JOBCENTRE staff almost refused to post an advert for ‘dinosaur keepers’ because they thought it was a wind-up.

But recruitment staff at Chester Zoo are serious – and will pay £6.05 an hour to the right candidates, who ‘must not be scared of big, sharp teeth’.

The advert, placed on the zoo’s website as well as in Jobcentres, says the successful applicants must know their ‘stegosaurus from their diplodocus’.

Alasdair McNee, the zoo’s corporate director, said: “This is the first time any company or institution has advertised for a dinosaur keeper and so it’s fair to say it’s a job that has been 65 million years in the making.

“It’s certainly not an ordinary job but it’s a serious, specialist role and we’re prepared to search far and wide to find the right people.

“It’s a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re looking for a special few.”

Of course, the position is not all glamour, action and adventure. Applicants must also be ‘happy shovelling two-tonne piles of T-Rex dung, if required’.

The jobs have come up as the zoo awaits a shipment of animatronic dinosaurs from America, which will feature in its summer Dinosaurs at Large! exhibition.

“We have 13 robotic dinosaurs arriving very soon and so we need to make sure they’re welcomed in by caring, skilled professionals,” added Mr McNee.

The closing date for applications has now passed.