Sea lion Trainer

Organization: Audubon Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Audubon Zoo Sea Lion Trainer

Audubon Zoo is currently looking for a sea lion trainer who wants to be part of a fun, dynamic, and growing team. Our candidate is someone who is passionate about sea lions, operant conditioning, conservation, and our guest experience. You will be able to work in a supportive and innovative team environment where you will be able to grow professionally.

Audubon Zoo is an exciting place to work, as there are many new projects currently underway along with planned future exhibit enhancements within the zoo. New Orleans is a wonderful city to be in where the city has undergone a significant rebirth after Hurricane Katrina.


• Responsible for the primary care and training of the California Sea Lion collection.

• Maintain sea lion exhibits, holding areas, filtration, etc.

• Maintains high standards in all areas of sea lion husbandry and programming.

• Contributes to the sea lion enrichment program.

• Prepares food and feeds according to established procedures.

• Observe animal behavior and report unusual/abnormal behavior to supervisor.

• Participate in both passive and non-passive restraint for medical procedures.

• Maintain all feeding, behavior, training and medical records.

• Meet and exceed welfare standards established by USDA, AZA and IMATA.

• Accurately assess water chemistry and temperatures and reports anything unusual to the senior trainer/water quality staff.

• Enter exhibits by use of SCUBA equipment to clean exhibit (weekly), provide animal care, and/or feed.

• Work in an outside environment in all types of weather (extreme cold, heat, humidity and rain).

• Provide assistance with on-going, non-invasive research projects.

• Can be assigned departmental jobs for the Sea Lion section.

• Take on a leadership role with our Internship Program.

• Perform all other duties as assigned by the senior trainer.

• Exhibit positive attitude and positive team morale within a small team environment.

• Ability to build and maintain positive relationships within the zoo

• Maintains a high standard of customer service ranging from public presentations to behind-the-scenes VIP tours.

• Ability to convey relevant conservation messages to our guests.


• Proven ability of participation in training and husbandry of pinnipeds in a free contact environment.

• Knowledge of operant conditioning applied to training marine mammals.

• Experience working with both geriatric and juvenile “green” animals.

• Bachelors Degree (Biology, Psychology or Animal Behavior preferred)

• Knowledge of USDA/AZA regulations.

• Knowledge of pinniped biology, physiology and behavior.

• Skilled in public speaking both on and off microphone

• Experience in conducting presentations and behind-the-scenes experiences.

• Must be able to lift 50lbs comfortably.

• Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing

• Knowledge of occupational hazards and safety precautions necessary.

• Open Water SCUBA certification.

• Strong swimming skills.

• One year paid experience with marine mammals preferred; will consider applicants with multiple marine mammal internships.

• Maintaining a high level of motivation and a consistent professional approach to your job; ability to precisely follow complex instructions provided both verbally and in writing.

• Ability to work evenings, weekends, holidays as required, including the ability to be flexible to work a rotating shift as assigned.

If you are interested in this role please send your cover letter and resume to Courtney Eparvier, Curator of Primates and Sea Lions at: 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70118 or email

This position closes July 19, 2013