Thursday, May 31, 2018

Displays Aquarist

Displays Aquarist


Work Pattern: Weekend and evening work will be required.

Duration: Permanent

SeaQuarium Weston is looking to recruit an exciting and unique position of Aquarist. If you have a passion for aquatic wildlife and want to join our friendly team, this is the position for you.

An aquarist is a varied role which incorporates the day to day care and husbandry of our displays. You will also be responsible for conducting health checks and daily maintenance of systems. Not only is the welfare of our animals paramount, you will also be responsible for delivering educational talks to school groups with presentations and talks at feeding times for our guests.

 Other duties will include monitoring the quality of water, record keeping and ensuring that stock levels and orders are complete.

In addition to your demonstrable experience in an aquarium or zoological environment, you will be an individual who can provide exceptional customer service, can deliver engaging talks to guests and adhere to policies.

 As well as benefiting from working in a rare location, you will also receive some great benefits. In addition to expanding on your current skills, you will receive an allocation of free tickets to enjoy with your family and friends which can also be used at West Midland Safari Park. That's not all, you also receive a discount card which gives discounts in selected locations on these sites but can also be used at various shops and websites including the cinema, restaurants and high street shopping.

Experience Required: 
Previous experience within aquariums and / or a zoological industry

Application Deadline:   Friday 8th June 2018

To apply for this position applicants are to visit HERE and follow the on screen instructions. Please attach your CV.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant



Award winning Blackpool Zoo is looking to fill a key position within its Animal Department.

Blackpool Zoo is looking for an experienced primate keeper to assist in the daily care and husbandry needs of their Primate Section. They will also help in developing and moving forward the section within the framework of the animal department's aims and objectives in a new and exciting period within Blackpool Zoo’s history. The section currently maintains over 20 species of primates including Western Lowland Gorilla, Bornean Orang-utan, King Colobus, Red Titi Monkey, Black Howler Monkey, L’Hoest’s Monkey, De Brazza Monkey, Pileated Gibbon, and a wide range of Callitrichids & Lemurs.

You will need to be hard working, physically fit, enthusiastic and reliable. You should possess the Diploma in The Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals (DMZAA) or an equivalent and have a minimum of three years primate keeping experience. Although experience with great apes is not essential, it would be desirable.
We offer a competitive salary of £18,694.00 per annum and the opportunity to further your career within the zoological world.
Subsidised single occupancy (on site) accommodation may be available with this post, if required.

Blackpool Zoo is one of the UK’s most established medium sized zoos, and in recent years the zoo has gone through a rapid modernisation and development process, which is still ongoing.
The Zoo is operated by Parques Reunidos, one of Europe’s largest leisure and attraction operators which specialises in the tourism/leisure sector. Parques Reunidos currently operates 60 parks around the world and attracts over 21 million visitors annually.

The closing date for applications is the 24th June 2018.

Please note, we will be reviewing applications and conducting interviews throughout the advertising period for this role. The role may therefore be filled prior to the closing date. We would encourage you to submit your application form as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. If you have not heard from us within 14 days of the closing date please consider your application unsuccessful on this occasion. We are only able to provide individual feedback to those candidates who are successful through to the interview stage.

Please send a detailed CV and covering letter explaining why you wish to be considered for this post to Mrs Anita Bubbins, Personnel Manager, Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool, Lancashire. FY3 8PP or by email to

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Elephant Researcher - paid intern

Elephant Researcher - paid intern

The Animal  Department at the Zoological Society of London is offering an excellent opportunity to gain experience with one of the UK’s leading conservation research organisations. The intern will assist the ZSL’s Zoological Directorate to undertake required data collection with the elephant group at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo currently holds an active breeding group of 8 Asian elephants, and participates within the EAZA breeding programme.

The principal task associated with this is the collection of baseline data on the behaviour and activity of the elephant group.

Role Profile
To assist the Animal Department in conducting required data collection with the elephant group at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo; aiding with compliance of the new Secretary of State Standards for modern elephant care (SSSMZP).

Main Duties and Responsibilities
  • Collect baseline data covering agreed priority areas for the Whipsnade Zoo elephant group.
  • Data collection on elephant behaviour, enclosure use and social interactions.
  • Assisting with the development of optimum methodology to act as a platform for long-term behavioural monitoring.
  • Compilation of data collected in an appropriate format.
  • Any other activities as agreed with line managers.

Person Specification
Candidates should have familiarity with behavioural data collection on animals, ideally with elephants as well as an understanding of modern zoo management.  A general knowledge of the principles of zoo elephant management would be beneficial.

