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Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City Zoo

Animal Care Team Lead - Ruwenzori (Full Time)


The Animal Care Team Lead is responsible for assisting the Animal Care Manager with the overall management of their assigned area. This position performs routine work assignments, involving the daily care and welfare of animals within their area. This position also performs daily maintenance of exhibit and holding areas, as well as interacts with the public to provide information related to the Zoo’s animal collection. This position requires extensive experience and knowledge, as well as strong leadership skills. The Animal Care Team Lead will assist with the day-to-day management of the team, including personnel management, creation and maintenance of area standard operating procedures, and overseeing the assigned area in the absence of the team’s Animal Care Manager.


This position will work with the Ruwenzori team, which is responsible for the daily husbandry of a variety of African animals, including chimpanzees, river hippopotamus, slender-snouted crocodiles, African spurred tortoises, leopard tortoises, Guinea baboons, African painted dogs, yellow-billed storks and crowned cranes.





Performs daily animal husbandry activities, including:

  • Preparing diets and delivering animal feedings.
  • Giving medications and assisting with various animal health procedures.
  • Observing, logging, and reporting issues concerning animal behavior, health and welfare.
  • Training animals for all types of behaviors, including husbandry, enrichment and medical.
  • Initiating and carrying out new training proposals and behaviors.
  • Creating and implementing various enrichment items/strategies.


Completes daily maintenance of exhibits and holding areas, including:

  • Cleaning exhibits, holding stalls and staff areas.
  • Performing minor repairs and improvements.
  • Reporting maintenance issues and potential safety hazards to appropriate manager.


Supports Animal Care Manager in the day-to-day management of team and performs various leadership duties, including:

  • Assisting with all aspects of personnel management, including interviewing, scheduling, coaching, evaluating, and training of new animal care staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Training staff on new animal behaviors.
  • Assisting with the creation of area standard operating procedures and various animal management plans, ensuring compliance with AZA and USDA guidelines.
  • Overseeing area in absence of Animal Care Manager, with support of area curator.
  • Eligible to participate in or serve as a representative for various AZA programs, after meeting AZA requirements.
  • Eligible to apply for various SSP coordinator/studbook keeper positions.


Maintains daily reports and other required records.


Interacts with Zoo guests and the public, including:

  • Performing various animal chats and animal shows, as well as assisting with special events related to assigned area.
  • Leading tours within area, as assigned.
  • Representing the Zoo via media relations, upon completion of training with marketing staff.
  • Engaging with daily visitors to answer questions about the Zoo and animals.


Assists with and travels for animal shipments, as assigned, including:

  • Participating in inter-institutional training and communication regarding incoming or outgoing animals.


*This position may at times be requested to perform other duties or special projects as assigned, which are in the best interest of the Kansas City Zoo.



    1. Bachelor’s Degree in biology, animal science, zoology or related field strongly preferred.
    2. High school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate accepted with prior experience in similar position.
    1. At least 4 years’ related Zoo or animal husbandry experience required.
    2. Previous leadership experience preferred.
    3. Knowledge of animal husbandry, behavior and procedures for proper care and training of exotic animals.
    4. Strong observation skills to recognize and evaluate conditions of animal health, diets and behavior.
    5. Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, preferred.
    6. Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions, including procedures for care and maintenance of animals, exhibit, service and holding areas.
    7. Strong verbal and written communication skills.
    1. Must have valid driver's license.
    2. Must have or be able to obtain negative TB test.
    3. Must be able to lift 50 pounds and have sufficient mobility to ensure a safe work environment.
    4. Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.
    5. Must be able to tolerate stress, endure high risk situations when feeding, transferring, or restraining animals, and make immediate decisions concerning the safety of animals, staff or the public.
    6. Must be willing to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, holidays and evening hours, in all weather extremes.
    7. Must pass a background and drug screening.
    8. Must be vaccinated or agree to become vaccinated for COVID-19, to work safely with staff and the animals under the team’s care.

How to Apply

Please apply using the following link:

Kansas City Zoo
6800 Zoo Drive
Kansas City, MO 64132
Phone: 816-595-1234
Fax: 816-595-1880

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