Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lead Program Animal Keeper

Lead Program Animal Keeper


TITLE: Lead Program Animal Keeper
DEPARTMENT: Wildlife Care and Conservation
REPORTS TO: Associate Curator

In addition to basic husbandry duties, the Lead Keeper takes an active role in the management of the keeper staff, interns, volunteers, animal collection and facilities within their assigned area. The Lead Keeper assists with the enforcement of participation in departmental programs (records, policies, procedures, etc). They act as a filter for staff communication up the chain of command, and a facilitator for communication down the chain of command. The Lead Keeper of Program Animals also assists with the development of program animal policies, procedures and protocols.


Animal Care
•        Clean and sanitize assigned animal enclosures
•        Prepare and feed out approved diets
•        Store and administer medications according to USDA standards and the prescriptions issued by veterinary staff
•        Fill out daily records
•        Communicate safety and health concerns to appropriate staff
•        Participate in preventative medicine programs including whole of life plans, fecal collection and submission, immobilization of animals for physical exams and regular weight checks
•        Assist in the capture and restraint of collection animals for transfer and veterinary procedures
•        Participate in behavioral management initiatives including animal training and enrichment of assigned animals
•        Organize and maintain adequate stocks of supplies and keep equipment in good repair
•        Contribute to exhibit concept design and collection planning discussions
•        Review detailed design documents for animal husbandry requirements as needed
•        Look for opportunities to improve efficiency and excellence in animal care
•        Participate in Drills and Emergency Response and provide feedback on the experience

Guest Experience
•        Perform exhibit talks as scheduled and assigned
•        Initiate informal talks and encounters and record details in the guest interaction log
•        Participate in educational programs as assigned (zoo camp, fee based encounters, etc)
•        Research, document and present information on collection animals in the  Connect, Understand, Act format
•        Take opportunities to improve guest experience both as an individual and as an institution including the zoo’s safety procedures, visitor services and general appearance
•        Serve as a representative to the media as assigned
•        Handle program animals for events and encounters

•        Serve as a mentor to new keepers, interns and volunteers
•        Facilitate discussions on whole of life plans for collection animals
•        Plan and facilitate capture and restraint procedures
•        Serve as an Animal Duty Officer on a rotating basis throughout the week as scheduled
•        Create and maintain an environment that fosters individual growth and expression

•        Responsible for scheduling staff on exhibits and cross training
•        Responsible for developing and managing project lists for the run
•        Oversee weight management practices, body condition scoring and diet reviews of assigned animals
•        Make recommendations on the upkeep and improvement of public areas, keeper areas and exhibits
•        Creates, updates and ensures compliance with Standard Operating Procedures for assigned area
•        Monitors progress and provides mentorship for animal training and enrichment programs
•        Coordinates and monitors progress for animal introductions
•        Maintains familiarity with U.S. Department of Agriculture and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission regulations
•        Manage records files for the run (physical as well as electronic): ensuring completion, organization and accessibility of records
•        Rotates through each section within the realm of responsibility to provide husbandry support as dictated by need
•        Ensures the completion of monthly health checks and maintenance (medication, wing clips, nail trims, weights etc)
•        Assist with the development and maintenance of program animal policies, procedures and protocols
•        May assist with scheduling program animals for events including site visits and program design

•        Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences or applicable field
•        Minimum of five years’ paid experience working in a zoological institution
•        Experience with species in the zoo’s animal collection specific to the assigned area
•        One year of supervisory experience
•        Must be physically able to stoop, bend, reach, climb, lift, carry or push at least 50 pounds in a south Florida climate
•        Must have a valid driver’s license
•        Must be able to work a schedule which includes weekends, holidays and special events

This job description does not imply that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee. The job holder will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties upon request of their supervisor.
Please title subject line “LK” and email resumes to aanderson@palmbeachzoo.org

(Signature of the employee)

(Print name)

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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