Friday, April 9, 2010




DEPARTMENT = Center for Conservation and Research

SUPERVISION = Reports to the Director of Comparative Nutrition

SUMMARY = The emphasis of this position is assisting with all aspects of daily animal behavioral husbandry including environmental enrichment and training of all collection animals at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park. In addition, the candidate will be primarily responsible for developing and implementing a standardized training and enrichment program with an emphasis on improving the health and well being of all collection animals, including appropriate record keeping, fulfilling AZA standards.

The candidate will work directly with Animal, Curatorial, Animal Health, Nutrition and Education departments, in assessing, developing, implementing, and evaluating training and enrichment practices that enhance the daily animal husbandry of all collection animals, including on and off-site animals used for education purposes.

In addition, the candidate will enhance and promote the science of behavioral husbandry through research and educational opportunities.


• Continue and enhance staff training on current topics and advances in animal training and environmental enrichment.

• Develop and implement a standardized training and enrichment program throughout the zoo and Wildlife Safari Park to include approval processes, record keeping and evaluation systems.

• Work with animal staff to assess departmental needs and current efforts to develop objective goals for new enrichment and training plans.

• Work with animal staff to evaluate current training and enrichment plans to promote further advancements.

• Assist in identification of animal behavioral problems/concerns and implement plans to alleviate such concerns.

• Work and communicate with Animal Health staff when training efforts involve medical procedural training.

• Advise and guide education staff on promoting and developing educational and engaging opportunities for zoo guests on animal welfare issues at the zoo, community, regional, and global levels.

• Advise and guide Education Department and Animal Ambassador Coordinator on developing engaging messaging for Animal Ambassadors.

• Assist with development and implementation of an educational Animal Show.

• Collaborate with necessary departments to conduct appropriate research in order to enhance behavioral husbandry techniques and procedures.

• Assist with participation efforts in collaborative research projects by providing education, support and materials to keeper staff as needed.

• Assist Horticulture, Animal Health, and Nutrition departments in developing a self-sustaining browse inventory and usage program.

• Work with the Nutrition department in developing appropriate dietary enrichment protocols including the use of whole prey.

• Understand and adhere to guidelines and recommendations established by AZA, USDA, and OSHA.

• Attend daily animal management meetings.


• Minimum of 3 years experience training animals in a variety of situations.

• Minimum of 3 years zoo experience.

• Experience or education in program development preferred.

• Experience teaching training classes preferred.


• B.S in biology, psychobiology, psychology, nutrition, animal science, or related biological field (B.S. minimum).

A Successful candidate is likely to possess the following skills and characteristics:

• Work well and get along with people.

• Evident knowledge of effective training techniques, applications, and tools.

• Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.

• Effective and engaging public speaker.

• Creative and positive attitude.

• Self motivated with ability to effectively manage time and resources.

• Strong desire to engage and train people in addition to animals.

• Ability to lift 50 Lb.

• Able to stand for long periods and work in inclement weather conditions.

• Computer skills necessary including applications in EXCEL, WORD, and POWERPOINT.

• Have patience and sense of humor.

• Ability to drive and operate motor vehicles and hold a valid State Driver’s License.

• Current Tuberculosis Test is required before being hired.

Please apply at

Questions can be directed to Dr. Cheryl L. Morris (402) 738-6906,

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