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Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Zoological Manager of Carnivores

Zoological Manager of Carnivores


Summary: This position advances Cincinnati Zoo’s mission and values by directly supporting some of the Zoo’s Carnivore teams. The teams include Night Hunters (Malayan tiger, cougar, snow leopard, clouded leopard, ocelot, various small carnivores) and North America (Mexican gray wolf, black bear, arctic fox, gray fox, North American river otters and sea otters).  This is a non-union management position that is not directly involved in the daily care of animals. Reporting to the Curator of Mammals, the Zoological Manager (ZM) will coordinate the daily operations of the specific animal areas including supervising keeper staff in husbandry, animal training, and program development and implementation. This position will encourage and support teams in raising the bar for both animal and visitor experience.


Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, sustainability, education, and community engagement. Our Mission is to create adventure, convey knowledge, conserve nature, and serve our community. We accomplish this by inspiring every visitor with wildlife every day by providing opportunities to be close enough to care. We are passionate about our commitment to Animal Excellence and succeed at this by pursuing our Core Values of: Collaborative Relationship; Positivity & Energy; Accountability, Mutual Trust & Respect; Progressive Thinking; Pride, Passion & a Sense of Ownership.


Successful candidates will demonstrate the following leadership attributes: You Model the example for others to follow; You Inspire others to work towards an exciting future and shared vision; You Challenge yourself and others to look for innovative ways to improve the organization; You Foster collaboration and trust and build spirited teams; You Recognize contributions and celebrate accomplishments.


Essential Functions:


Team Support:

  • Maintains intimate knowledge of daily operations, routines, and animals. The ZM is present and available to direct reports on a daily basis and supervises keeper performance and accountability through regular involvement with animal care.

  • Works with the team to foster a positive, productive, supportive, and innovative atmosphere, and identifies and addresses team health and culture issues.

  • Supports goals of individual staff and coaches professional development accordingly.

  • Works collaboratively with, and proactively communicates and problem-solves with animal care teams, cross-department zoo staff and volunteers.

  • Assists with the hiring of seasonal, temporary and FT staff.

  • Provides instruction and mentorship related to operant conditioning and program development.

Animal Management:

  • Works with and makes recommendations to the Animal Management team to develop, implement, manage, evaluate and, if needed, modify all aspects of animal care, including husbandry, diet, training, enrichment, records, habitat redesign and operational efficiencies.

  • Coordinates and participates in animal medical procedures, facility projects and research. Identifies and creates a plan to address animal behavior and health issues. Provides information on the day-to-day status of the animals.

  • Effectively and efficiently advises and supports animal training for husbandry purposes using operant conditioning techniques, positive reinforcement and building resiliency; responsible for tracking behavioral husbandry consistency and progress.

  • Guides and monitors a behavior-based enrichment program ensuring opportunities to keep animals stimulated and engaged in natural behaviors; coordinate the necessary resources in order to ensure habitats enhance and support these opportunities.

  • Oversees the general maintenance and ongoing furnishing, modifying and upgrading of existing or planned exhibits as appropriate. Assists in exhibit design and renovations.

  • Assists with animal transactions, acquisitions, dispositions, and quarantine procedures as needed. Oversees capture, restraint and transport of animals.

  • Assists with developing and/updating’s all departmental documents including, but not limited to, species-specific SOPs and guidelines, breeding and rearing protocols, and training plans.

  • Contributes to development of department’s annual collection plan and budget.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Oversees Payroll, Work Order, and Purchase Order approval

  • Assists curator in development and implementation of annual operating plan.

  • Responsible for ensuring compliance with all AZA accreditation standards and local, state, and federal laws regarding acquisition/disposition, maintenance, health and welfare of the collection.

  • Supports a variety of guest experience, corporate event, and on-site and off-site educational programs, including media and special events.

  • Represents CZBG to the community in a professional and positive manner.

  • May be called on to represent the zoo to external donor, community, scientific, and government groups

  • May attend regional, national or international conferences

  • Complies with all zoo policies and performs other supportive duties as needed.

  • Other duties as assigned to maintain efficient and quality zoo operations.


  • Four-year degree in Biology, Zoology, Animal Science, Environmental Education, Education or related field preferred; or Associate’s degree and commensurate experience.
  • Minimum 4 years of experience in large mammal and small carnivore husbandry; and at least 2 year of experience in a supervisory position, preferred

  • Equivalent combinations of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job will be considered.

  • Comprehensive experience with managing animal introductions, mixed species exhibits, breeding, and parturition. Experience with ungulates and carnivores preferred.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of animal behavior and natural history; behavior-based enrichment, operant conditioning, biology and related subjects.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Ability to adapt to a changing work environment and handle multiple assignments simultaneously.

  • Demonstrated ability to solve complex problems efficiently and the ability to make quick decisions during animal emergencies.

  • Ability to work with and be comfortable around potentially dangerous and unpredictable animal species.

  • Strong written skills, including record keeping.

  • Proficiency in computer use including word processing, database entry and analysis, and PowerPoint.

  • Clear driving record.

  • Demonstrated affinity for the Mission of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Physical Demands

The physical demands for this position involve light lifting under 25lbs and also requires carrying, pushing, pulling, and occasional heavy lifting up to 50lbs. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk, talk and listen.  The employee frequently is required to use hands to maneuver handle or feel objects, tools or controls.  The employee is occasionally required to sit, climb or balance; also, reach, stoop, kneel or smell.  Specific vision abilities required include close, distance, color, peripheral, depth perception vision and ability to adjust focus.   Minimal crouching, crawling, climbing, and non-confined sitting are also required. The position requires both mental and visual concentration.


Work Environment

This position requires a substantial amount of contact with staff, volunteers, and other departments. The employee occasionally works near moving mechanical parts and in outside weather conditions and may be occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles and chemicals.  This employee will be required to have contact with animals and may be exposed to zoonosis. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Position Details & Benefits

Salary range starting at $63,000/yr. This full-time position is overtime-exempt, and is eligible for the Zoo’s benefits programs for non-union employees The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers a comprehensive benefits package including affordable medical, dental & vision coverage; 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; generous paid time off (vacation, holiday and sick leave); company-paid disability & life insurance; park discounts and free passes.


To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must apply via our online application on our website at  Cover letter and resume should be attached to your online application.


Deadline to apply is Monday, May 30, 2022


We strive to be an organization that is diverse and reflects the fullness of society. With a strongly held value for an organizational culture characterized by inclusion and belonging, we are committed to equity in all we do. We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to our organization’s diversity and who want to walk alongside us in our commitment to inclusion and equity


The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer and does not and will not discriminate against any applicant or employee based on race, religion, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, genetic information, military or veteran status, and/or any other characteristic or protected status. We are a Queen City Certified/Ellequate Leader in Gender Equity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.


Full Benefits


Salary range starts at $63,000

How to Apply

To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must apply via our online application on our website at  Cover letter and resume should be attached to your online application.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine St
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Phone: 5134873436

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