Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Animal Behavior & Welfare Coordinator

Animal Behavior & Welfare Coordinator

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

SUMMARY : The emphasis of this position is assisting the Behavioral Husbandry & Welfare Manager with developing progressive holistic daily animal behavioral husbandry practices, including welfare assessment, 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 assisting in developing and maintaining standardized training and enrichment programs with an emphasis on improving the health and well being of all collection animals, including appropriate record keeping, fulfilling AZA and USDA standards. 
The candidate will work directly with Animal Care, Animal Health, Nutrition, Horticulture 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.  The candidate will also assist in developing and implementing animal welfare assessment tools, to aid animal care staff in optimizing their care of the collection.
In addition, the candidate will enhance and promote the science of behavioral husbandry through research and educational opportunities.

  • Provide a holistic outlook on behavioral husbandry and animal welfare to help develop and implement appropriate goals and plans. This includes aiding in development of welfare assessment tools and working with animal care staff to create progressive goals and practices.
  • Comprehends basic and advanced training terminology, reinforcement scenarios, and techniques. Can teach this information to staff effectively and ensure appropriate messaging during public presentations and events.
  • Act as a second keeper in areas for feeding, shifting, or training with supervisor approval.
  • Familiar with maintenance behaviors in animal areas and able to assist in training sessions as requested.
  • Communicates daily with animal care staff regarding any behavioral husbandry or welfare concerns. Relay concerns to the Behavioral Husbandry & Welfare manager.
  • Develop appropriate behavior-based training and enrichment goals and plans with animal care departments. Assist in creating calendars and records.
  • Collect behavioral data to identify behavioral concerns and welfare issues. Apply data to development of goals addressing these issues.
  • Assist animal care staff in acquiring, designing, and creating training and enrichment devices; assess existing exhibits/enclosures to improve individual animal well-being.
  • Participate in training/enrichment demonstrations, interviews, social media requests, and education programs.
  • Train complex behaviors (i.e.- side presentation/injection, ultrasound) as requested, and aid in teaching staff advanced techniques.
  • Ensures animal department training and enrichment logs, calendars and requests are up to date. Follow up on welfare assessments with metrics and potential goals/plans.
  • Assist Pest Management in ensuring humane treatment of designated pest species.
  • Familiar with current industry resources and media regarding animal welfare practices, training methods, and progressive enrichment techniques.
  • Communicate any changes in medical behaviors to Animal Training Coordinator. Regularly update Medical Behavior Log and Area Training Lists.
  • Regular updates on programs to Behavioral Husbandry & Welfare Manager.
  • Coordinate monthly behavioral husbandry meetings with area representatives.
  • Attend daily animal care staff meeting, report progress.
  • Supervise and direct department interns and volunteers.

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience training animals in a variety of situations.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ AZA accredited zoo experience.
  • Experience or education in program development preferred.
  • Experience or familiarity with current industry behavioral husbandry practices and welfare assessment preferred.

  • B.S in biology, psychobiology, psychology, animal science, or related biological field.
  • 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. Have patience and sense of humor.
  • Self motivated with ability to effectively manage time and resources.
  • Strong desire to engage and train people in addition to animals.
  • Physically able to assist Animal Care staff as requested.
  • Able to stand for long periods and work in inclement weather conditions.
  • Computer skills necessary including applications in EXCEL, WORD, and POWERPOINT.
  • 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 .

Experience Required
Minimum of 5 years' AZA accredited zoo experience

How to Apply
Please visit our website at
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
3701 S. 10th Street
Omaha, NE 68107

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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