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Utica Zoo

Zoo Area Manager

The Utica Zoo is seeking a Zoo Area Manager. The Zoo Area Manager reports to the Director of Animal Operations. Under the direction of the Director of Animal Operations, this position provides day-to-day leadership in and management of one or more specific assigned animal areas which supports the mission and core values of the Zoo. The Utica Zoo sits on approximately 80 acres, 40 of which are developed. The Zoo has over 200 animals from 80 different species and is striving towards AZA Accreditation.

Full Time: hourly, non-exempt


  • Train, supervise and evaluate Animal Keeper staff, interns and volunteers. Make recommendations to the DAO in hiring or dismissal of department staff; make recommendations for personnel actions such as promotions, transfers or corrective actions

  • Direct, perform and delegate all Animal Keeper duties necessary to maintain high standards of animal care and welfare. Maintains familiarity with all husbandry duties

  • Serve as the liaison for the animal keepers and the Director of Animal Operations concerning daily area operations including staff performance

  • Assists veterinary staff in medical treatments, procedures and surgeries as coordinated with veterinary staff

  • Inspect all exhibits and related facilities regularly for cleanliness and structural integrity. Maintain areas in compliance with USDA and AZA standards. Reports any potential non-compliance issues immediately to DAO

  • Develop, post and maintain SOPs for assigned areas, including schedules for disinfecting and seasonal modifications

  • Develop action plans for projects and present them to the DAO

  • Recognize and report pest control needs in the area; coordinate and execute adequate and appropriate pest control practices; maintain records of pest control

  • Work with the Animal Training and Enrichment Coordinators to develop and maintain those programs with appropriate species. Ensure staff adherence to program policies

  • Collaborate with DAO and veterinary staff in development and modifications of diets, husbandry techniques and area protocols

  • Represent the zoo to guests, donors, zoo community associates and the general public; answer questions, give formal and informal talks and attend functions as requested

  • Participate in the development and performance of keeper training classes for interns and staff

  • Function as an AZA IR as directed by the DAO

  • Serve as a member of the Utica Zoo Animal Emergency Response Team

  • Perform other duties as assigned


The successful candidate must have a very strong and proven background in animal management and be capable of managing a diverse animal collection and leading a dynamic animal care staff. Zone A currently contains a variety of species including African lions, ring-tailed lemurs, striped hyena, Golden Headed Lion tamarins, White Naped crane, a wide variety of invertebrates and reptiles, including prehensile tailed skinks and Chinese Alligators The ideal candidate will give constructive and positive feedback, be assertive and proactive, be action oriented and resolution focused, structured, yet flexible, with good follow-through and time management skills.

  • Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in Biology, Zoology, Animal Sciences, or related fields with relevant course work.

  • Five years' experience at a zoo or similar institution with at least three years in a supervisory role

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to learn various methods of physical and mechanical animal restraint for veterinary procedures, transport or special needs

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, strong positive attitude and organizational skills

  • Strong understanding of the many aspects that it takes to run a zoo on a daily basis

  • Ability to relate positively with a diverse staff and diverse groups of visitors

  • Thorough knowledge of the principles of modern zoological practices

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to exercise good judgment, fairness and tact.

  • Good communication skills within department, between departments, and as a spokesperson for the Zoo, ability to work as a part of a team required. Team leadership or project management experience preferred.

  • Strong computer background and proficiency required, preferably with Microsoft Office suite software and ZIMs.

  • Must be able to walk, stand, sit, kneel, stoop, crawl, twist, reach above head, pull, bend, climb stairs and ladders and carry up to 50lbs. Must be able to actively work in inclement weather.

  • Ability and willingness to work weekends, evenings and special events as the schedule demands

  • Must successfully pass a background check and must have a valid, current driver’s license.

How to Apply

To apply, please email resume, cover letter and salary requirements to Must be submitted by 02/17/2017

Utica Zoo
Utica, NY

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