrichment, research, education, and conservation.

The position requires knowledge of produce and healthy cooking as well as vegetarian and vegan cooking.  This experience does not have to be in a business setting as much as it needs to be the passion of the Nutrition Manager. Most of the produce we receive for the gorillas is donated and it is important that the Nutrition Manager know what food is at its best.

This is an excellent opportunity for a person with the right skills who cares passionately about animals to make a difference in great ape care and conservation.


Food management

· Oversee preparation of produce and gorilla meals by volunteers

· Maintain quality assurance and control standards for all gorilla meals

· Cook some "gourmet" hot meals (mostly vegetarian/vegan)

· Manage the gorilla kitchen (staff, volunteers, cleaning, process)

· Coordinate meal delivery with caregivers

· Develop and refine weekly gorilla meal plans based on feedback

· Weekly shopping and pick-up of donated produce

· Cultivate new in-kind donors (i.e. markets) for gorilla produce

Job Type: Full Time (Potentially Part-Time)

Job Location: Woodside, CA

Required Experience: Cooking: 1 year


 Please send a cover letter, resume, and 3 professional references to:




Job Overview:

The Gorilla Foundation is seeking an exceptional individual to join our team as a full-time Gorilla Caregiver/Researcher, in an environment where gorilla care and interspecies communication research are highly integrated. This is an opportunity for a qualified individual to make a contribution to great ape care, research, conservation and education, by using two-way communication to facilitate gorilla care and empowerment

Job Responsibilities:

Include providing daily care to two gorillas and their environment. This includes the monitoring, evaluation, and help in maintaining the physical and emotional health and well-being of gorillas Koko and Ndume through behavioral observations, enrichment, training, sign-language and other forms of two-way communication. Will clean and perform general maintenance of the indoor/outdoor gorilla facilities, assist with the preparation and delivery of meals to gorillas, and support and document communication-based research with gorillas, by learning American Sign Language (ASL), taking observational notes, filling out corresponding forms and participating in database entry and cataloging. This is an hourly full-time position from approximately 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, 5 days per week. However, work-schedule flexibility is required, including the ability to work weekend days and evenings (e.g., 12-9PM)

Job Qualifications / Experience:

Applicants must have a strong affinity for animals, as reflected in work and volunteer experience. Must be able to work effectively in a team environment, be hard-working, service-oriented and self-motivated, possessing a strong commitment to animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are necessary. Applicant should have at least two years of full-time animal care experience (preferably with primates) and at least a 4-year degree in life sciences, biology, psychology, primatology, zoology, conservation or related field. The applicant should be safety oriented and have experience in operant conditioning and training techniques. Ideally they should have some experience in performing or assisting with observational research. Knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) is preferred. California applicants preferred. A valid driver’s license is preferred.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include health insurance, paid vacation time, sick/personal leave, paid holidays and a 403(b) retirement plan

How to Apply:

Please send a letter of interest, resume, 3 professional references and a brief essay on “What Koko means to me” to:




Contact Us



The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org
1733 Woodside Rd., Suite 330
Redwood City, CA, 94061
1-800-ME-GO-APE (634-6273)

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Why become a member?

Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.


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