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Tulsa Zoo

Zoological Supervisor - WildLIFE Trek

This Zoological Supervisor position will supervise the WildLIFE Trek buildings.  The WildLIFE Trek mammal collection currently includes: Northern Tree Shrews; Naked Mole Rats; Domestic Chinchillas; Bobcat; Arctic Foxes; Fennecs; Raccoons; and Collared Peccaries.


Among the 34 species of WildLIFE Trek birds are Siamese Fire-backed Pheasants, Southern Screamers, Freckled and Maccoa Ducks, Crested Pigeons, Crested Coua, Tawny Frogmouths, Black-necked Stilts, Bald Eagles, Snowy Owls, Fairy Bluebird, and breeding flocks of Red-billed Firefinches, Blue-capped Cordon Bleus, and Black-throated Finches.


Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc.

Position Title: Zoological Supervisor

Reports To: Zoological Curator

FLSA Status: Salaried, Exempt

All positions with Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc. are classified as 'Safety-Sensitive.'

(All candidates for employment with Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc. must pass a pre-placement drug screening prior to beginning work)


Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc. (TZMI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of “Connecting, Caring, Advocating for Wildlife, People, and Wild Places.” A dynamic group of passionate individuals brings the zoo to life each day, 365 days per year, caring for animals, greeting guests, educating the public and managing the facilities.  Each member of the team is integral to the success of the zoo as a key asset in the City of Tulsa and the Northeast Oklahoma region, delivering recreational opportunities, providing unplugged family time and conserving animal species for future generations.



Position Summary:

This position directs and oversees the activities of designated areas to ensure and promote effective and efficient care of the department's assigned collection. The Zoological Supervisor supervises, coaches, and evaluates departmental personnel; may assist with the approved acquisition and disposition of specimens; may assist with planning and implementing of breeding and research programs; and may assist with department budget and finances.



Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Other duties may be assigned in keeping with the mission of Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc. (TZMI)

