Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Senior Animal Keeper

Senior Animal Keeper

Position: Senior Animal Keeper - Birds (Part time / Permanent)
Salary: £11,745 (Inclusive of Weekend Enhancement)
Location: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire

About Us:
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation. ZSL’s mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe and through education and awareness-raising at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.

Overview of Role:
An exciting opening has arisen for a Senior Animal Keeper in our Birds Section at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Applicants must have a passion for working with a variety of animals within a Zoo environment however experience with birds would be desirable. Good communication skills and experience of dealing with the public is essential, together with the ability to work effectively within a team. The role will also involve the day to day husbandry of a large and diverse collection of Birds, focussing on animal welfare, bio-security, record keeping and ensuring that exhibits are maintained to the highest standards.  The successful candidate will also be expected to:
·        Observe the behaviour, health and security of animals and report any problems to the Team Leader or manager including defects or repairs required to enclosures and relevant departments required to support work needed.
·        Assist with the preparation of approved diets and carrying out the correct feeding procedures.
·        Cleaning and maintaining of exhibits and other designated areas.

The successful candidate will:
·        Be able to demonstrate up to date knowledge of Bird husbandry practices. We are looking for in depth experience in the successful husbandry of a range of birds.
·        Have extensive experience from working in zoos, private collections, museums, universities, or in the field.
·        Have proven experience working with a range of birds.
·        Have a logical, precise and scientific approach to animal keeping.
·        Understand the conservation, research and educational role of ex situ animal populations.
·        Able to use Microsoft software including Outlook, Excel and Word.
  • Have a qualification in a relevant field at university level and/or diploma in the DMZAA Keeper’s course or equivalent work experience.
·        Be reliable and have good time-keeping and attendance record and able to demonstrate leadership and professionalism.

Please note: The role holder will be required to work 1,044 hours in a calendar year (equivalent to 20 hours per week) on a 6 week rolling roster including weekend working.  

To Apply:
Applicants will need to upload their CV and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the "Apply for this job online" button. If you have any queries regarding this position or when applying through the system please contact Human Resources at

Closing Date: Midnight Wednesday 12th October 2016

The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.

To Apply please click HERE

The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.

More Information -

Job Description

Job Title: Senior Animal Keeper


Department: Animal Department

Directorate: Zoological

Responsible to:

Current job holder:

Approved by:

Head of Department/ Director:

Job Evaluation Committee Reference Number:

Grade Allocated:

Date Allocated:

Key Purpose of the Job

The main purpose of the qualified keeper position is to manage the day to day operational duties relating to animal husbandry and visitor interaction within the section. This is directed day to day by the section Team Leader or other key, senior animal management staff within the section.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

•        Observing the behaviour, health and security of animals and reporting any problems to the Team Leader or Senior staff
•        Ensuring that conditions for animals are suitable and reporting any problems, including defects or repairs required to enclosures the senior managers on section and relevant departments required to support work needed.
•        Assisting with the preparation of approved diets and carrying out the correct feeding procedures.
•        Cleaning and maintaining exhibits and other designated areas
•        Ensuring that safety and emergency procedures are followed at all times.
•        Assisting with the movement and/or training of animals.
•        Supporting in the training and mentoring of less experienced staff.
•        Maintaining courteous and helpful relations with visitors and media.
•        Supporting broader ZSL lead events such as late evening s and specialist functions

