Zoo Manager

Organization: Happy Hollow Park and Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: San Jose, CA, us
Job or Internship: Job

Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services

The City's Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) Department is seeking outgoing, enthusiastic and committed individuals whose values align with the values of the City's employees.
Offering exciting attractions, animal habitats, rides, playgrounds, food services, rental facilities, and an education center, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo provides an affordable, sustainable, conservation-centered outdoor adventure for families with children.

The Zoo Manager, under the general direction of the General Manager, leads the operation and continued growth of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo which has a major city-wide and regional emphasis. The Zoo Manager plans, coordinates, directs, manages, organizes, and supervises the daily operation of the zoo including programs, special events, and maintenance/ construction operations. In addition, the manager is responsible for maintaining standards to ensure continued Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation which includes the oversight and maintenance of the health and safety of the animal collection, exhibits, facilities, and grounds for the zoo. The Zoo Manager plays a critical role in developing the future strategic plan through the planning of new exhibits, facility improvements, and acquisition and management of animals as it relates to the mission of the park and zoo as well as the Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Department. The Zoo Manager supervises, trains, and evaluates senior staff including Zoo Curator, Senior Zookeepers, and Zoo Education Manager. 

Typical Duties and Results

The examples given may not represent all the duties which may be performed. 


  • Supervises, trains, and evaluates senior staff including Zoo Curator, Senior Zookeepers, and Education Manager;
  • Responsible for day-to-day management of Happy Hollow Zoo including the development and implementation of policies and procedures to optimize animal care and efficiency of operations to maintain AZA accreditation;
  • Responsible for coordinating day-to-day zoo operations with the Amusement park operations;
  • Attends AZA conferences and workshops to stay abreast of new trends, information, and developments in the field of zoological programming;
  • Directs and coordinates the organization, staffing, and operational activities of the zoo including conservation, research, education, and recreation programs;
  • Responsible for forecasting costs, anticipating needs, and participates in the development and administration of assigned budgets. Directs, monitors, and approves expenditures and recommends adjustments to budget and staff as necessary;
  • Directs and coordinates veterinary health programs including records maintenance, preventive medicine, animal handling, capture, restraint, testing, and medication administration;
  • Directs and coordinates zoo maintenance, improvements, and repairs using zoo and City staff, vendors, and volunteers;
  • Plans and supervises animal acquisition, disposition, and habitat construction/renovation;
  • Provides regularly scheduled reports on health and changes in the zoo collection to General Manager, senior PRNS Department staff, and appropriate regulatory agencies;
  • Assesses, reports, and corrects maintenance issues and potential hazards for staff, visitors, and animal collection and complies with and enforces zoo safety standards;
  • Works with news media, groups, agencies, and other zoos for the promotion of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo;
  • Handles cash or credit cards as needed or assigned while following adopted City procedures;
  • Provides supervision and direction for the zoo education and volunteer programs;
  • Attends and participates in professional, departmental, and divisional meetings.

Typical End Results

Properly cared for and properly displayed zoo animals while working closely with the General Manager; effective and efficient operations of the entire Happy Hollow Park & Zoo while working closely with the Park Manager and General Manager; properly maintained zoo facility, exhibits, and grounds; continued and progressed state of heightened public awareness and interest of the zoo; motivated and properly traiPublishned zoo staff; continued health and safety of the staff and public; and maintained AZA accreditation of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.  


Minimum Qualifications   

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Zoology, Biology, Business Administration, or closely related field. 
  • Experience: Three (3) years of increasingly responsible experience managing and supervising an institution or facility responsible for the care of zoo animals and public exhibits of diverse and exotic animals, including two (2) years of experience at the level of a full-time Zoo Curator or higher. 
  • Acceptable Substitutions: Completion of (2) two years of course work from an accredited college or university and (5) five years increasingly responsible experience managing and supervising the care of zoo animals.  There is no substitution for the required full-time Zoo Curator experience. 
  • License/Certificate: Possession of a valid California driver’s license is required. 

Important Application Information

To apply for this outstanding opportunity, please visit the website of Koff & Associates at www.KoffAssociates.com to download the supplemental questions. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and answers to the supplemental questions by email to Kendra Reich at kreich@koffassociates.com. As an alternative, you can mail your application materials to:  

Koff & Associates, Inc.
6400 Hollis Street, Suite 5
Emeryville, CA 94608

The deadline to apply is 5:00 p.m., October 15, 2013.