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Crane Keeper II

Organization: Audubon Nature Institute Species Survival Center (AZA Member)
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Description: Answering directly to the Crane Program Coordinator, the Audubon Nature Institute crane keeper is a valuable part of a team dedicated to the captive husbandry, propagation, and recovery of the endangered Mississippi sandhill crane (Grus canadensis pulla) and Whooping crane (Grus Americana).


• Provide daily care of the captive flock of fifty cranes.

• Perform seasonal artificial insemination of breeding flock.

• Assist in egg handling and incubation practices.

• Assist in the "costume-raising" of five to twenty-five Mississippi sandhill crane chicks per year.

• Identify and correct maintenance issues. Often conducting many projects at one time.

• Maintain records and conduct behavioral observations.

• Assist in the training and supervision of other keepers, interns, and volunteers.

• Assist veterinary and supervisory staff in treating animals as assigned.

• Prepare and follow prescribed diets and feeding procedures.

• Maintain regular attendance in compliance with Audubon Nature Institute’s standards, as required by scheduling which may vary according to the needs of the organization.

• Maintain high standards of personal appearance and grooming, which includes wearing the proper uniform and name tag when working.

• Comply at all times with Audubon Nature Institute’s standards and regulations to encourage safe and efficient operations.


• A bachelor's degree in a life science field and two years’ experience working with birds preferred.

• A proven interest in birds. Prior experience in avian captive breeding ideal but not necessary.

• A comprehensive understanding of avian imprinting.

• Observe strict costume protocol, including not speaking for long periods of time.

• Perform repetitive tasks in costume, outdoors, in extreme heat, high humidity, heavy rain, and around a wide array of potentially harmful snakes and insects.

• Work safely in costume with accompanying visual obstruction around small, mobile chicks.

• Lift, carry, push, and pull 50 lbs.

• Pleasantly receive and follow direction well.

• Work well both independently and in a small group.

• With training, be able to safely manage tall aggressive birds.

• Anticipate, identify, prevent, and solve problems.

• Risk periodic exposure to fairly predictable and controllable hazards associated with wild animals and zoonotic diseases.

• Possess a good attitude, common sense, and able to produce quality work in fast paced, high pressure situations.

• Excellent communication skills. Convey information and ideas clearly and in a timely manner.

• Some people management skills a plus.

• A current tetanus shot and proof of a negative TB test prior to starting.

• A valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.

• Willingness and ability to work weekends, holidays, and overtime.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume at the Audubon Nature Institute website –