Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Great Ape Keeper Vacancies

Keeper(s) – Great apes

2 x Full-Time, Permanent Roles

(1 based at Adelaide Zoo, 1 based at Monarto Zoo)

Zoos SA are looking for individuals with primate husbandry experience, particularly the field of Great Apes, to work at their Adelaide Zoo or Monarto Zoo sites. Candidates must possess experience in caring for animals in a captive environment.

Applicants with a Certificate III in Zoo Keeping or similar are encouraged to apply. Candidates must possess a wide range of Zoo Keeper skills including the highest possible standards of welfare, husbandry, species management, conservation research and enrichment for the animals in our care. Additionally candidates must have proven animal training and conditioning skills. Experience with great apes is essential.

Candidates must demonstrate excellent team working abilities, but also the ability to work independently, a flexible approach to work and a commitment to Health and Safety regulations.

Two positions are available:

Monarto Zoo is South Australia’s open range zoo located 70 km from Adelaide’s CBD. It is gaining a well-deserved reputation as a leader in conservation of endangered species. The site is large and vehicles are required to travel between exhibits so you will need to hold a Drivers Licence and have experience with manual vehicles. Possession of a firearms licence or willingness to hold one would be advantageous.

This position will work within the Primate Team and is responsible for our chimpanzees, and based at the largest chimpanzee facility in Australia. As such, chimpanzee experience is essential, with proven skills and experience in managing social groups and introductions. Knowledge and experience within complex facilities would be advantageous. Experience with smaller primates, both husbandry and exhibit planning, is desirable, as currently we also have colobus but anticipate future developments include; lemurs, vervet monkeys and baboons.

Adelaide Zoo is South Australia’s city zoo. It has shown a long-term commitment to great ape conservation, husbandry and management, and is seeking an individual who will continue to support and further develop these objectives in the years to come.

This position will work within the Primate team, with particular emphasis upon orangutans. Candidates will ideally possess at least two years proven captive orangutan experience. Knowledge and skills in primate behavioural management and mixed species exhibits is essential. There is the potential to be involved in mothering training and the regional surrogacy program, and the ability to think innovatively will see no limits to the opportunities available.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to submit a CV and a covering letter, outlining;

The position, by site, to which they are applying

The date of qualification to Certificate III in Captive Animals or equivalent

An outline of their primate experience, with particular emphasis paid to great ape experience

The requirements as outlined in the advert

Copies of the position description and application requirements can be obtained from, Mardi Nickels:

CLOSING DATE: 12 Noon 3rd February 2010

Zoos South Australia (ZSA) is a non-profit conservation charity. We provide conservation education, as well as supporting and conducting many conservation, breeding and research programmes. As part of our conservation efforts we run Adelaide and Monarto Zoos. We work within the WAZA guidelines for the ethical treatment of animals.

ZSA is involved in a variety of conservation activities, including direct co-ordination and management of threatened species programs to field support and captive breeding for release to the wild, as well as conservation education programs. To encompass its increasing range of conservation activities, the RZSSA has developed Conservation Ark, its integrated science and conservation arm.






HOURS: on a 7 day roster (as per individual contract)


RESPONSIBLE TO: Senior Keeper or Assistant Curator

REMUNERATION: In accordance with the Staff Agreement


Under general supervision and within specified guidelines, safely, efficiently and effectively undertake a wide range of tasks which may require the application of relevant experience and training. Develop a broad range of Zoo Keeper skills by working for extended periods in most areas of the animal collection.

Duties are performed under general supervision and primarily out of doors.

(1) Core Duties


1.1 Obtain, prepare and provide food to animals in accordance with established diets, feeding schedules and procedures.

1.2 Clean food and water vessels, holding areas, exhibits and food preparation and storage areas to required standards, ensure animal areas are maintained free of debris and hazardous materials.

1.3 Provide animals with nesting and bedding materials and other items required to meet their behavioural requirements, particularly in relation to breeding or raising offspring.

1.4 Observe and report on animal behaviour and changes to the condition of animals.

1.5 Maintain diaries and animal records and report matters of interest to the supervisor.

1.6 Capture, restrain and handle animals as required.

1.7 Maintain and care for live food colonies as required.

Animal Health

1.8 Inform the supervisor of animal health problems.

1.9 Under veterinary supervision, treat animals and administer medication to required standard.

1.10 Provide samples for testing and analysis.

1.11 Participate in the implementation and monitoring of programmes to affect animal behaviour.


1.12 Maintain exhibit presentation to required standards including pruning of plants, weeding, irrigation and rodent control.

1.13 Make minor repairs to exhibit and inform supervisor of exhibit maintenance requirements.


1.14 Work consistently in accordance with established safety procedures to ensure animal security, personal safety, protection of other staff and the public.

1.15 Identify and report issues of safety to the supervisor.

Education and Public Relations

1.16 Interact informally with the public on an ad hoc basis providing directions and information on Zoo activities, exhibits, facilities and animals.

1.17 Make informal presentations, which may involve animal handling, to small public groups and respond to questions.

1.18 Assist with public relations activities.

1.19 Maintain exhibit graphics to required standards.


1.20 Assist with providing guidance to Keepers-in-Training, other Zoo staff, volunteers and work experience students.

1.21 Participate in training and development programmes including external coursework as required.

1.22 Conduct literature searches on species and habitats under care.

1.23 Other duties as required.

Occupant Date


(2) Experience

2.1 Demonstrate experience in animal husbandry.

2.2 Demonstrate experience in exhibit maintenance.

(3) Skills

3.1 Good numeracy and written and verbal communication skills.

3.2 Well developed observational skills.

3.3 Ability to arrange personal work routines and practices to make optimum use of time and resources.

3.4 Basic horticulture and maintenance skills.

3.5 Current car drivers licence desirable.

(4) Knowledge

4.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the following:

- Aim and objectives of the Zoo

- Animal nutrition

- Exhibit hygiene

- Abnormal animal behaviour including signs of ill health

- Ecosystems and habitats

- Basic zoology

- Principles of wildlife conservation

4.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the Zoo's animal record keeping system.

4.3 Knowledge of quarantine procedures.

4.4 Demonstrate an understanding of species management programmes.

4.5 Demonstrate a basic knowledge of animal behaviour.

4.6 Knowledge of the Industrial Agreement.

4.7 Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of scientific research.

4.8 Understand the role of education and public relations in the achievement of Zoo objectives.

4.9 Knowledge of appropriate techniques for handling public enquiries and misconduct.

(5) Personal Attributes

5.1 Commitment to the Aim and Objectives of the Society.

5.2 Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing, and to work closely with others in a team environment.

5.3 Demonstrate a caring attitude towards animals.

5.4 Ability to work consistently to established standards.

5.5 Self motivated and shows initiative.

5.6 Physically capable of performing all of the tasks required.

(6) Essential Academic Requirements


(7) Desirable Academic Requirements

7.1 Completed a Zoo approved course of study (minimum Certificate III or equivalent).

7.2 Successful completion of Year 12, or equivalent.


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