Brief Description of the Job
Provides leadership and direction to ensure the highest standards of animal care and welfare, innovative exhibitory, and staff professional development. Supervises, assists, and trains the Reptile Curator, Zookeeper staff, interns and volunteers in the management and maintenance of a diverse collection of exotic animals in an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited Zoo, ensuring best husbandry practices. Oversees Operant Conditioning and Behavioral Enrichment Programs and provides training to Education and Veterinary staffs regarding operant conditioning and enrichment. Supports non-animal departments to advance institutional goals and ensure adherence to departmental and institutional policies and standard procedures. Participates in AZA-related programs and ensures that the Zoo meets the accreditation requirements. Designs, coordinates, and constructs new exhibits or renovations. Serves as the Browse Manager for the Zoo providing information of plant species that are acceptable to harvest for consumption by animals in the collection. Coordinates between veterinary staff and animal staff for medical procedures and treatments. As assigned, serve as the Manager on Duty.
Oversee the Animal Collection (45%): Provide leadership and direction to ensure the highest standards of animal care and welfare, innovative exhibitory, and staff professional development. Supervise, assist, and train the animal staff, interns and volunteers in the management and maintenance of a diverse collection of exotic animals in an AZA accredited Zoo ensuring best husbandry practices. Monitor animal collection, exhibits, and staff performance daily. Work with various Species Survival Programs (SSP's) in cooperative animal management programs related to animals held in the Zoo's collection. Research best husbandry practices. Write/review animal area SOPs. Review keeper daily reports and enter all daily observations, medical notes, acquisitions, and de-acquisition of collection animals into Zoo Information Management System (ZIMS). Observe animals, exhibits, and grounds to ensure Zoo, City, USDA, and AZA policies and standards are being met. Administer and coordinate the acquisition and disposition of Zoo specimens including all necessary permits to legally buy, sell, or trade Zoo animals in accordance with State, and Federal regulations. Coordinate with veterinary staff to schedule various medical procedures. Research the natural history of species in the collection. Provide training and oversight of Operant Conditioning and Behavioral Enrichment Programs to animal, education and veterinary staffs. Pick-up or drop off animals for transfer at regional airports. Coordinate communications for capture, restraint, and transport for medical procedures. Ensure visitor safety.
Supervise Assigned Staff (25%): Supervise Animal Keeper staff and Reptile Curator. Collaborate with other leadership staff to secure Interns and volunteers and supervise their work and performance. Monitor and evaluate work activities/assignments on a daily basis, providing coaching and mentoring as needed. Document employee performance. As needed, prepare counseling documents, making recommendations for improvement and recommending and administering disciplinary action consistent with Human Resources polices. . Ensure a safe workplace; documenting and reporting any workplace injuries in a timely manner. Facilitate the resolution of employee concerns and problems. Ensure that City and department policies as well as applicable law and ordinances are consistently enforced. Provide staff training and professional development. Provide specialized training for all new Zoo Keeper staff promoting safe work habits for working around dangerous animals. Train Education and Veterinary staffs in operant conditioning and enrichment to ensure animals in their care receive comparable management to those in the main collection. Interview and recommend candidates for employment. Review and approve general leave as appropriate. Ensure accurate timekeeping prior to authorizing timesheets in time keeping system.
Perform Administrative and Public Relations Duties (20%): As assigned, serve as the Manager on Duty. Manage curatorial, enrichment, and exhibits budgets. Participate as a member of the Zoo Management Team, Animal Management Committee, along with various in-house operational committees. Participate on AZA committees and other partnerships. Coordinate emergency drills. Assist with exhibitory and enrichment devices. Answer queries from the public or the media. Write articles for newsletters, resolves customer complaints. Assist with special events and Zoo rentals. Give behind the scenes tours to special groups.
Administer Zoo Exhibits and Grounds (10%): Design, coordinate, and construct new exhibits or renovations of existing enclosures. Harvest/collect, transport and install large branches and tree limbs in animal exhibits. Perform basic landscaping maintenance. Serve as the Browse Manager for the Zoo.
Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
Formal Education: Bachelor's degree or equivalent in Biological Sciences or an equivalent is required.
Experience: Over four years of Curator experience in a supervisory capacity at an AZA accredited Zoo is required.
Driver's License Required: Class D South Carolina Driver's license.
Certifications and Other Requirements: None.
Overall Strength Demands: Very Heavy strength demands include exerting over 100 pounds rarely, 50-100 pounds occasionally, from 20 up to 50 pounds frequently, or up to 20 pounds constantly. Lifting animals. concrete mix, grain sacks, hay bales, lumber, tents,
Physical Demands: Continuously requires using vision and hearing. Frequently requires standing, fine dexterity, walking, sitting, reaching, handling, and talking. Occasionally requires lifting, carrying, kneeling, crawling, pushing/pulling, climbing, foot controls, balancing, bending, crouching, and twisting.
Machines, Tools, Equipment, and Work Aids: Trucks, bobcat, electric cart, table saw, radial arm saw, auger, band saw, drill press, porta-band, screw gun, hammer, banding machine, chainsaw, hedge trimmers, string trimmers, shovel, pick, saw, loppers, nets, squeeze cage, lawnmower, tiller, pneumatic drill, wrenches, screwdriver, pry bar, pliers, shotgun, john-boat, misc. hand, electric, and pneumatic tools, hoses, traps, and ropes.
Computer Equipment and Software: Computer, printer/copier/scanner, telephone Software: Microsoft Office Suite, Internet Explorer, and ZIMS.
Overall Working Conditions: Disagreeable: Frequent exposure to unpleasant environmental conditions and/or hazards.
Environmental Factors: Monthly exposure to extreme temperatures, wetness and/or humidity, respiratory hazards, noise and vibrations, and physical hazards.
Health and Safety: Occasional exposure to mechanical hazards, chemical hazards, communicable diseases, and physical danger or abuse. Rare exposure to electrical hazards, fire hazards, and explosives.
Primary Work Location: Outdoors (Zoo grounds).
Protective Equipment Required: Eye protection, ear plugs, chainsaw chaps, work gloves, surgical mask, surgical gloves, hard hat, life preserver, and steel toe boots. Designated PPEs for specific areas and activities within the Zoo.
Frequently requires time pressures, frequent change of tasks, performing multiple tasks simultaneously, and working closely with others as part of a team. Occasionally requires emergency situations, irregular schedule/overtime, tedious or exacting work, and noisy/distracting environment.