They should be IT proficient and have good attention to detail, along with strong research and communication skills and an ability to work independently. The ideal candidate will be personable and professional in their attitude, with the ability to work well with various staff members. They must have a flexible approach to working hours as well as be diplomatic and discrete when handling sensitive information.

Finally, potential candidates must be eligible to work in the UK.

The paid intern opportunity is for six months, starting from July 2018 (some flexibility in start date possible). The role is full-time, five days per week; with potential for weekend working and the need to be flexible with working hours being essential. The role will be based on-site at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, with both office and animal section-based components.

This is a paid, fixed term internship with the offer of free on-site accommodation in the keepers lodge.

In this role, the intern will benefit from:

  • Experience of the application of zoo research and the contribution this can make to optimising animal welfare.
  • Experience of method development for behavioural research.
  • Management of large data sets, including establishment of a database for long-term use.
  • Gain proficiency in the use of technical equipment for behavioural investigation e.g. cameras and sound recording equipment.
  • Experience in the communication and dissemination of results.
  • Provision of training as required.

To Apply:

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 the "Applyfor this role online” button. If you have any queries regarding this position please contact Human Resources at

Closing date for applications: Midnight Friday 15th June 2018.

You will be contacted by Friday 22nd June 2018 if you have been selected for an interview. Interviews will be held in July 2018.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Qualified Animal Keeper - Elephants

Qualified Animal Keeper - Elephants


About Us:

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

Overview of Role:

An opening has arisen for a Qualified Animal Keeper on our Elephant section at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. With ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s new Centre for Elephant Care opened in April 2017, holding 8 Asian Elephants across over 20 acres of their facility it is an exciting time to be a part of this dynamic team. The Elephant section at Whipsnade Zoo is constantly evolving ensuring the highest standards of welfare and research is being carried out. Ideally this person will have experience of working directly with Elephants in a positive reinforcement management system or experience with mammal species in a zoological collection. This position will also assist the Team Leader, Deputy 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.

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 of the highest standards 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 training of animals using positive re-enforcement.
  • 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 ideally with Elephants, or large ungulates and hoof-stock.
  • 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 2 in 3 weekends, bank holidays and providing assistance out of hours if required.

To Apply:

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 the "Apply for this jobonline" button.

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

Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) Friday 15th June 2018

The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Commercial Development Manager

Commercial Development Manager

Isle of Wight Zoo
Home of The Wildheart Trust

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced, confident and hands-on Commercial Development Manager to join our team at the Isle of Wight Zoo.
The Zoo has recently become a charity (‘The Wildheart Trust’) following many years under private ownership. It is the Island’s original zoo and is well-loved by the local community and widely visited by residents as well as tourists. Our mission is to inspire and empower people to take positive action to protect our planet and the animals we share it with. We specialise in providing lifelong refuge to rescued big cats. 
Working with the newly appointed CEO, you will define the commercial strategy for the Isle of Wight Zoo in order to develop an integrated offer that will maximise sales and profit.  The successful candidate will need to have an ability to develop a commercial offer that is totally aligned with our values and charitable objectives.
With responsibility for driving income and effectively managing costs across the Zoo this role will be accountable for achieving the revenue and profit budgets for a number of streams across commercial operations including admissions, catering, retail donations, gift aid, membership, hospitality events, adoption and experiences.

Apply with a covering letter and CV to or by post to CEO, Isle of Wight Zoo, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 8QB
Please Note: successful candidates may be subject to a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service, formerly CRB) check and references.

Closing date:  June 15, 2018

Job Description

Responsible to:         CEO
Responsible for:        Staff, volunteers, suppliers and liaising effectively with colleagues
Salary:          Competitive
Hours:        Full-time (40 hrs) to include regular weekends and some evenings

Purpose and objectives:
To promote the mission of the Trust and achieve the Trust’s aims which include being a flourishing charity which connects people to wildlife and the environment.

