Friday, January 13, 2017

Animal Director

Animal Director
(Salary commensurate with experience)

The Howletts Wild Animal Trust operate two animal parks in Kent; Howletts Wild Animal Park and & Port Lympne Reserve. The parks are the two captive breeding centres working in conjunction with The Aspinall Foundation to reintroduce threatened species to protected areas of their natural range. The parks are home of one of the world’s most prized wild animal collections which include the largest collection of Western Lowland Gorillas in captivity and one of the major collections of black rhino outside of Africa.  Port Lympne Reserve covers almost 600 acres and is one of the biggest visitor attractions in Kent. It has established itself as one of the country’s top short breaks destinations collecting many awards on the way and offering our visitors the opportunity to experience various animal encounters and experiences in a spectacular setting on the south Kent Coast.  We currently have a vacancy for an Animal Director at Port Lympne Reserve. 

The Role:

Reporting directly to the Managing Director; The key duties of the Animal Director’s role is the direct authority and responsibility for leading a team of animal personnel to ensure the care, feeding, hygiene, and welfare of all the animals and animal areas within the reserve.  Also responsible for managing the education team who provide a range of educational talks and a team of Rangers employed to provide a range of animal experiences and encounters.
Responsible for establishing programmes necessary for proper care of animals in consultation with Animal Manager, veterinary personnel and Section Heads and be responsible for the implementation of these programmes. Encourages and contributes to innovative changes to the company to improve animal welfare, generate revenue and increase outside involvement. Provides a realistic annual budget with approval from the trustees and monitors expenditure to stay within agreed financial limits. To represent the company both nationally and internationally at all levels of communication. 

The Person:

The successful candidate will have knowledge of the intensive management needs of multiple species’ through several years working in operational roles within a zoo / safari park environment. They should have an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced today in a modern zoo; specifically around nutrition, husbandry and successful breeding programmes. Strong leadership and people management skills are needed with experience in dealing effectively at the senior level of an organisation, as well as mentoring and coaching junior managers. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to initiate and maintain internal and external relationships with other departments in the organisation.  They will have successful budgetary experience and, most importantly, demonstrate a commitment to conservation. Excellent communication and leadership skills are a must, as is a good level of computer literacy.  A valid UK diving licence is also essential.

This role is 45 hours per week worked five days out of seven, including some weekends and bank holidays. A standard 5-day working week starting 8am-5pm or as necessary to ensure adequate Park cover for the fulfilment of your duties, with the occasional 7-day week for which lieu time will be accrued.
All applicants must have right to work in the UK.

A full detailed job description is available on request. 

Closing date: 10th February 2017

To apply: Please email a full CV along with a covering letter to -
Or post to: Human Resources, Port Lympne Reserve, Lympne, Kent, CT21 4PD.

Visit our website at for further information.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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