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Toronto Zoo

Director of Wildlife Care

The Toronto Zoo is in a period of transformational change as we move towards our 50th anniversary of operations and build on the 2020 Strategic Plan and our 2022 Master Plan, which provide a clear road-map to organizational success and resilience. To help us along this journey, we are hiring a Director of Wildlife Care to be part of this exciting future in achieving our strategic priorities, which are:

  • Save Wildlife

  • Ignite the Passion

  • Create Wow

  • Our Community + Our Zoo

  • Revolutionize Zoo Technology

Your Toronto Zoo serves more than 1.2 million guests each year and the foundation of all of our work is based on four cares and our internal brand of "One Toronto Zoo (1TZ)"

  • We care about our animals

  • We care about our team

  • We care about our guests

  • We care about our community

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Senior Director of Wildlife and Science, the Director is a member of the leadership team, providing vision, leadership, and oversight for the Wildlife Care operations, physical infrastructure, staff, and animals in their care. The Director ensure we operate at an accreditation ready level, develops short and long term strategies to implement our Animal Lives with Purpose Plan, aligns the direction of Wildlife Care with the Strategic and Master Plans, and is committed to delivering on wildlife conservation science and the guest experiences.

The Director is a leader who ensures a dynamic team environment for a diverse group of professionals, committed to serving each other and the animals in our care while living our accreditation standards every day.


Oversees the operational efficiency and financial sustainability of Wildlife Care. Develops goals and objectives for the area while ensuring efficient utilization of human and financial resources to achieve established animal welfare, accreditation, safety, and guest experience performance objectives.

Works with colleagues on the senior management team to develop strategies and plans to deliver on mission and achieve greater efficiency by attracting new visitors and increasing attendance, delivering on future business and product development, energizing management capacity and enabling new net revenues.

Responsible for proactively ensuring AZA accreditation compliance of the Wildlife Care operations. This includes, ensuring new and existing exhibits/holdings are built and maintained to comply with regulatory standards, records management and policies are in place in accordance with regulatory agencies, and staff training plans are developed to ensure regulatory compliance and career development.

Develops policies and procedures, budget preparation, and planning of operating projects, as well as leading minor and major capital projects within the department. 

Oversees matters of wildlife well-being and care, including habitat planning, and the development and application of husbandry standards that meet or exceed industry standards.

Works closely with Staff from across the organization in the delivery of our Animal Lives with Purpose Plan and supporting facility planning pertaining to Wildlife Care, as well as conservation, research and education initiatives.

Leads and manages teams, building and maintaining a high-performing organizational culture while mentoring staff to their full potential, embracing equity, diversity and inclusion in day-to-day work.

Ensures a safety culture and compliance with all applicable Occupational Health and Safety regulations. Is responsible for ensuring that all accidents and hazards within the area of responsibility are promptly investigated and corrective action taken. Plays an active role in reviewing and implementing occupational safety standards.

Leads the development of new programs and enhancement of existing programs, including technology-based monitoring programs and husbandry tools, analysis of industry best practices, training, animal welfare implications, staffing, costs and revenues.

Shows growth as a professional through continuous improvement.

Prepares and presents proposals, reports and recommendations within the areas of responsibility to the Board of Management or other bodies as required.

Facilitates overall effective and timely communications and collaboration within department and with other areas across the Zoo.

Leads and/or participates on various internal and external committees to represent the Division and/or Toronto Zoo.

Assists guests on-site as required and ensures excellent customer service is provided by Zoo staff.

Provides advice / support to the Senior Director and CEO on various projects and programs,

Performs other duties, conducts special projects and prepares reports as required by the Senior Director,

Participates in the Zoo’s site Director program.

May act as designate in the absence of the CEO

Qualifications & Requirements

University degree from a recognized institution in biology or environmental studies or the equivalent amount of training and experience.  Graduate degree in business, leadership or related science discipline is an asset;

A minimum of seven (7) years progressive related experience with five (5) years managing and leading staff.

Demonstrated innovative and driven leader who has been successful in engaging and leading teams.   

Strong collaborative skills for engaging, working closely, and demonstrating the ability to work effectively with internal and external stakeholders.

Experience in the preparation and administration of a significant budgets, with the ability to plan, complex projects and plans, including the preparation of metrics, reports and analysis/interpretation of data.

Must be familiar with current legislation, standards and best practices in wildlife care, conservation and research and all health and safety standards and regulations.

Demonstrated sound judgement and knowledge in the field of wildlife care and wildlife health management.

Excellent oral communications skills with the ability to communicate effectively across the organization and externally at all levels and interact with others collaboratively. Deal with situations in ways that respect diverse backgrounds, experiences and styles.

Demonstrated problem solving, change management and decision making acumen with a high degree of integrity and ethics.

Demonstrated flexibility in adapting to change; a critical thinker, able to make difficult decisions, and identify and respond to shifting and changing organizational needs.

Demonstrated experience in enhancing efficiencies to improve outcomes.

Must possess a working of knowledge of WHMIS and Ontario Occupational Health and Safety legislation.

Must be able to work evenings, weekends and holidays.

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please follow the link below and complete the instructions on the questionnaire.

To apply click here:

While we appreciate the interest of all applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Toronto Zoo provides accommodation for employees with disabilities, as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If contacted for an interview, and you require specific accommodation for the interview process because of a disability or a medical need, then please advise the person contacting you of your requirements, so that arrangements can be made for the appropriate accommodations to be in place before you begin the interview process.

The Toronto Zoo respects the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and seeks to model these principles in all that we do. We are committed to fostering an inclusive workforce where all employees feel respected, supported and valued. We strive to create an environment that represents the rich diversity of our guests and our community and encourage applications from all qualified individuals who can contribute to enhancing our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. The Toronto Zoo supports equity in employment and encourages applications from those who belong to the Government of Canada’s employment equity designated groups:  women, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis), persons with disabilities and members of racialized groups/members of racialized communities. Applicants from other traditionally marginalized communities (i.e. 2SLGBTQ+) are also encouraged to apply. We are committed to accommodating applicants with disabilities to fully participate in the recruitment process.

Please be advised the Toronto Zoo requires mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.

Toronto Zoo
361A Old Finch Avenue
Scarborough, ON M1B 5K7
Phone: 4163925900

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