To improve the efficiency and profitability of the commercial offer at IOW Zoo and ensure that all costs are tightly managed in line with revenue 

To build gift aid revenue in line with budgeted forecasts

To be a hands on manager in retail, admissions and catering when required

Work to transform the Zoo's shop and café into an integral part of the zoo visitor experience while also establishing them both as destinations in their own right.
Work in conjunction with the wider team to develop and manage various revenue raising schemes including animal adoptions, experiences and memberships

Main duties and responsibilities:
•        Business planning
Active contribution to the strategic planning of a rolling 3-5 year business plan for IOW Zoo including commercial development of existing and new business opportunities.
Effective management of the commercial expenditure budget, effectively and appropriately balancing profit targets with an exemplary visitor experience. Annual plans should include strategic procurement of commercial product and an effective sales plan.
Work with Marketing and the wider Zoo team to ensure the commercial offer is sensitively devised, developed and promoted to best effect
•        Management of KPIs
Develop and agree the commercial KPIs for the business which will include income and expenditure targets and bottom line profit contribution through effective management of the commercial operation. Where targets are not being met, develop and communicate contingency planning to ensure mitigations are in place.

Responsibility for income and profit KPIs for the following commercial areas:
1.        Admissions
2.        Donations
3.        Gift Aid
4.        Retail
5.        Catering
6.        Hospitality and Private Events
7.        Experiences
8.        On site commercial partnerships and concessions
•        Visitor Experience
Own the commercial visitor journey and gain an understanding of who our visitors are using
insight, research and analysis
Lead on team recruitment, development and training including leadership on customer service training and initiatives
Oversee and manage all customer feedback and use it to influence commercial decisions that will be of benefit to the business
Ensure that the Trust Shop and Café become an integral part of the Charity and the visitor experience where people feel comfortable and taken care of and their feedback is sought and valued
•        Business Operations
  • Accountable for commercial operations at IOW ZOO across all areas including normal day visitor operations and also commercial activities including events and experiences outside of normal hours.
  • Work in a hands on capacity in Catering, Retail and Admissions to ensure correct staff/visitor ratio 
  • Oversee all aspects of day-to-day operations, ensuring all staff, systems and processes are operating smoothly and health and safety protocols are adhered to
  • Develop the Commercial Team in line with the overall culture of the Trust as a ‘one team’ organisation, participating as a member of the Management Team by attending fortnightly HODs Meetings, 121’s and working closely with colleagues across the site
  • Take pride in appearance of the staff and premises, maintaining an attractive environment with faultless housekeeping standards
  • Contribute to the wider priorities of the Trust, including mobilizing support from the commercial team for appeals or campaigns
  • Ensure finances and cash are managed in accordance with audit and security requirements and good practice
  • Attend trade shows, conferences, seminars and exhibitions as required
  • Any other duties which are relevant to the role


Essential Experience and Qualifications:

1.        Degree or equivalent experience
2.        Experience of strategic leadership and operational management of commercial business activities preferably within leisure and retail sectors
3.        Experience of business development activities including marketing and sales
4.        A proven track record of success in growing sales and delivering targets and KPI’s
5.        Strong business acumen, able to discuss commercial performance verbally and in written reports
6.        Excellent IT and technical skills including EPOS, online sales, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
7.         Understanding of merchandising principles, including sourcing/procurement of stock and product; selecting suppliers, negotiating prices, visual merchandising and displays, and managing stock levels to suit the seasons
8.        Awareness, understanding and commitment to the protection and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults

9.        Project management experience
10.         Demonstrable resilience, positivity and commitment to delivering a consistently high standard of customer service through effective staff management, responding to customer feedback and leading by example. 
11.        Awareness of and experience with Gift Aid
12.        Professional appearance and impression, excellent written and verbal communication and ambassadorial skills at all levels and across all forms with a passion for the cause
13.        Working knowledge of Employment Law

Send a CV and covering letter, to Veronica Chrisp at or by post to CEO, Isle of Wight Zoo, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 8QB

Please Note: successful candidates may be subject to a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service, formerly CRB) check and references.

Closing date:  June 15,2018

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Wednesday, May 30, 2018



If you’re highly motivated and passionate about delivering exceptional customer service that exceeds customers’ expectations then you’ll fit right in with the team at Lee Valley Park Farms; a vibrant visitor attraction that is buzzing with life and energy.

Your positive and professional approach along with creativity and flair will help you build relationships and achieve our commercial objectives.  You’ll help to deliver our customer promise of satisfying our customers at every opportunity you get, through your passion and ability to deliver exceptional service.

You’ll be involved in the presentation of animals through demonstrations and shows, deliver popular birthday parties and assist with other attractions such as tractor and trailer trips and rides on our toboggan slope. You’ll also help with some day to day feeding and watering of the animals and may even occasionally help with some reception and catering duties. 

A great personality is the key! Excellent communication skills as well as a reliable, responsible and enthusiastic attitude to your work are essential. Some knowledge or interest in animal welfare and an understanding of health & safety is desirable. 

To apply and learn more please click HERE

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant