Thursday, June 29, 2017

Qualified Animal Keeper, Africa

Qualified Animal Keeper, Africa
(Full-Time / 12 Months Maternity Cover Contract)
ZSL - Whipsnade Zoo ZSL

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation. ZSL’s mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe and through education and awareness-raising at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.

Role Profile:

An opening has arisen for a qualified animal keeper on our Africa (large and small ungulates) section at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

The Africa section (large and small Ungulates) comprises a range of African large hoof-stock ranging from Grevy's zebras to both species of hippos, reticulated giraffes, white rhinos and a number of antelope species; African lions and cheetahs; and chimpanzees with a small number of other primate species. Applicants are expected to have a real interest in these taxa and will, ideally, have experience of working with some of them.

Ideally the candidate will be a qualified keeper and have prior experience of working with large and small Ungulates but, if not, have a genuine interest in working with these species. This position will also assist the team leader and other senior keepers in all aspects of their work but primarily the care of the animals ensuring high standards of animal welfare, animal husbandry and keep daily checks and records of animals within the section.

Working hours are 37.5 per week, worked within a roster which includes regular weekends so flexibility regarding hours is crucial. Applicants must have a passion for working with a variety of animals within a zoo environment. Good communication skills and experience of dealing with the public is essential, together with the ability to work effectively within a team.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Observing the behaviour, health and security of animals and reporting any problems to the team leader or senior staff.
  • Ensuring that conditions for animals are suitable and reporting any problems, including defects or repairs required to enclosures, to the senior staff on section and relevant departments required.
  • Assisting with the preparation of approved diets and carrying out the correct feeding procedures.
  • Cleaning and maintaining exhibits and other designated areas.
  • Ensuring that safety and emergency procedures are followed at all times.
  • Assisting with the movement and/or training of animals and/or animal demonstrations
  • Supporting in the training and mentoring of less experienced staff.
  • Maintaining courteous and helpful relations with visitors and media.
  • Supporting broader ZSL lead events such as late evenings and specialist functions.

Person Specification:

The successful candidate will:

  • A good level of skill and knowledge together with a proven work record with large ungulates and hoof-stock.
  • Experience with large carnivores would also be an advantage.
  • Have strong attention to detail and the ability to clearly convey instruction.
  • Have an understanding of mammal breeding and good familiarity with external zoo associations such as BIAZA and EAZA.
  • Able to use Microsoft software including Outlook, Excel and Word.
  • Have a qualification in a relevant field at university level and/or diploma in the DZMAA Keeper’s course or equivalent work experience.
  • Be reliable and have good time-keeping and attendance record and able to demonstrate leadership and professionalism.
  • A full driving license is also required.

Please note: This is a full-time, permanent position based at Whipsnade Zoo. Flexible working is required for this position which will include working alternate weekends and bank holidays. Applicant must also be presentable, flexible in their approach and totally reliable.

To apply for this job:
Applicants will need to upload their CV and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking here

If you have any queries regarding these positions or when applying through the system please contact Human Resources at

Closing date for applications: Midnight Sunday 9th July 2017.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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