Curator - Trails of Africa Department

Organization: Birmingham Zoo, Inc (AZA Member)
Location: Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Birmingham Zoo, Inc. has an opening for a Curator of our Trails of Africa Department. This Curator reports to the Vice-President of Animal Care and Conservation and is assisted by a team of 2 Zoological Managers and 12 zookeepers. The Trails of Africa is a 14 acre state-of-the-art Elephant complex that, in its maturity, will display a variety of African veldt animals to complement the signature attraction – cohabitating Bull African Elephants. The Trails of Africa provides an unprecedented view of the animals roaming in an environment that closely matches the wilds of Africa. Rounding out the attraction are a number of water features, wallows, the LAIR (Large Animal Information and Research facility – which includes night holding for the elephants), recently-renovated Rhino and Hippo facility, new Giraffe exhibit yard and feeding platform, Boma encounter area, and rhino encounter area. In addition to Bull African Elephants, the Trails of Africa exhibit White rhinos, Nile hippo, giraffe, zebra, Red river hogs, gazelle and ostrich.

The successful candidate will have a broad background in mega-mammal species management, a minimum of 10 years experience in an accredited zoological institution working with elephants and a minimum of 5 years of supervisory experience. Completion of the AZA’s Principles of Elephant Management course is preferred. Working knowledge of AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care, as well as the policy on Maximizing Occupational Safety of Elephant Care Professionals, is necessary. A BS in Zoology, biological sciences, or related field is preferred, as well as proficiency in PC software for spreadsheets and word processing.

Specific responsibilities include (but not limited to):

• Develops a behavioral program for the animal collection that will provide exciting and unpredictable experiences for our visitors.

• Directs all personnel and administrative functions within the Trails of Africa department which includes hiring, staff development, disciplining, training, budgeting, performance evaluations, etc.

• Works closely with the zoo’s Veterinarian and Animal Health Center.

• Works closely with other departments to bring educational experiences to life in regards to the Trails of Africa animal collection.

• Maintains a thriving attraction through enrichment, daily husbandry needs, and dynamic exhibitry within the area.

• Prepares for, and initiates, human and animal emergency and safety procedures, including dangerous animal escape procedures.

• Responsible for continuing education in the areas of enrichment and animal husbandry for self and assigned staff members.

• Insures compliance with all BZI policies and procedures.

• Becomes an integral part of the complete team of professionals throughout the zoo who work together to provide safe and unparalleled guest experiences in all aspects of the zoo visit.

• Involvement in various collaborative programs at the Regional, National and International levels focusing on research, behavioral, and animal husbandry issues that will assist the institution in developing and refining elephant management and husbandry. Also will work with fellow institutions and the AZA in developing and maintaining the highest standards in elephant management.

• Participates in “manager on duty” rotation to provide animal management coverage on weekends and holidays.

• Coordinates all related tours, after-hours visitor experiences, education classes, development activities, marketing and public relations activities for the Trails of Africa.

• Sets standards of care and writes protocols for the care and management of elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffe and other African hoofstock.

Candidates should be able to handle physical demands as noted below:

o Use of hands, fingers, tools and controls

o Frequently required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, stoop, kneel, crouch, see, talk and hear.

o Routinely lift or move up to 50 pounds.

o Exposure to wet surfaces

o At times may be required to wear a face mask

o Exposure to the elements

Applicants are instructed to electronically submit a letter of intent, resume and application (available at to:

Dr. Clay Hilton

Vice-President of Animal Care, Education & Conservation

Birmingham Zoo, Inc.

2630 Cahaba Road

Birmingham, AL 35223

The application may be faxed to 205.879.9426. Applications will be accepted through Friday, March 22nd, 2013.