Lead Caregiver

Organization: The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee
Location: Hohenwald, TN, us
Job or Internship: Job

Web: www.elephants.com


The Lead Caregiver position is a working, front-line supervisory position.  This position implements policies and procedures established by The Elephant Sanctuary with direction from the Director of Husbandry.  Provides and supervises daily care of elephants utilizing positive reinforcement to manage elephant behaviors.



Elephant Care

·         Oversight and implementation of daily diets in accordance with animal care protocols and related safety guidelines.

·         Observes/notes consumption; distinguishes/reports significant changes in consumption.

·         Establish and implement personnel schedules to ensure appropriate coverage for all aspects of elephant care.

·         Oversees implementation of foot care program.

·         Observes and ensures Caregiver staff able to appropriately interpret and report signs of elephant health and well being to Director of Elephant Husbandry.

·         Assists Veterinary staff in assessments of animal health and implementation of preventative care and other medical care.

·         Oversight and implementation for browse provisions.

·         Oversight and implementation of environmental enrichment.

·         Ensures that all Caregivers safely, efficiently and, with the elephants behavioral responses in mind, effectively able to shift or move elephants within their barn, into or out of their barn, or within habitats.

·         Trains elephant to new or maintains pre-existing behaviors to facilitate blood collection, trunk wash, pilling, foot care, or implementation of other husbandry or veterinary procedures to ensure the health and well-being of the elephant.


·         Conducts training of all new Caregivers. Trains and supervises Caregivers regarding infrastructure and vehicle maintenance, feeding, foot care, animal observations, record keeping, ordering and stocking supplies and any and all areas relevant to the elephant Caregiver position.  Oversees and evaluates progress.

·         Assists Director of Husbandry in establishing annual goals for Caregivers and carries out annual performance reviews; conducts periodic progress reviews between annual reviews.

·         Leads Caregiver team meetings with Director of Husbandry.

·         Assures all inventories are maintained at an adequate level.

·         Maintains daily logs and record keeping.


·         Consistently ensures/checks containment infrastructure (e.g. fence, gates) and trains staff to ensure elephant containment. Monitors and ensures infrastructure in constant working order; reports breakage/failures in a timely manner.

·         Provides and oversees daily cleaning and upkeep of elephant facilities, including but not limited to barn service areas, elephant stalls, habitats, and any other related infrastructure.

·         Makes minor repairs to infrastructure.

·         Performs basic maintenance on vehicles; ensures the safety of all vehicles at all times.


·         Implements safety procedures in compliance with PC management (i.e. Caregiver position relevant to elephant position, etc.)

·         Observes established protocol in regards to TB and other related safety precautions as necessary.  Ensures safety protocols are adhered to at all times, by all employees.

·         Participates in elephant escape and other emergency practice protocols and drills.

·         Actively participates as member of Emergency Response Team.


·         Leadership – Ability to effectively lead a team of elephant caregivers.

·         Team Oriented – Develop strong working relationships with other Sanctuary employees, senior management and the board.  Clearly provide information and instructions to employees to ensure priorities are met and all employees being supervised are effectively assisted.  Keep the Director of Elephant Husbandry informed of issues, concerns and problems and be prepared with recommendations to resolve issues as they arise.

·         Good Communicator – Communicate respectfully and effectively with others.  Assist management in coordinating communication with employees.  Keep management informed of both internal and/or external issues and concerns.  Good communication skills both verbal and written.

·         Self-Motivated – Perform the job with minimal supervision and learn other general aspects of The Sanctuary.  Proactively organize the functions of those supervised to achieve the goals of The Sanctuary.  Strong work ethic and professional demeanor.  Ability to recognize and understand issues and problems, then resolve them in a practical manner.

·         Dependable and Reliable – Come to work and be on time.  Follow procedures and maintain accurate records related to all aspects of elephant care and all areas of responsibility.  Manage employee tasks and work flow to ensure goals met.

·         Training – Identify and engage in on going training for self and Caregiver team.  Address training issues as they arise and ensure the success of those supervised by providing timely and appropriate training as needed.  


·         Bachelor’s Degree in related field and five years experience working directly with elephants on a full time basis OR equivalent relevant work experience.

·         Experience in Protected Contact setting, preferred.

·         Prior experience supervising and training others.

·         Knowledge of elephant behavior and physiology, preferred.

·         Ability to perform elephant foot care, preferred.


·         Must be able to stand/work for 8 hours in all weather conditions.

·         Must be able to lift 50lbs repeatedly during loading/unloading supplies.

·         Must be able to drive, or learn to drive, large farm equipment.

·         Must be able to perform repetitive manual tasks, (cutting produce, pressure washing, raking).

Contact Name:  humanresources@elephants.com for fax 931-796-7493