Children's Zoo Supervisor

Organization: Dallas Zoo Management, Inc. (AZA Member)
Location: Dallas, Texas, United States
Job or Internship: Job


Oversees the daily operation of the LFCZ staff and animal collection. Under direction of the LFCZ Curator, supervises the presentation of animals and activities to achieve goals of promoting empathy, connecting with nature, and engaging in age-appropriate conservation behavior. Under direction of the Curator and in collaboration with other LFCZ supervisor, achieves the organization, mentoring and management of staff. Provides experienced care for LFCZ animals as well as expert engagement of children and families in programs and activities; performs related work of maintaining buildings, grounds and interpretives in assigned area. Performs a wide variety of departmental supervisory activities, including supervising and instructing Children’s Zoo Specialists in assigned area and conducting performance appraisals. Performs all routine duties independently and new duties with minimal direction.


• Working under the direction of the LFCZ Curator and in the context of institutional/divisional/departmental goals, support a culture of continual improvement in animal welfare, engaging public programs and activities, and the ability to achieve conservation outcomes. Perform in a proactive leadership role and communicate regularly with other area supervisor(s) and curator regarding animal management, LFCZ programs, facility maintenance, and staff supervision and development. Contribute to the development of strategic and annual departmental goals.

• Maintain proficiency in area routines and specialized procedures; engage in daily operations when necessary, including animal care, guest programs, crowd management, enclosure and equipment maintenance and facility management. Directly monitor condition of assigned area(s), animal enclosures, and equipment. Report maintenance needs as appropriate, and perform minor maintenance tasks. Coordinate other departments and LFCZ staff to accomplish more significant maintenance, repairs and renovations. Assist Curator in identifying project needs for approval through budget or other processes.

• Assist in departmental hiring, scheduling, and work assignments. Establish work priorities for assigned section and verify work schedules. Train and direct work of interns, seasonal employees, volunteers and full-time Specialist staff as assigned. Routinely monitor and review the work performance of Specialist staff in assigned area, and ensure completion of tasks in a timely and effective fashion. Prepare and conduct performance appraisals of assigned staff. Handle personnel situations in a timely, objective, and consistent manner and in accordance with DZM policies and procedures. Must maintain confidentiality with regard to personnel and other privileged matters.

• Collaborate with Curator and other Supervisor(s) and take direction from the strategic educational goals of the institution to guide the development of outcome-oriented programs and activities. Develop or coordinate the development of age-appropriate programs and activities for LFCZ audiences to achieve goals of promoting empathy, connecting with nature, and engaging in conservation behavior. Communicate with and assist guests. Take initiative to facilitate guests’ appreciation of animals and enjoyment of their visit. Monitor guests and manage as needed to ensure animal and human safety and protection of Zoo property.

• Observe assigned animals closely and objectively. Collaborate with LFCZ Curator, veterinarians, nutritionist and senior animal managers to resolve problems and achieve optimal care and welfare for domestic and exotic animals in the LFCZ. Work with Animal Division staff and LFCZ Specialists to assure that behavior, husbandry, training and enrichment goals are met. Apply knowledge and prior experiences to affect or implement change where appropriate. Competent in the use of electronic records and can provide assistance to others; oversee, utilize and analyze animal records. Mentor staff to expand knowledge of natural history, husbandry, and captive management of species and individuals in assigned areas.

• Maintain expertise in USDA Animal Welfare, AZA and other standards for animal care, particularly for program animals. Ensure all such standards are consistently maintained.

• Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to implement Zoo-wide and area emergency procedures. Assume leadership role in emergency situations when needed.

• Follow Dallas Zoo employee operating procedures without fail and support organizational policy. Ensure compliance with all Dallas Zoo policies and procedures. Represent Dallas Zoo in a professional manner at all times.

• Other related duties as assigned.


• Must have a high school diploma or GED. Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, education, or related field strongly preferred or equivalent combination of training and experience. Background in early childhood development and/or nature play a plus.

• Must have at least four years of animal care with education program background or Children’s Zoo experience in a professional setting. Must possess a track record of exemplary performance as a senior-level keeper or have equivalent, relevant experience.

• Understands USDA regulations and AZA guidelines, including those for program animals, pertaining to zoo animal welfare; recognizes deviation from these policies/regulations and understands corrective action.

• Strong supervisory skills. Demonstrated ability to promote good morale and productivity in the workplace. Proven ability to train and direct the work of interns, seasonal employees, volunteers and/or full-time staff. Must be able to serve in a leadership role in directing the management and operations within assigned area, and ensure short-term goals are developed and achieved. Demonstrated capacity to guide the professional development of co-workers.

• Good communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner. Must be able to maintain good working relationships with staff at all levels, internal and external to LFCZ. Must be able to communicate effectively and promptly with co-workers, managers, and guests following appropriate communication channels. Experience working with children and youth preferred.

• Detailed and current knowledge of natural history and principles of animal behavior and husbandry required. Must have demonstrated ability to perceive and appropriately respond to change in animal condition. Must be able to work with live animals safely.

• Must be capable of dealing with emergencies or stressful situations calmly and efficiently. Demonstrated leadership in emergency situations.

• Good decision-making skills. Ability to integrate and apply knowledge and prior experiences to affect or implement changes and make sound independent judgments where appropriate.

• Good problem-solving skills. Must be able to identify problems and utilize appropriate information to develop solutions. Must possess a track record of demonstrating initiative in analyzing and solving problems, and recommending ideas and viable suggestions to improve operations. Demonstrated record of making recommendations and suggestions that are well thought-out and researched.

• Good time management skills. Must demonstrate flexibility, creativity, and responsibility in use of time.

Successful candidates must pass pre-employment drug screening, background check and TB test

Join the Dallas Zoo Management, Inc. community to experience a unique, challenging and rewarding career. If you are interested, please email your resume and cover letter to All applicants MUST place job code CZSPV in the subject line to be considered.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for this position without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era.