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Utica Zoo

Utica Zoo

Director of Animal Care, Conservation, & Education

The Utica Zoo is seeking a dynamic and motivated professional to be the Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Education and the AZA Accredited zoo in upstate NY.

If you’re a leader seeking the opportunity to make an impact merging conservation messaging/advocacy with the expectation of delivering excellent husbandry for exotic & domestic animals in human care, this team opening is for you!   Engage in visionary growth while directing exhibit design, collection planning, and navigate professional growth of a motivated staff.

Responsible for the management of the animal care and education departments and staff, this position oversees all aspects of the animal collection including, but not limited to; health & welfare, enrichment, collection and strategic planning, training, compliance, permitting, accreditation, exhibit design, research, education, and conservation.

Utica NY is a growing vibrant city, rich in history and blazing new trails in exciting industries such as Nano Technology, competitive sport teams including Utica City Football and nationally recognized AHL Comets and curling teams.  Renown coffee roasters, local Craft Beer breweries, a diverse cultural population boasting the best food in the nation and a strong music and arts scene encourages a strong work/life balance.  The natural beauty and resources found at this base of the Adirondack Park provide ample outdoor activity options and the low cost of living along with a competitive compensation package are all KEY to this being a fantastic opportunity! 

Experience Required

The successful candidate must have a very strong and proven background in animal care administration and be capable of managing a diverse collection of both exotic and domestic animals. While embracing the conservation messaging in the zoo’s mission, the skill of supervising and leading a dynamic animal care staff is critical. This position will be responsible for fostering a team environment and insuring the integration of animal care and education staff into the larger organizational culture of the Utica Zoo. The ideal candidate will give constructive and positive feedback, be assertive and proactive, action oriented and resolution focused, structured, yet flexible, with good follow-through and time management skills. Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in Biology, Zoology, Animal Sciences, or related fields with relevant course work or equivalent preferred. Skills & Characteristics: Skill and demonstrated experience in exhibit planning, design, construction, and occupancy. A proven track record of self-motivation and achievement. Excellent written and oral communication skills between and within department, strong positive attitude and practical organizational techniques Ability to relate positively with a diverse staff and diverse groups of visitors; understanding visitor experience is interwoven into all aspects of operations Thorough knowledge of the strategic and tactical principles of modern zoological practices, value of transparency and accountability and execution of the day to day zoo operations are a must Demonstrates strong leadership and interpersonal skills, possesses a desire to mentor others, recognizes the value of staff development exhibits good judgment, fairness and tact. Ability and willingness to work weekends, evenings and special events as the schedule demands Must successfully pass a background check and must have a valid, current driver’s license.

Further Comments

This is a Director level position that reports directly to the Executive Director. It differs from the manager position in that the Area Manager is the area leader and point person and oversees all aspects of area management. This Director position is directly responsible for acquisition/disposition of species, collection planning; permit requirements, and animal care budget. This position will require hands-on animal involvement. The individual assuming these responsibilities will be aware of health and injury risks inherent with direct animal contact. The DACCE will be on 24 hour call.


Full time Exempt Please include requirements with application

How to Apply

To apply, please email resume, cover letter and salary requirements to Nikki Sheehan, Director of Administrative Operations at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls please

Utica Zoo
One Utica Zoo Way
Utica, NY 13501
Fax: Utica Zoo

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