Animal Management Supervisor

Organization: John Ball Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Grand Rapids, MI, United States
Job or Internship: Job


Reporting to the General Curator, the Animal Management Supervisor provides supervision for employees and leads animal care staff and volunteers to ensure that animals receive quality care and that exhibits are properly maintained. He/she trains animal care staff and volunteers in protocols for safe handling of animals in the collection, identification and prevention of zoonotic diseases, control of parasites, new animal quarantine, introduction of new animals, diet preparation, animal enrichment and training, and exhibit cleaning and maintenance. The Animal Management Supervisor monitors quality of animal care and implements actions to remediate deficiencies in care delivery. Specifically, the successful candidate;

Provides direct supervision for subordinate Zookeepers in accordance with established policies and procedures.

Participates in the selection, evaluation and termination of: creates daily work assignments and schedules for, and evaluates the performance of subordinate Zookeepers.

Trains animal care staff, other zoo employees and volunteers in; standard animal management protocols and procedures to ensure proper care for each species and individual in the animal collection; protocols for prevention of zoonotic diseases, control of parasites, new animal quarantine and introduction of new animals; and protocols for handling venomous snakes and reptiles and other potentially lethal animals.

Acts as manager for the dive program at John Ball Zoo and will be responsible for monitoring dive safety procedures, drills and protocols as well as scheduling volunteer and staff divers.

Collaborates with animal care staff and volunteers to develop, implement, and evaluate enrichment and training activities for individual animals in the collection.

May participate in the planning and design of new and renovated exhibits.

Performs daily inspections of assigned exhibits/animals in order to evaluate the health and condition of animals, and monitor the physical condition and operation of exhibits.

Observes and may participate in the delivery of veterinary care to individuals in the collection, restraining and/or immobilizing animals as necessary to facilitate the delivery of medical care.

Administers animal medications and vaccines as prescribed by a veterinarian.

Ensures that animal exhibits are properly maintained to provide Zoo patrons with quality viewing experiences and promote an understanding and appreciation of the relationship between animals, humans and the environment.

Develops and delivers presentations for Zoo visitors.

Works with Curator and Veterinarian to develop nutritionally correct diets for different species and supervises food delivery to animals, establishes feeding schedules for animals and supervises the implementation of animal breeding programs and schedules transfer of animals between Zoo sites, receipt of new animals, and shipping of animals to other zoos.

May be required to restrain/contain an escaped or dangerously aggressive animal with extreme force, up to and including the use of firearms, in order to protect human life or the lives of other animals in the collection.

Performs any and all functions of the Zookeeper classification as needed to ensure that the animals in the collection receive proper care.


Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Zoology, Animal Husbandry, or a closely related field and at least four years of progressively responsible and demonstrably successful experience in the care of an animal collection at an AZA facility, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Strong leadership skills with at least two years experience as a supervisor or lead worker.

Previous experience working with aquatic species and life systems required.

Dive certification by Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) or National Association of Underwater Instructor’s (NAUI).

Ability to interact positively and appropriately with coworkers, supervisors, managers, Zoo patrons, contractors, concessionaires and members of the general public with diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

Demonstrated ability to prioritize and show flexibility with daily responsibilities.

Basic computer literacy and working knowledge of Microsoft products.

Strong interpersonal, oral and written communications skills.

Ability to work weekends and holidays

With our without reasonable accomodation, the incumbent;

Must be able to work in close proximity to exotic and domestic animals.

Must be able to tolerate exposure to dust, dirt, pollen and other airborne contaminants and occasional exposure to inclement weather, high humidity, and to extreme hot and cold temperatures. Must be able to tolerate exposure to anti-bacterials, disinfectants and other cleaning compounds.

Must possess sufficient manual dexterity, strength and ability to rotate wrists, elbows and shoulders to operate manual cranks and pulleys controlling exhibit and holding area slide doors, and to use manual and power tools commonly used in the maintenance of exhibits and holding facilities.

Regularily lift up to 60 lbs.

Must be able to descend to and ascend from a kneeling position several times per day in order to inspect, clean and maintain exhibit grounds, holding area flooring and structures, features, fixtures and equipment located at ground/floor level.

Must have sufficient mobility with or without assistive devices to access all areas of outdoor and indoor exhibits and holding areas in order to inspect grounds, plantings, structures, fixtures, features, furnishings, equipment and components thereof.

Must be able to wear all required protective clothing and equipment.


We offer a full benefits package including medical, dental, vision, disability, life, and 401k with employer contribution and match!

John Ball Zoo is located in the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, MI voted #1 City to Raise a Family by Forbes in 2012. More recently, Lonely Planet, the world’s most successful travel publisher, named Grand Rapids the top U.S. travel destination for 2014! For more information on Grand Rapids and West Michigan, go to these sites:


Please visit our website at Select “Get Involved/Employment”.