Assistant Curator/ Hoofstock & Elephants

Organization: Fresno Chaffee Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Fresno, CA, United States
Job or Internship: Job

ASSISTANT CURATOR/Hoofstock & Elephants

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo inspires wonder of our natural world, provides an engaging learning environment, and creates a passion for conservation. Serving the central San Joaquin Valley, the zoo is committed to sustaining professional active participation in wildlife conservation, research and wildlife education.

With The Fresno Chaffee Zoo currently designing our African Adventure along with several other engaging guest experiences, this is an excellent opportunity to become a member of the dynamic team at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. There is one full-time, regular, benefited position to be filled at this time. Compensation is based on experience.


The Assistant Curator, under the direction of the General Curator, oversees the operation of the Hoofstock and Elephant areas of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Responsibilities include planning, supervising and directing the work regarding the care, display, propagation and procurement of the Zoo’s animal collection. This person serves as needed as the Zoo’s representative for assigned AZA managed animal programs, collaborates with management on exhibit designs and renovations and plays a role in the zoo’s emergency response team. This is a supervisory position.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

• Develops ways to enhance the zoo’s goals of providing a great guest experience, excellent animal care, and professional staff environment.

• Promotes staff interaction with guests through presentations, informal talks, and a welcoming, positive attitude. Works closely with other departments to assure the zoo’s goals are met.

• Ensures that animal husbandry standards are maintained at a high level through adherence to established zoo policies and procedures and Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) standards.

• Considerable knowledge of the temperament, behavior, breeding habits, husbandry and handling of assigned animals.

• Takes the lead in training staff and volunteers in the proper techniques of animal care, exhibit cleaning and maintenance.

• Provides support, disciplinary procedures and evaluations on job performance for reporting staff as required.

• Ensures that Fresno Chaffee Zoo complies with all USDA, AZA, and other state and federal regulations.

• Ensures that proper enrichment activities for collection animals are carried out as stipulated by regulation and zoo policy.

• Operates equipment necessary for the maintenance of zoo grounds and uses a portable radio for routine and emergency communications.

• Extensive experience with management of hoofstock and elephants preferred.

• Perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

• Successfully demonstrated leadership and management skills.

• Capacity to achieve superior results working both independently and as a member of a team.

• Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills.

• Good organizational skills with the ability to balance and prioritize multiple tasks and requests, and meet deadlines in a professional manner.

• Availability to work or be on-call 24 hours a day, including weekends, evenings, and holidays.

• Commitment to the mission of the zoo and the institution’s Core Values.


Bachelor's degree (BA or BS) from an accredited college or university; and five years related experience and/or training; or an equivalent combination of education and experience required. Experience in an AZA facility is preferred. Successful completion of AZA’s Principles of Elephant Management Courses preferred.

Licenses, Certificates, Skills

• Possession of a valid California Driver’s License is required at the time of appointment.

• TB test required annually.

• Solid computer skills, including proficiency working with databases and Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Word, Excel, Outlook and Power Point required.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to sit; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 30 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 75 pounds when cleaning and maintaining exhibits and moving animals. Vision capabilities required include close, distance and peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Evaluating animal health, diet, or environment requires hearing and smell. Interaction with guests and animals requires talking and hearing.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather) and outdoor weather conditions. The employee is occasionally in direct contact with exotic animals and is occasionally exposed to work near moving mechanical parts; work in high, precarious places; fumes or airborne particles; toxic or caustic chemicals; risk of electrical shock and vibration. The noise level in the work environment varies. Occasional loud noises from visitors, animals or equipment are experienced.


If you are interested in bringing your talents and ambition to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo team please send a cover letter and resume to or mail to:

Fresno Chaffee Zoo Corporation, 894 W Belmont Ave. Fresno, CA 93728.

Applicants can visit to apply online.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer

Applications will be accepted through Friday, August 16, 2013