Organization: Houston Zoo
Location: Houston, Texas, Country
Job or Internship: Job
The Houston Zoo is seeking a qualified applicant to be a supervisor in our Natural Encounters department. Natural Encounters is a multi-taxa department that houses ~50 different species. The building supports several large, mixed species exhibits as well as a small off-exhibit program animal collection. Our mission is to work to create innovative encounters that connect guests to the natural world, inspiring respect for animals and conservation action.
Duties include, but are not limited to the co-supervision of a staff of 10 keepers, the supervision of and participation in daily husbandry (including diets, breeding, training, and enrichment), coordinates activities of individual trainers and training teams, exhibit maintenance and upkeep, coordinating animal shipments, and participate in education and conservation programs. Supervisors are responsible for hiring, evaluating, disciplining and promoting employees. The supervisor will create weekly schedules, develop protocols, work with all zoo departments, maintain species data, file reports, and work closely with the co-supervisor, curator, and veterinarians.
A successful candidate for this position is motivated, energetic, and a team oriented individual with good problem solving, written/oral communication, and organizational/interpersonal skills. This candidate will have solid knowledge in operant conditioning, implementation of animal training and enrichment programs, as well as, being comfortable with public speaking. Work on weekends, occasional evenings, and holidays will be required.
Directs personnel, including volunteers, in the care, maintenance and display of domestic and exotic animals.
Interviews, recommends hiring, pay changes, and recommends and administers disciplinary actions.
Directs, organizes, prioritizes, and schedules work assignments within section.
Observes and evaluates animal conditions, behaviors, and responses and communicates observations orally and on written reports.
Improves the quality of life of the animal population by providing environmental and behavioral enrichment opportunities.
Trains selected animals through operant conditioning for purposes of gaining cooperation for veterinary treatment and/or public demonstrations. Co-ordinates activities of individual trainers and training teams.
Design and maintains exhibit furnishings, props and decorations providing safe, attractive and enriching environments. Works with Facilities, Horticulture, and other departments to maintain and improve exhibits, holding areas, and guest areas.
Participates in the development of educational programming and materials to communicate with and educate visitors about animals and conservation.
Provides direct animal care as needed for health and well-being of animals within assigned areas.
In collaboration with the Curator and Veterinary staff, may administer medication as directed.
Develops and prepares operational procedures.
Serves as institutional representative for selected species to national taxa advisory groups, attending conferences and meetings as required.
Directly involved in acquisition/disposition of specific animals.
Initiates requisitions for equipment and supplies.
Works with other departments to co-ordinate talks, tours, and animal encounters for a wide variety of events, media opportunities, and VIP groups.
Extensive use of TRACKS, Excel, Outlook, and other programs to track detailed information and keep records for animals and staff.
Four years of experience in exotic animal care in a zoological facility are required. Additional experience may be substituted for education at the rate of six months of experience per 15 hours of college level credit.
A certificate of completion from an acceptable animal care program may be substituted for one year of exotic animal care experience.
In certain positions, specific training and work experience in zoological, aquacultural, ecological and biological areas such as in schools, aquariums, nature centers, agricultural operations, animal merchandizing and conservation centers may be substituted for direct exotic animal care in a zoological facility.
An associate’s degree or two years of college level education (60 semester credit hours) in zoology, biology, animal husbandry or a related field of which 24 semester hours must be credit hours in life sciences or physical sciences.
A certificate of completion from an acceptable animal care program of not less than 30 semester hours may be substituted for 30 hours of college hours.
Supervises a small team of animal care staff
The position involves considerable physical exertion, such as regular climbing of ladders, lifting of heavy objects (up to 80 pounds) on a highly frequent basis and/or assuming awkward positions.
There are routine exposures to significant levels of heat, cold, moisture and air pollution. The position may involve exposure to chemical substances and physical trauma of a minor nature such as cuts, bruises and minor burns.
Requires the ability to make closely coordinated eye/hand movements within very fine tolerance and/or calibration demands; or the ability to make rapid closely coordinated eye/hand movements on a patterned response space within somewhat fine tolerance demands; or the ability to make coordinated eye/hand movements within fine tolerances with large equipment as an extension of the worker.
Requires heavy public contact requiring considerable interpersonal skill, extensive interaction with the public and with donors, members and the press requiring a high degree of appreciation of customer service
Applicants can visit www.houstonzoo.org/careers to download an application
E-mail resume and completed application to email@example.com
Houston Zoo is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer