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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Animal Programs Specialist (Animal Encounters Village)

Responsible for assisting the Animal Programs team with the overall care and well-being of the Promotions collection, ensuring that all welfare best practices and safety standards are followed.  Provides various presentations and tours, which engage and educate the public, promote the Zoo, generate support from sponsors and assist with events on Zoo grounds..  
  • Assists the Animal Programs team in the overall care and well-being of the region’s animal collection (e.g., animal health, disease diagnosis and treatment, husbandry, animal nutrition, enrichment and other activities related to animal care).
  • Works in compliance with animal welfare best practices and all professional standards. 
  • Ensures compliance will all Zoo safety protocols and policies.
  • Responsible for the storage, thawing and processing of daily diets following written diet plans.
  • Responsible for gaining an understanding of diet manipulation with guidance from a Senior Specialist. 
  • Assist and support all facility maintenance of the Animal Programs collection area.
  • Responsible for the daily cleaning and disinfection of holding spaces, travel crates, break room, and any other facilities being utilized for public display.
  • Must be able to speak publicly and present daily programs professionally.
  • Ensure daily program and presentation setup.
  • Assists in the coordination and implementation of promotional appearances including but not limited to television, civic and service groups, parades, charity events, festivals, Zoo special events, corporate events, schools, and miscellaneous programs.
  • Assists with all on-grounds presentations and animal programs to ensure high quality, engaging experiences for guests.
  • Provides support for V.I.P. or other designated events.
  • Provides "Behind-the-Scenes" tours of Zoo exhibits as requested.
  • Provides daily care and assists with training of the Animal Programs collection assigned to the department.
  • Transports animals to scheduled programs.
  • Assists and ensures compliance with USDA, AZA, and ZAA inspections/accreditations and USDA. 
  • Handles animals and displays them to audience and provides information about the animals and their behavior.
  • Makes decisions regarding the safety of animals and people at display location.
  • Conducts other programs as necessary.
  • Constantly strives to further the mission of the organization and avidly supports the Columbus Zoo Family of Parks.
  • Implements sustainable practices in daily tasks whenever possible.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • High school diploma or equivalent required.
  • Bachelor's degree in education, zoology, a related field, or equivalent experience required.
  • 1 year of experience with nature interpretation preferred.
  • 1 year of experience with exotic animal handling, including hand raising, and care strongly desired.
  • Ability to understand, remain current, and comply with all professional standards and regulations including USDA, AZA, and ZAA.
  • Ability to work as a team with other staff members.
  • Knowledge of animal and conservation issues preferred.
  • Ability to maintain a positive attitude in sometimes stressful situations required.
  • Ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing required.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends and holidays required.
  • Ability to plan and organize work in an efficient and cost-effective manner and without direct supervision required.
  • Ability to provide excellent guest service by positively interacting with guests and upholding the Make it G.R.E.A.T. standards required.
  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with all Zoo team members and contacts regarding company business required.
  • Ability to adhere to standard operating procedures including but not limited to safety protocols required.
  • Proof of negative TB screening prior to placement and annually thereafter required.
  • Possession of a valid Ohio motor vehicle operator’s license and a good driving record required.
  • Ability to adhere to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s drug-free workplace policy including but not limited to pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion and follow-up treatment required.
  • Ability to successfully complete a criminal history background check annually required.

How to Apply

Please apply online at Submit the application using the information provided on the original job listing located on

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Powell, OH

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