Animal Care Manager

Organization: Roger Williams Park Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Providence, RI, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Roger Williams Park Zoo of Providence, Rhode Island, -one of the nation’s oldest zoos and exhibiting over 100 animal species, is currently recruiting for an Animal Care Manager.

Under the general direction of the Deputy Director of Animal Programs, the Animal Care Manager is responsible for organizing, assigning and supervising the work activities of Zookeepers, Lead Zookeepers, and Animal Care Interns and Volunteers who are engaged in the care of zoo animals and the maintenance of zoo exhibits, enclosures, grounds, and service areas. Work also includes assisting with the development and administration of the department’s budget, developing and implementing work methods, procedures, and guidelines. This position is responsible for assisting with the acquisition and disposition of specimens, exhibit design and development, and maintaining adequate inventories of department supplies and equipment. The Animal Care Manager may be required to serve as on site supervisor for the entire facility. The work environment for this position is primarily in the animal care and public spaces of the Zoo.


• Supervise daily activities of Lead Zookeepers, Zookeepers, Animal Care Interns and Volunteer Staff including instructing, assigning and reviewing work, planning, training, maintaining health and safety standards, and coordinating their activities concerning the care of zoo and plant collections and exhibits.

• Perform daily inspections of:

a. animal collection to observe for physical well-being and normal animal behavior;

b. animal enclosures for cleanliness, physical integrity and proper furnishings;

c. Commissary and food storage facilities for proper food handling and diet preparation, appropriate container labeling, stock rotation and recordkeeping;

d. Keeper reports to ensure clear and complete record keeping and appropriate follow up on all items of concern;

e. exhibits to confirm that they are properly maintained for Keeper, animal, and visitor health and safety.

• Coordinate and oversee animal training and enrichment program by:

a. coordinating research and approval process for new enrichment initiatives by working with both the Keepers to develop appropriate activities and with the Deputy Director of Animal Programs to provide resource allocation to facilitate approved activities;

b. regularly inspecting all animal areas to ensure appropriate application and documentation of enrichment strategies;

c. coordinate animal training activities including, but not limited to,:

 ensure compliance with training approval process;

 assist keepers with development of training goals and shaping plans and with implementation of training plans;

 regularly review training plans and observe training sessions to ensure plans are being followed and goals are being met;

 work with keepers to adjust training plans as needed and provide regular reports to document status of training activities in all areas;

 liaison with Deputy Director of Animal Programs and outside consultants to provide resource allocation necessary for successful implementation of approved plans.

• Assist Deputy Director of Animal Programs with the activities and operations of the department including, but not limited to, making recommendations on husbandry, exhibitory, research, health and acquisition of the animal collection, and the development and administration of the department budget.

• Assess, report, and coordinate maintenance, improvements, and repairs of animal exhibit areas and potential hazards for employees and zoo visitors, utilizing zoo staff, vendors, City staff, and volunteers.

• Assist in formulating and implementing animal and department management policies and procedures to maintain an environment conducive to the health and wellbeing of the animal collection and consistent with the Society’s goals and mission statement.

• Participate in design process for animal exhibits to achieve maximum utilization of space and resources, enhanced opportunities for enrichment and training, and maximum Keeper efficiency.

• Assist the Director of Veterinary Services with the coordination of the veterinary health program including, but not limited to, records maintenance, preventative medicine, animal handling, capture, restraint, testing and medication administration to ensure maximum health care for the animal collection and proper compliance with all medical directives.

• Provide regularly scheduled reports on health, behavior, and changes in zoo collection.

• Comply with and enforce zoo safety standards.

• Oversee and encourage Keeper professional development.

• Perform other duties as assigned by the Deputy Director of Animal Programs.

Other functions and responsibilities:

• Participate in snow and ice removal in accordance with the Snow and Ice Removal Policy.

• Contribute to continuing education programs for zoo staff.

• Represent the Zoo to other institutions, the public and volunteers, providing information and responding to various inquiries regarding the animal collection, in order to maintain positive public relations.


Experience and Education:

Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology, Animal Science, Biology or related field from an accredited college or university, plus minimum of two years of previous supervisory experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Managing unionized staff in a professional zoological facility is preferred.

Skills and Aptitudes:

1. Knowledge of:

a. the care, nutrition, breeding, behavior and safety precautions required for a wide variety of zoo and domestic animals;

b. maintenance of zoo exhibits and facilities;

c. zoo safety rules;

d. pertinent government and other regulations for maintenance of animals in captivity, including AZA standards;

e. animal training and enrichment theories and applications.

2. Demonstrated ability to:

a. train, lead, supervise, and direct the work of others.

b. plan, organize and supervise the care of exotic and wild animal species;

c. detect illness, injury, and other disorders in exotic species;

d. handle and restrain a wide variety of zoo and domestic animals;

e. establish and maintain effective working relationships with other departments, staff, professionals from other zoo organizations, and the general public;

f. prioritize and delegate work;

g. prepare and present reports;

h. communicate effectively both oral and written.

Additional Requirements:

• Work weekends and occasional evenings.

• Ability to work outdoors under various weather conditions.

• Subject to 24 hour on-call availability for Zoo emergencies.

• Annual recertification of weapons proficiency.

• Successful completion of a background check.

• Valid state driver’s license.

• This position also frequently requires carrying and handling moving animals, which may weigh up to 100 pounds, for several minute intervals.

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity to be an Animal Care Manager of a well-renowned Zoo in the New England area, located in one of the most exciting and diverse cities on the east coast, send a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to:


Roger Williams Park Zoo

1000 Elmwood Avenue

Providence, RI 02907

ATTN: Animal Care Manager Search