  • Plans, directs and oversees proper care and welfare of assigned animal collection including exhibition, husbandry, health, acquisition and disposition of specimens of assigned collection. Collection responsibilities may include various taxa of mammals and birds.
  • Observes/monitors/supervises the daily activities of animal care staff in assigned area to ensure a high quality of care for the animal collection such as animal introduction, isolation, transfer, and capture.
  • Establishes or approves protocols and procedures for species care, husbandry and management; explains procedures and resolves operational questions; identifies and corrects any problems regarding animal health/safety; trains staff and maintains work schedules. 
  • Establishes or approves safety protocols and procedures concerning the manipulation of animals, including dangerous animals; acquires and maintains safety and specialized first-aid equipment and specialized animal handling equipment.
  • Inspects assigned animal collection in their exhibits/facilities on a regular basis and discerns illness, injury or other disorders, as well as reproductive status, developmental stages, and seasonal changes.
  • Communicates with the Animal Health department to ensure optimal health care, including preventative health program, for the assigned animal collection; assists veterinarians with medical procedures, examinations and euthanasia as necessary.
  • Inspects and evaluates the quality and appearance of animal exhibits and buildings, including light fixtures, visitor’s railings, ceiling panels, graphics, etc. ; responsible for the maintenance of animal exhibits and buildings, mechanical systems and equipment; request work orders for appropriate repairs.
  • Maintains and monitors life support systems including but not limited to water filtration, ozone generators, HVAC and backup generators as needed.
  • Maintains and monitors appropriate records and documents necessary for the management of the animal collection and associated activities such as record of animal births, deaths, history, diet, etc.
  • Under supervision of Curator, facilitates acquisition and transfer of animals.  This may include communication with other zoo professionals and arranging transportation.
  • Works with Registrar to ensure all animal acquisitions/dispositions are appropriately documented and all relevant local, state, federal and international regulations are met in acquiring relevant state, federal and international permits for the collection, procurement, transfer or possession/exhibition of animals including threatened and/or endangered species.
  • Works with the Curator of Behavioral Husbandry in the development of and participation in enrichment and operant conditioning programs for animals in assigned collection. Includes evaluation, record keeping, training, and observation of subordinates, co-workers and volunteers.
  • Works with commissary staff in the formation of and maintenance of proper diets for assigned animal collection.  Directs and participate in work activities of staff for proper preparation of Zoo animals’ diets.  Monitors methods of safe food handling and sanitation used in preparation of animal food.
  • Works closely with Curator of Conservation & Scientific Advancement regarding all aspects of conservation, research, and sustainability/green practices.  Develop and oversee approved taxa and departmental-specific conservation initiatives when appropriate.  Collaborate on sustainable/green practices within their department.
  • Communicates with other zoo professionals for the purpose of enhancing animal and exhibit programs; performs research and reading related to assigned collection to keep abreast of current husbandry methods and procedures, AZA standards etc. Keeps informed of local, state, federal and international laws concerning animal management, and assists other zoo staff such as registrar in maintaining compliance with such laws.
  • May assist with plans/designs for new/enhanced animal habitat/exhibit areas by researching availability and desirability of animal species in relation to the zoo's goals/objectives for the animal collection, estimates costs and time frames involved.
  • May serve as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) during weekends & holidays.
  • Participates in dangerous animal escape procedures and drills. Responsible for making quick decisions that may be a matter of life-and-death for visitors or staff. May be required to immobilize or destroy an animal in the event of a dangerous animal escape or someone in with a dangerous animal.
  • Recognizes signs of pest infestation in animal areas and combat pests/nuisance wildlife as directed.
  • Maintains necessary certifications as required (SCUBA, AZA Elephant Management, Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (NWCO) etc.).
  • Works with managed breeding, husbandry and conservation programs for species in assigned collections in cooperation with relevant Association of Zoo and Aquariums  (AZA) programs such as studbooks, Species Survival Plans (SSPs), Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), state and federal wildlife agencies, etc.
  • May participate in AZA conservation and administrative volunteer duties and activities and other related professional groups. Represents zoo at professional conferences and workshops and/or as a member of professional advisory groups, management groups, and other committees. 
  • May participate in applied and field research programs involving zoo staff, universities, regulatory agencies and conservation organizations etc.
  • Works with the Education Department to promote public education relative to zoo programs, husbandry, species information, and animal conservation through educational programming, including keeper chats, presentations, tours, student interviews, and written and/or oral responses to public questions/inquiries.  Also provides tours and media appearances as assigned.
  • May provide literary and publication support to including in-house publications, general literature, peer review technical articles, scientific journals, general literature, popular publications etc.
  • Monitors inventory of materials/supplies/equipment needed for department; determines/orders type and quantity of materials/supplies/equipment; authorizes expenditures of department under supervision of Curator and/or Zoological Manager.
  • Receives, reviews, prepares and/or submits assorted records and documents such as daily reports, behavior records, reproduction reports, feeding reports, medication reports, specimen reports, inventory reports, import/export permit applications, annual reports to Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture, employee records, budget reports, employee evaluations, and general office correspondence.
  • Serves as backup husbandry staff for assigned department.
  • Oversees other departmental areas/staff in the absence of assigned departmental Zoological Supervisors or Zoological Managers.
  • May assist in developing interpretive graphics and programs for animal exhibits.
  • Represents Curator/Zoological Manager in staff/department/zoo meetings in their absence.
  • Maintains necessary testing/vaccinations as required (TB, rabies, etc.)
  • Assists with departmental annual budget.
  • Conducts and attends staff/department meetings to discuss needs of zoo and staff and to resolve problems and learn of new procedures or policies.
  • Responds to emergency calls after normal operating hours.


Supervisory Responsibilities:

Directly supervises a team of zookeepers. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the TZMI's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.



To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:


Excellence and Continuous Improvement

  • Works hard consistently and enthusiastically, steadfastly pushing for greater results
  • Resolves problems and initiates action in an expedient manner
  • Makes suggestions, offers solutions and thinks outside the box
  • Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement both personally and professionally
  • Deals courteously and effectively with the public at all times



  • Accepts accountability for personal performance and behavior
  • Admits and takes responsibility for correcting mistakes
  • Keeps confidences
  • Represents collective interests over personal gains



  • Able to establish and maintain effective and professional working relations with coworkers
  • Demonstrates willingness to be a team player
  • Relates well to all kinds of people, building rapport with diplomacy and tact
  • Shows empathy and respect towards the diverse ideas and beliefs of others


Stewardship and Conservation

  • Demonstrates good stewardship in use of time, money and materials
  • Respects, maintains and optimizes the use of zoo equipment and resources
  • Actively participates in conservation efforts, whether internal or external
  • Thinks ahead with actions that would affect the proper preservation and protection of animals, plants and natural ecosystems
  • Serves as an ambassador for the zoo and its mission



  • Uses humor is a positive and constructive way
  • Promotes the organization having a positive, unique and memorable impact on guests and fellow employees


Safety and Security

  • Adheres to all safety regulations and policies and maintains a safe and productive workplace for animals, guests and fellow employees
  • Reports potentially unsafe conditions



  • Displays passion and optimism
  • Inspires respect and trust
  • Serves as a role model for employees, embodying TZMI’s core values
  • Mobilizes others to fulfill the TZMI mission and vision
  • Effectively influences actions and opinions of others
  • Accepts feedback from others
  • Gives appropriate recognition to others


Managing People

  • Delegates tasks, projects and assignments effectively
  • Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement
  • Makes self available to staff
  • Provides regular performance feedback
  • Develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth
  • Continually works to improve supervisory skills


Business Acumen

  • Understands business implications of decisions
  • Displays orientation to profitability
  • Demonstrates knowledge of market and competition
  • Works within approved budget
  • Develops and implements cost saving measures



  • Displays original thinking and creativity
  • Meets challenges with resourcefulness
  • Generates suggestions for improving work
  • Develops innovative approaches and ideas



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Education and/or Experience

Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Zoology, Animal Science, Environmental Resources, Wildlife Management or a related field from college or university; three years experience in the care of wildlife or exotic animal collection and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Language Skills                                                    

Ability to read, analyze and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of TZMI employees, managers, clients, customers and the general public.


Mathematical Skills

Ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide using whole numbers, common fractions and decimals. Ability to perform these operations using units of American money.


Computer Skills

Microsoft Word; Microsoft Excel; Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi; Microsoft Access;  International Species Information Systems (ISIS) a plus; Internet Browser(s)- Explorer, Chrome, Safari, etc.


Other Skills, Abilities or Qualifications                                           

Must possess a valid driver’s license and be insurable on TZMI’s insurance carrier. Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends and holidays as required. Knowledge of established principles and practices of exotic and domestic wildlife care, exhibition, management and exhibit maintenance. Skill in developing and maintaining a zoological collection. Knowledge of the processes involved in the approved acquisition and disposition of animal specimens. Knowledge of exhibit/habitat design, construction and maintenance principles and practices. Knowledge of general zoological classification and veterinary medical terminology. Knowledge of the "normal" behaviors including feeding/breeding habits and social interaction patterns and the behaviors/physical appearance indicative of health problems in assigned animals. Knowledge of State, Federal and International laws, regulations and guidelines relating to the operation of a zoological park and respective animal programs. Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with other Zoo staff, animal management staff at all levels, animal management staff in Zoos around the world, State, Federal, and International regulatory officials, and the public. Ability to use independent judgment and discretion in handling potentially dangerous animals. Knows and practices the proper the safe methods for handling and utilizing dangerous animals and various chemicals, tools and equipment necessary for completion of duties. Knowledge of general biology and natural environments in which the assigned animals are found. Knowledge of research principles and practices.


Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


This position requires substantial standing; substantial walking, moderate sitting; substantial reaching with hands and arms; substantial climbing or balancing; substantial stooping, kneeling, crouching or crawling; substantial talking or hearing; moderate lifting up to 60 pounds.


Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


This work environment involves minimal working near moving mechanical parts; substantial work in outdoor weather conditions; substantial work with moderate noise level.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please follow this link.

Tulsa Zoo
6421 E. 36th St. N.
Tulsa, OK 74115
Phone: 918-669-6601
Fax: 918-524-9631

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