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The Birmingham Zoo

Animal Care Professional, Sea Lions

SUMMARY

 

The Birmingham Zoo is seeking a dynamic and experienced marine mammal trainer to join our Sea lion team. Our Animal Care Professional (ACP) position is a full time position responsible for the daily training and husbandry of 1.1 California sea lions through operant conditioning and enrichment to provide exemplary animal care and welfare. In addition to animal care and training, this position will also include but is not limited to daily maintenance of the sea lion life support system, behind the scenes tours and interactions, and public sea lion shows. Collectively with other zoo employees these activities will assist in presenting to the public an environment that is educational, entertaining, and serves to further the mission of the Birmingham Zoo. Additional responsibilities, depending on experience, consist of establishing and developing environmental enrichment, training and animal management programs for the sea lions, as well as supporting the Zoological Manager in preparing and implementing plans for veterinary procedures, training animal care staff and/or volunteers, and sea lion shows/demonstrations. This position requires a team player capable of positive and professional interactions with staff, guests and volunteers. As part of the predator department, this position may include cross training on other routines, as needed.

 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

 

  • Displays and demonstrates advanced knowledge of the biology, behaviors, and husbandry needs of California Sea Lions.
  • Capable of advanced training techniques and concepts including; medical, research, problem-solving, chained behaviors, secondary reinforcers, and handling aggression.
  • Creates new enrichment ideas and items to be added into the sea lion’s repertoire.
  • Maintains all animal areas to USDA standards.
  • Identifies, recognizes, documents, and reports any abnormal animal behavior, facility issues, or any other issues in their department to their Zoological Manager in a timely manner.
  • Actively supports area policies and procedures, mission, vision, and strategic plan of Birmingham Zoo.
  • Properly utilizes the animal record-keeping systems within the department.
  • Maintains and updates the departments’ animal files.
  • 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 keeper chats/shows to Zoo visitors and guests.
  • Prepares and presents programs visitors and guests.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS

 

  • Expands knowledge of animal care by cross-training in other animal departments.
  • Exhibits the ability to apply classical and operant conditioning and to train at least basic behaviors, as defined by the area Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).
  • Uses environmental enrichment in daily routines and assists in the development of the departmental program, including researching and developing new enrichment options and development of enrichment schedules.
  • 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.
  • Seeks out courses or training opportunities to better their skill and knowledge base. 

 

 

SAFETY ANALYSIS

 

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

 

  • 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.

 

 

Animal Care Professionals, as with any staff member of the zoo, are required to be familiar with the Zoo’s overall safety policies as outlined in the staff handbook as well as being responsible for reporting any injury immediately to the first aid department. 

 

 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

 

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.

 

 

 

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

 

Education and work experience

  • College degree in a zoology-related field preferred.
  • At least 2 years marine mammal experience 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.

 

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).

 

 

HOURS OF WORK

 

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

How to Apply

https://www.birminghamzoo.com/about-us/employment

The Birmingham Zoo
2630 Cahaba Road
BIRMINGHAM, AL 35226
Phone: 12058790409

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