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Nashville Zoo

Area Supervisor- Primates

If you are a Mammal Primate Specialist who wants to join a zoo that is rapidly expanding then keep reading. The Nashville Zoo is looking for passionate team members to help us grow as we continue to build new exhibits and visitor centric programs, as Mammal Primate Supervisor. For two years in a row, we have developed and constructed award winning exhibits, such as the Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear and Tiger Crossroads, along with other educational and specialty awards, which no other zoo in the nation can say. In 2022, we will begin construction on our Komodo dragon habitat as well as new habitats that will include leopard, colobus monkey, klipspringer, and more as part of a fantastic new 40 acre Africa exhibit. The right candidate for this position will have the opportunity to assist with the new facilities, help develop an ever expanding visitor engagement program that highlights the charismatic animals and the conservation efforts of the Zoo, and help support those critically important conservation programs. If you are focused on career development and making a difference and not just a job, then you are in the right place.

Description: Under limited supervision, employee will serve as the Area Supervisor of the Primate Department at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.  Primary responsibility is to supervise keeper staff and participate in the general care of assigned collection animals; maintain exhibits, perform light exhibit construction; operate zoo vehicles; maintain integrity of existing graphics and exhibits.  Employee will be responsible for ensuring that all supplies and needs for their areas (ordering feed products, acquisition of tools and cleaning supplies etc.) are ordered by them or informing the appropriate staff member of the need.  Employee will generate appropriate work requests; supervise and coach assigned staff; remain a positive role model for the keeper staff/keeper associate setting the example in their daily work.  Area supervisors are full time working supervisors and are required to know all aspects of the day-to-day activities of their assigned areas.  He/She must be proficient in conflict resolution when dealing with staff as well as the general public.  Employee will be responsible for educating the public on the Primate Department’s animal collection and providing a friendly, safe and clean atmosphere for families to enjoy the Nashville Zoo.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Animal Husbandry

  • Prepare food and water for collection animals by cutting and measuring diet portions
  • Feed collection animals
  • Monitor assigned animals closely with regard to general appearance, diet consumption levels, condition of fecal matter, etc.
  • Maintain feed intake records
  • Record daily observations pertaining to the health and behavior of Primate Department animals on a Daily Report to be submitted to the Curator
  • Clean animal exhibits, and service areas
  • Participate in capturing, incapacitating, and moving animals
  • Assists Veterinarian staff in the treatment of collection animals
  • Provide exhibit security and take appropriate actions to prevent vandalism and maltreatment of animals and facilities by the public.
  • Participate and train subordinates in basic animal conditioning techniques



  • Clean and disinfect utensils, work tools, and containers
  • Maintain plant life in and around enclosures
  • Perform minor or routine maintenance of enclosures and report all other maintenance needs to supervisors
  • Operate a variety of light and medium equipment


Public Education

  • Coordinate daily keeper talks designed to educate the public on the Primate Department’s animal collection
  • Respond to questions from the public concerning the animals and exhibits
  • Model the Zoo’s image and code of professional ethics in words and actions at all times


The Area Supervisor will assign, participate and supervise the work of the animal keepers.  The Area Supervisor does not have the authority to hire or fire animal care staff but does have the authority to reprimand staff (verbal) or after discussing it with their immediate supervisor (written).



Thorough knowledge of:

  • Animal behavior
  • Care, feeding, and handling of primates
  • Safety practices around exotic animals
  • Animal biology or zoology or other related field
  • Techniques for restraining and capturing exotic and domestic animals
  • Zoo policies and procedures
  • Personnel management
  • Animal conditioning


Capable of:

  • Completely performing the responsibilities outlined in the “Duties and Responsibilities” section
  • Monitoring animal behavior and appearance
  • Operating motorized vehicles and equipment; applicant must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Taking and following work instructions
  • Working in a team oriented atmosphere
  • Effectively communicating with coworkers and supervisors
  • Interacting and communicating with the general public in an appropriate manner
  • Supervising, training, and mentoring assigned staff
  • Making unbiased and non-judgmental decisions when dealing with subordinates


Physical Requirements:

Must be able to work outside year-round under typical Tennessee weather conditions and temperatures for extended periods of time.  Must be able to work in uneven terrain with exposure to varying weather conditions, dust, and allergens.  Must be able to move about on slippery surfaces, handle toxic and hazardous materials and work in cramped and confined spaces.  Must be able to lift and carry materials up to 75 pounds.



Must have a BS in zoology, animal biology, animal husbandry or related field and/or at least five years of work experience at a zoological facility or any equivalent combination of training and experience, which provides the required work skills, knowledge, and abilities. Must also be able to support prior supervisory experience.


Background Check:

Applicants for this position are required to submit to a criminal background check and pass a drug test.


Special Note:

Applicant may be required to work any combination of five days in the seven-day workweek including holidays.  

How to Apply

Nashville Zoo
3777 Nolensville Rd
Nashville, TN 37211
Phone: 6158331534

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