Saturday, February 18, 2017

Section Leader (Birds) (Senior Keeper)

Section Leader (Birds) (Senior Keeper)

The Zoological Society of Hertfordshire (ZSH) (registered charity no.1108609) currently has a vacancy for a Senior Keeper to join our animal park team at Paradise Wildlife Park running our Bird Section as Section Leader.

Applicants must have experience with the husbandry and management of a wide variety of species due to our current and expanding section. This includes, amongst others, psittacines, raptors and a breeding EEP colony of African penguins.

Our bird section is primarily focused on training and displays therefore experience in these areas is essential to this particular role rather than aviary bird and breeding experience.

The bird section is responsible for 2 free flight bird shows daily (1 in winter), along with flying birds in the animal park’s mixed taxa shows. Experience in presenting shows and delivering keeper talks is essential, as is experience of training and maintaining birds in free flight shows using positive reinforcement. This position also holds the opportunity to take a lead (experience dependant) with training of other species in our mixed taxa shows.

Paradise Wildlife Park has a small team of bird keepers, cover keepers, interns & volunteers that you will be tasked with supervising, training and working alongside. Therefore, the applicant must be very personable and able to communicate well with staff and visitors.

The successful applicant will have a hands on keeper role on this busy area of the park and will be responsible for the day to day running of the section, husbandry, diets, welfare of the animals and supervision of staff.  The applicant will be responsible for delivering and training staff for the delivery of interactive animal experiences such as ‘Feed the Penguins’ and for presenting and flying birds in our free flight shows using positive reinforcement.

The successful applicant must have minimum five years of experience working within a zoo environment and experience working with birds and animal training is a must.

Across the animal park team, we have a supportive and strong development programme with our staff regularly attending conferences and training events, in this position you would be tasked with representing PWP/ZSH at these events.
This is an exciting time to join our bird team as we move into our peak season and have plans for future section development.

Job Details:
•        Full time; Permanent position
•        Reports to; Head keeper & Senior ZSH management
•        Hours; Summer 8am-6pm, Winter 8am – 5pm. Includes weekend and bank holiday work on a flexible rotated basis. Flexibility is necessary in this post
•        Part of a cohesive section leader/senior keeper team
•        Annual Salary dependant on experience

Primary Duties and Responsibilities include:
•        Carry out and enforce high standards of welfare and animal husbandry routines
•        Ensure an up-to-date knowledge of relevant best practice, in regards to husbandry, animal training and statutory regulations, including Health and Safety
•        Undertake and record animal observations
•        Deliver high standards of visitor interaction in the form of; shows, keeper talks, experiences and education events
•        Overseeing and training of bird keepers, cover keepers, interns and volunteers
•        Attend and contribution to regular senior keeper meetings
•        Regular communication with head keepers
•        Liaise and assist in general duties and requirements as directed by senior management
•        Other duties to support effective and efficient site maintenance may include: Fire Marshall, First Aider, Company vehicle driver, including tractor trailer, Litter picking/rubbish removal/sweeping and general cleaning in order to maintain high standards (nb - full training will be a given prior to the post holder being required to undertake new tasks)

•        An animal science related qualification; DMZAA or level equivalent
•        5 years’ experience in a zoological collection. Including experience with a range of taxa.
•        Excellent communication skills
•        Excellent people management skills
•        Experience with ZIMS desirable
•        Free flight bird and presentation experience
•        Adaptable for a flexible rota
•        Physically fit for the demands of this role
•        Full UK driving licence

If you would like the opportunity to join our team please send your CV and cover letter to

This opening will close once a suitable candidate has been selected so please send applications as soon as possible.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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