Lead Keeper, Birds #1147

Organization: Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Brookfield, Illinois, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Among its historical firsts are indoor multispecies exhibits, zoo nutrition residencies, methods for animal husbandry, and medical care that includes successful brain surgery for a gorilla. In building its legacy of animal care and compassion, the Society has launched two new centers: the Center for Conservation Leadership and the Center for the Science of Animal Welfare (CSAW). These innovative learning and research hubs will integrate a wide variety of disciplines, changing the way animal conservation issues are considered and advancing the science of “animal-directed” care around the world.

The Brookfield Zoo bird collection is focused on population sustainability and the continued development and improvement of avian husbandry standards. Being a northern institution where a large portion of our birds are housed indoors much of our collection is comprised of passerines. We maintain a large number of off exhibit breeding aviaries where we work with multiple pairs of many of the species housed at the Zoo. We have a strong presence in the AZA bird community, managing the SSP’s for the blue-bellied roller, red-capped cardinal, blue-grey tanager, and superb starling as well as the studbook for the Humboldt penguin. We also have strong involvement in the ASAG (Avian Scientific Advisory Group) and the PACCT (Passeriformes, Apodiformes, Coliiformes, Caprimulgiformes, and Trogoniformes) TAG.

The Lead Keeper Birds is responsible for providing experienced care for animals and performing related work of maintaining buildings, grounds, and interpretives in assigned area, under the direction of area managers or supervisors and will perform a wide variety of departmental supervisory activities, including supervising and instructing Keepers in assigned area and to support innovations in Conservation Leadership and Animal Welfare including relieving other Lead Keepers as directed. A Lead Keeper will perform all routine duties independently and new duties with minimal direction.

The requirements for this position include:

Bachelor's degree in relevant biological field or equivalent combination of training and experience required.

Minimum 4 years Keeper experience or equivalent required. Must possess a track record of exemplary performance as a supervisory keeper or have equivalent, relevant experience.

Detailed and current knowledge of natural history and principles of animal behavior and husbandry required. Must be able to work with live animals safely.

Additional qualifications and experience may be preferred or required depending upon the specific animals and work area where the keeper will be working. Generally, previous work experience with assigned taxa will be preferred. For the Living Coast and Seven Seas keeper positions, SCUBA Certification is required.

Good communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner. Must be able to maintain good working relationships with staff at all levels, internal and external to Animal Programs. Must be able to communicate effectively and promptly with co-workers, managers, and guests following appropriate communication channels.

Must be knowledgeable in the management of captive populations including related AZA conservation programs.

Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.

Must be proficient in learning and integrating information, knowledge, and direction quickly, and completing tasks as needed.

Good decision-making skills. Ability to integrate and apply knowledge and prior experiences to affect or implement changes and make sound independent judgments where appropriate.

Incumbent must demonstrate proficiency in perceiving and acting upon relevant changes in animal behaviors and conditions.

Incumbent must demonstrate the ability to perform assigned routines and specialized procedures as directed. Must possess a proven record of consistently and accurately performing job duties. Must be able to work with minimal supervision.

Good problem-solving skills. Must be able to identify problems and utilize appropriate information to develop solutions. Must possess a track record of demonstrating initiative in analyzing and solving problems, and recommending ideas and viable suggestions to improve operations. Demonstrated record of making recommendations and suggestions that are well thought-out and researched.

Strong supervisory skills. Demonstrated ability to promote good morale and productivity in the workplace. Proven ability to train and direct the work of interns, seasonal employees, and full-time keeper staff. Demonstrated ability to effectively mediate routine personnel issues and conflicts between staff.

Must be able to serve in a leadership role in directing the management and operations within assigned area, and ensure short-term goals are developed and achieved. Solicit input on improving operations and animal management procedures. Demonstrated capacity to guide the professional development of co-workers.

Good time management skills. Must demonstrate flexibility, creativity, and responsibility in use of time. Must be reliable.

Ability and willingness to learn Society conservation programs as they apply to assigned areas.

Must be able to maintain confidentiality with regard to personnel and other privileged matters.

Basic computer literacy required. Microsoft Office suite preferred.

Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.

Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

This is a full-time position with rotating shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings.

$27.82/hour per union contract

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center at www.czs.org/careers to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile to Requisition Number #1147.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer - M/F/V/D.