Expectations of job holder

•        To ensure that the policy for equality of opportunity is adhered to and promoted in all aspects of the post holder’s work.
•        To ensure effective quality control and continuous improvement in all aspects of the work and responsibilities attached to this post.
•        Demonstrate professionalism towards sensitive and confidential information.
•        To comply with and promote Health and Safety policies and procedures and to undertake recommended Health and Safety training as and when necessary.
•        To be committed to professional self-development, through participation in specific training opportunities aimed at supporting and developing the post
•        To undertake such other duties as are commensurate with the grade of the post.
•        In consultation with the Team Leader the job holder plans his/her own work and may plan the work of others. Most decisions are made using the job holder’s personal experience but discussions with the Team Leader usually take place before a decision is made.  There are general guidelines for the job.
•        Most problems relate to animal care or staff.  Some are resolved independently often after investigation.  Less frequent, more complex, problems are referred to the Team Leader and/or Zoological Manager. Some involvement in exhibit planning.
•        A flexible approach is required in order to support the broader zoological collection as well as the post holder’s specific section. Animal work frequently requires individuals to work outside of normal working hours if for example specific levels of care are required. During other events, keeper staff are likely to be required to help out other sections or be present for events managed by other departments (Evening functions, animal talks etc)
•        Working with animals requires detailed levels of concentration on both noting animal behaviour and changes to behaviour, as well as security and health and safety elements required to manage Category 1 species. This will include the locking up and checking of locks for category 1 animals or restraint and control of animals for movement or veterinary procedures.
•        An ability to work as part of a team, to communicate clearly, effectively and fairly to colleagues.
•        Effective communication across all levels of the society. An ability to engage with junior staff as well as senior colleagues across all departments.
•        Capable of supporting and mentoring less experienced team members and volunteers in order to develop them within their specific roles. Beyond this, senior keepers should be looking to assist with the continual development of junior staff to enable them to progress within their careers.
•        A willingness and ability to present work to various peer groups both externally and internally to the organisation.
•        A supportive and engaging approach to visitors.
•        A presentable appearance through following uniform and clothing policy.

NB:  This job description is designed to outline a range of main duties that may be encountered.  It is not designed to be an exhaustive list of tasks and can be varied in consultation with the post holder in order to reflect changes in the job or the organisation.

Person Specification

Qualifications & Experience

•        Specific vocational and technical skills pertaining to the husbandry and management of the managed species.
•        DMZAA qualification or suitable, recognised equivalent.
•        Experience of visitor interactions in an organisation. An understanding of how to engage and support visitors to the collection.
•        Be able to mentor, train and enthuse junior members of a team. Instruct and oversee best practice within the section. To support the Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader in ensuring agreed standards of work are met.
•        To be able to effectively and respectfully communicate to staff of all levels regardless of their position.
•        Maintain high standards of hygiene, equipment care and house-keeping as routine part of daily duties.
•        Familiarity with other ZSL departments and an ability to contact key people in emergencies e.g. duty electrician out of hours.
•        Effective supervision of volunteers and students providing clear tasks, adequate supervision and a relevant experience.
•        Ability to manage and prioritise a diverse workload.


•        Familiarity and compliance with all Health and Safety protocols and documentation. This includes emergency procedures, risk assessment and safe working practices.
Ability to instruct others in the above and monitor compliance.
•        Broad taxonomic knowledge on a range of species managed within zoological collections.
•        Understanding of evolving husbandry management within zoological collections to include positive re-enforcement training for behavioural management and varied methods of enrichment for a range of species.
•        Knowledge of life support systems, temperature ranges and UV requirements for specific species.
•        Knowledge of restraint techniques for specific animals should catch ups or veterinary procedures require this.
•        Produce written documentation such as Health and safety information, including Risk Assessments, dietary records and any other relevant material.
•        Ability to research a specialist topic using library and internet resources effectively and apply findings to practical operation.
•        Effectively input relevant date onto the Daily Report Sheet and zoological Recording programs such as ZIMS.
•        Competency in Microsoft Office packages.

Skills & Abilities

•        Familiarity with the operation, maintenance and trouble-shooting of all equipment in regular use.
•        Excellent observational skills and the ability to identify animal health problems quickly.
•        An ability to carry out agreed veterinary treatments accurately as determined by vet team/team leader/curator. Good record keeping and follow up observations on treatments and conditions.
•        Demonstrate a thorough and evolving knowledge of husbandry, exhibition, diet and reproduction.
•        Have a wider knowledge of specific animal groups, outside of the immediate collection. Have a working knowledge of behavioural enrichment and conditioning and training programs.
•        Demonstrate a knowledge of the role of modern zoo’s in terms of conservation and education.
•        A clear awareness and understanding of the conservation issues relating to species within the zoological collection and conservation on the whole.
•        Public Relations - An ability to interact with stakeholders and represent ZSL where required, to include VIP and media based situations.
•        Presentation Skills – An ability and willingness to present papers, research or Society based material at conferences, or select groups.
•        An understanding and supportive approach to the commercial nature of the Zoological collection whilst maintaining the highest standards of husbandry and welfare to the living collection.
•        An understanding and support of ZSL’s sustainability program. Overseeing and implementing best practice in terms of sustainability within the department.

Other Requirements

•        Flexible approach in terms of working hours and an awareness that the post requires weekend working.
•        Ability to travel and attend conferences or other zoo’s as the position requires, in order to share knowledge, beneficial to the collection
•        An ability to present work in a conference or lecture based environment would be an advantage.


Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Monday, September 26, 2016

Reptile Keeper

Reptile Keeper

  We are Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary part of the magical Merlin Entertainments!

An opportunity has arisen to join us as a Reptile Keeper (Herpetologist) working closely with the Aquarist’s in the displays team. In this role you will support all aspects of husbandry and welfare and have the ability to work with a wide variety of animals, specializing in reptiles. The list not only includes snakes, lizards, caiman, bugs and turtles but also seals, otters, penguins and a great diversity of fish and invertebrate life. By joining us at the Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary, you will help to care for the animals, as well as the life support systems that are so vital to their wellbeing. You will also play a vital role in maintaining the exhibits to the highest possible standards and ensuring that they surpass the expectations of our visitors. You will actively engage with visitors and communicate as an expert on matters arising around displays and the creatures or marine environment working with the rest of the displays teams to generate innovative ideas to enhance displays or husbandry.

Hunstanton is also one of the few marine rescue centres caring for seals that are found abandoned or injured from all over the local coastline. The rehabilitation work will form an integral part of the role along with a variety of other conservational activities.

We are looking for the following skills and experience;

•           Previous experience within a similar environment and have achieved a qualification in Animal Management, a related qualification, or equivalent.
•           A good level of understanding of natural sciences, and knowledge of the husbandry, welfare and ethical needs of our creatures.
• Excellent interpersonal, communication, listening and team working skills.

This role is full time, permanent, averaging 40 hours per week and will include weekends and bank holidays as required.

Alongside a competitive annual salary and 28 days holiday you can look forward to enjoying a great benefits package including a Group Personal Pension Plan, Merlin Magic pass, Employee Assistance Programme, Childcare Vouchers, Life Assurance, 25% discount in our retail shops and restaurants, 40% discount online off of LEGO, and much more!

Job Aquarist
Work Locations : SEA LIFE Sanctuary Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary Southern Promenade Hunstanton PE36 5BH

Closing Date (Period for Applying) - External : 07-Oct-16, 2:59:00 AM

To apply please click HERE

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Friday, September 23, 2016



Permanent – 35 hours per week

We are Chester Zoo, and for over 80 years we’ve been a leading conservation and education charity, and an amazing, award-winning visitor attraction.

We’re also a team of passionate, talented, enthusiastic and expert people, doing everything we can to keep the zoo going, from feeding the animals to discovering new conservation ideas, and giving our 1.7 million visitors an inspirational day out. We work hard because we love animals, we care about nature, we love Chester Zoo and we want to be the best zoo in the world!

If you think you can help us to achieve that, then we’d love to hear from you.

We currently have an exciting vacancy for a Zoo Ranger to join our award winning Discovery & Learning team.

Our Zoo Rangers delivering public education around the Zoo, including animal talks and tours, one to one engagement, exhibition supervision, interpretation and other educational activities. Audiences vary from 1 to 500 or more, and there is lots of public interaction requiring a confident and outgoing personality.

The successful candidate will have:

    •    A degree in Zoo Biology or a conservation-related field, and have a wide ranging knowledge of the natural world and animal behaviours
    •    A creative mind, and be able to develop and deliver engaging, high quality public engagement opportunities for our visitors.
    •    Excellent customer service skills, and be able to work alone as well as part of a team
    •    Excellent verbal and written communication skills, as the role is all about effective communication
    •    Good organisational and time management skills
    •    A good working knowledge of Windows and Microsoft Office packages, as well as iPads and apps.

A good working knowledge and experience of zoo or conservation education, including research, as is a good knowledge of our animal collection and conservation work.

Hours of work are 35 hours per week, worked 10 days out of 14, including weekends and Bank Holidays as rostered, with the occasional need for evening working.

The salary for this role is £19,133 per annum.

In addition we offer a range of amazing benefits including:

    •    a fantastic working environment working with colleagues passionate about the zoo
    •    a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, with high contribution levels paid by the employer
    •    healthcare cash plan including dental, optical and physio
    •    excellent company sick pay arrangements available after 12 months service
    •    life cover is valued at 4 times annual salary and covers death in service
    •    Income Protection Insurance protects 50% of your salary due to long term illness or injury
    •    staff pass which provides unlimited free access into the zoo
    •    25 paid holidays and additional bank holidays (pro rata to hours)
    •    20 free admittance tickets per year for family/friends which equates to £480
    •    staff discount from restaurants and retail shops plus a subsidised staff canteen
    •    access to West Cheshire Credit Union
    •    child care vouchers
    •    salary sacrifice cycle scheme
    •    free car parking
    •    uniform

Due to the nature of the role, this post is subject to an enhanced DBS check.

To apply for this position, please provide your current CV and covering letter stating why you believe you should be considered for our Zoo Ranger role to

Closing date for applications is Wednesday 12th October 2016.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Deputy Head Of Reptiles

Deputy Head Of Reptiles

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is seeking an experienced and highly motivated animal keeper to join its reptile department. The successful candidate will be working in a team of four keepers and reporting directly to the Head of Section. This section is responsible for the daily management and husbandry of our reptiles, invertebrates and fishes. The successful applicant will be responsible for but not limited to; managing the team and section in the absence of the head of section; contributing to the ICP, cleaning of exhibits, feeding and general care of the animals and associated tasks.

The ideal applicant will have worked for a minimum of 5 years in a recognised zoological institution and have proven staff supervisory skills.  It is expected that you will have been awarded the DMZAA or equivalent. However, due consideration will be given to the individuals own level of zoological experience. Knowledge of aquarium LSS’s will be advantageous.

This is a full time position working 40 hours per week on a flexible rota as necessary to include weekends and Public holidays.

Please send your CV and covering letter via email to
Or alternatively via surface mail marked for the attention of The Curator, Colchester Zoo, Maldon Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0SL

The closing date for applications for this position is 14th October 2016

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Friday, September 16, 2016

Primate Internship

Primate Internship (unpaid)

Wingham Wildlife Park has an exciting opportunity for two enthusiastic individuals wanting to gain valuable zoo animal keeping experience, working alongside keepers on the primate section.

We are looking for candidates who are willing to commit to a minimum of 6 months, volunteering 5 full working days per week including weekends, school holidays and bank holidays.

The internship is unpaid and would benefit those who have either already gained or are working towards an animal management or similar qualification. As well as individuals who are already established in conservation or animal care and looking for further specialist zoo experience. Experience within a zoo setting and in particular primates would be desirable. 

A driving licence or access to good public transport is essential and please be aware that unfortunately we are unable to offer accommodation.

Wingham Wildlife Park is a family run wildlife park with big emphasis on animal husbandry, conservation, education and safety for our animals, staff and visitors. This section covers a large variety of species ranging from callitrichidae, lemurs, mandrills, macaques & apes.

All applications to be addressed for the attention of Ruth Wilder to along with a covering letter explaining why you would be suitable for this internship placement and CV. For applications to these particular placements please use reference INTP01 in the email title. Any applications through other channels will be disregarded.

These vacancies will close as soon as sufficient applications have been received, therefore you should submit your application as soon as possible. 

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant