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Birmingham Zoo, Inc.

Animal Care Professional Department Lead, Sea Lions

The Birmingham Zoo is currently seeking applications for Animal Care Professional Department Lead (ACP Lead) in the Sea Lion department.  Under the direction of the Department Manager, the Animal Care Professional Lead is responsible for the primary daily husbandry activities of these animals with a demonstrated good working knowledge of animal care and welfare. ACP Lead has also taken the steps to become proficient in their expertise to act as Lead ACP in the Zoo Managers absence ACP’s will also work collectively with other Zoo employees and assist in presenting to the public an environment that is educational, entertaining, and serves to further the mission of the Birmingham Zoo.


  • Displays and demonstrates the basic biology, behaviors and husbandry of the animals in their department in the daily routine.
  • Cleans and maintains animal holdings, including the use of chemical agents and special tools to assure the health and safety of the animals.
  • Identifies, recognizes and reports any abnormal behavior of all the animals in their department.
  • Identifies, documents, and properly communicates any animal medical problems to the Zoological Manager and Veterinary staff in a timely manner.  Completes assignments for animal immobilizations. 
  • Provides enrichment and conducts animal training according to department procedures.  
  • Responsible for capturing, crating, and transferring animals using appropriate restraint and handling techniques designed to put the least amount of stress on the animal.
  • Prepares and presents Public Animal Talks to Zoo visitors and guests.
  • Actively participate in one or more of the following: AAZK, enrichment or training committee, safety committee, interpretive committee, weapon’s team, area research projects, education or conservation programs, or other activity that enhances or promotes the Birmingham Zoo.
  • Actively plays a key role in resolving any animal related emergencies or drills that occur within the zoo (i.e. dangerous animal escape), regardless of which animal area the emergency is in.
  • Assist ZM in preparing for animal immobilizations.
  • Assists in training new staff members to include seasonal staff and interns.
  • Acts as point of contact in ZM’s absence.
  • Assists ZM with input on exhibit creation or changes.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Has input on giving direction to ACP’s, seasonal staff and volunteers.


The ACP Lead is expected to maintain the highest level of safety in the work area through implementation of safety protocols and procedures. The ACP Lead position is impacted by a wide variety of potentially hazardous exposures: 

  • Depending on assignment, the ACP will have to deal with the unpredictability of wild animals.
  • The care and husbandry of animals, some of whom are dangerous or may carry zoonotic diseases.
  • The proper use and understanding of cleaning and disinfecting agents.
  • Weather conditions including extreme heat, cold and storm conditions.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a staff member to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  While performing the duties of this job, staff should expect:

  • Use of hands, fingers, tools or controls. 
  • Frequently required to stand; walk; sit; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch and talk or hear. 
  • Routinely lift and/or move more than 50 pounds. 
  • Exposure to wet surfaces and slippery surfaces.
  • Required to wear a face mask and or other personal protective equipment for long periods of time.
  • Depending on assignment, exposure to the elements can be expected.


Education and work experience

  • College degree in a zoology-related field preferred.
  • At least 3-4 years ACP experience with Sea Lions in either work experience or internship preferred.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Ability to multi-task, coordinate with others and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to think critically and demonstrated time-management skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Willingness to participate in presentations and public speaking.
  • Knowledge of the Microsoft Office.
  • Strong organizational skills with strong attention to detail.

Desirable qualities

  • Strong interest in advancing the conservation missions of zoos and aquariums.
  • High self-motivation and a detail-oriented work ethic.
  • Professional, positive, and enthusiastic demeanor.

Other Requirements:

  • Must have current negative TB test and rabies titer and provide documentation, or be willing to have a TB test and rabies titer.
  • Must be First Aid/CPR certified or willing to be trained and certified.
  • Must be willing to travel locally.  Must have a current valid driver’s license with no prior traffic violations (within the last five years).


  • Full time
  • Schedule varies between weekdays and weekends.  Weekend work required as well as occasional evening work and holidays. 

How to Apply

Employment | Birmingham Zoo

Birmingham Zoo, Inc.
2630 Cahaba Road
Phone: 205-879-0409

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