Curator of Mammals, Birds and Animal Programs

Organization: Downtown Aquarium Denver (AZA Member)
Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The Downtown Aquarium located in Denver is seeking a Curator of Mammals, Birds and Animal Programs. The Aquarium is a 1.125 million gallon facility of aquatic and terrestrial exhibits. This includes over 5,000 fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and invertebrates represented in a collection of over 600 species. The mammal and bird collection presently consists of Sumatran tigers, North American River Otters, a Serval, a Two-toed Sloth, an African Crested Porcupine, raptors, parrots, ducks and shorebirds.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, dynamic, upcoming professional with experience in animal programs, engaging public animal shows, staff management and recent hands-on experience in the husbandry and training of large carnivores, river otters, raptors, parrots and other birds. Experience in a large public AZA accreditied zoo or aquarium is preferred.

This is definitely a “working manager” position, where the successful candidate will be expected to share all tasks side by side with their team including exhibit maintenance, food prep, training, etc.



• Encourage an atmosphere of professionalism among the staff.

• Supervise aquarium personnel in mammal and bird areas.

• Oversee staff schedules, projects, productivity, and staff hours.

• Evaluate employee performance

• Recruit and oversee training of mammal and bird staff.

• Supervise and train staff for animal handling programs


• Attend development and planning meetings including staff meetings

• Perform public relations functions as requested.

• At the direction of the Animal Husbandry Manager or the Corporate Director of Biology, serve as Aquarium representative to professional agencies, institutions and various committees.

• Communicate regularly with professional colleagues at other institutions.

• Keep the Animal Husbandry Manager, Property General Manager and Corporate Director of Biology informed of department operations, issues and procedures.

• Promote good relations with visitors, community and staff.


• Work closely with Veterinarian and Animal Husbandry Manager to ensure the best possible health and well being of the animal collection.

• Work with Animal Husbandry Manager and staff to determine needs of the exhibits and staff, to plan and implement long and short-term goals for area.

• Acquire and dispose of collection specimens in accordance with the Acquisition/Disposition Policy.

• Coordinate International, Federal, State and Local permitting processes for specimen acquisition/disposition and oversee all related permit requirements.

• Work with Animal Husbandry Manager to develop and administer area budgets.

• Provide advice and recommendations on technical and design aspects of long range development that incorporates bird and mammal animal life.

• Oversee all aspects of safety within the area.

• Work with Animal Husbandry Manager to review, develop and enforce department policies and procedures.


• Manage and schedule the daily activities for animal trainers.

• Identify animal health problems and coordinate care and treatment with veterinarian.

• Day-to-day management of animal care, training, husbandry, and maintenance and development of exhibits.

• Assist staff with thorough cleaning of all exhibit and backup areas.

• Good time management and multi-tasking skills.

• Nutritional maintenance for all animals.

• Responsible for staff development and continuing education.

• Maintain record keeping system for medical concerns, behavior, enrichment and activity. Work with education department on the development of educational presentations.


Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Zoology or related field. Must have recent hands on experience with modern techniques of animal training, exhibit maintenance, and animal husbandry of large carnivores under protected contact and birds in unprotected contact. Complete and recent working knowledge of all parts of animal husbandry programs, exhibit design and display techniques. Minimum of five years experience in animal husbandry, with at least three years of supervisory experience. S.C.U.B.A. certification a plus. Must be organized and self motivated, with an eagerness to complete all projects. Must participate enthusiastically in public education and interaction. Must be prepared to work odd or unscheduled hours. Must represent Downtown Aquarium Denver in a professional manner with all guests and staff. Subject to the possibility of bites and stings. Work in salt and fresh water environments. Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds or more. Working with dangerous carnivores. Outdoor work on occasion, under a variety of conditions: cold, hot, rain, snow, ice and dry weather. Available both emergency and non-emergency situations. On call 24 hours a day. Ability to pass drug test and background check. Applications are via email only. Attach cover letter, resume, a 5-year salary history and three work-related references to an email and send to Ken Yates, Ph.D., Animal Husbandry Manager, Downtown Aquarium Denver,