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Lincoln Park Zoo

Zoological Manager- Birds


Under general supervision, coordinates daily operations of a specific animal area including supervising keeper staff


  1. Supervises a keeper staff that is responsible for all aspects of animal care including but not limited to all cleaning, feeding, watering, grooming (i.e., domestic animals), observing, record keeping and maintaining exhibits. 
  2. Supervises and maintains animal exhibits including use of chemical agents and special tools which are used to assure the health and safety of the animals as well as the proper presentation of the public.
  3. Able to perform animal keeping duties extending to all animal husbandry and exhibit maintenance functions if necessary. Includes observing and reporting abnormal behavior, dispensation of drugs and treatments prescribed by authorized veterinarian. 
  4. Manages area personnel including but not limited to work assignments, schedules and coordination of staffing levels.  Prepares and tracks timekeeping and other related reports.  Works with appropriate staff in preparation of performance evaluations of area personnel.  Implements and oversees training of area personnel. Participates in selection and interview process of candidates for temporary, animal keeper, assistant lead, and lead keeper.
  5. Assists curator in development of annual operating plan and implements plan. Responsible for conforming to all zoo, local, state, federal, foreign, and international laws/guidelines regarding acquisition, maintenance, health, shipment and welfare of the collection. Ensures compliance with AZA accreditation standards and USDA AWA.
  6. Advances mission of the zoo through participation in and coordinating conservation and education programs -- serving as departmental liaison with on-grounds education programs, acting as a liaison to any ongoing in situ conservation initiatives, facilitating research involving the zoo collection, coordinating tours, preparing and presenting training programs for assigned staff and volunteers.
  7. Makes recommendations regarding animal husbandry and management changes/modifications including diet changes, habitat redesign, and operational efficiencies.
  8. Oversees the general maintenance and ongoing furnishing, modifying and upgrading of existing or planned exhibits as appropriate.  Assists in exhibit design and renovations
  9. Oversees capture, restraint and transport of animals.
  10. Maintains detailed records on animal behavior, physical condition, reproduction, genealogy, facility condition and prepares comprehensive reports for departmental collection management staff, etc. Maintains animal inventory and initiates TRACKS record entries.
  11. May assume leadership role in executing the zoo's established animal escape procedure.  Responds to emergencies, takes control of the situation and sees it through the closure.
  12. May be trained in the use of all the zoo's capture equipment including but not limited to firearms, dart gun, and anesthetic agents.
  13. Oversees adherence to departmental and institutional policies and procedures -- enforces and assists with updates of established animal handling and related safety guidelines. 
  14. Works with curator to update all departmental documents including, but not limited to, collection plan, breeding and rearing protocols, and budget for the department.  With minimal oversight, manages department budget.
  15. Participates in AZA programs (such as population management) and other related professional organizations.
  16. Collaboratively, along with the Behavioral Enrichment Manager, oversee the department’s enrichment and operant conditioning programs.


  1. May substitute for curator in his/her absence
  2. May serve on the Safety Committee or other zoo committees
  3. May attend regional, national or international conferences
  4. May be called on to represent the zoo to external donor, community, scientific, and government groups
    • Other duties as assigned to maintain efficient and quality zoo operations


  1. Ability to remain motivated with a high degree of autonomy, while providing clear leadership direction to the department
  2. Strong interpersonal skills which foster a team approach to management, with the ability to mentor, motivate and coach direct reports
  3. Demonstrated ability to handle variety of avian species and comprehensive knowledge of capture and restraint techniques, with the ability to train staff on these techniques
  4. Comprehensive  knowledge avian artificial incubation and hand-rearing techniques
  5. Comprehensive knowledge of animal behavior and natural history; common environmental enrichment and animal training practices; biology and related subjects, specifically as it relates to avian taxa
  6. Comprehensive knowledge of animal behavior as an indication of general health, reproductive potential and well being
  7. Knowledge of occupational hazards involved and the safe work practices to employ while in proximity of potentially dangerous animals
  8. Comprehensive knowledge of materials, methods, tools and equipment used in cleaning operations
  9. Highly developed skill in making thorough observations and documenting observations
  10. Ability to keep comprehensive and accurate records according to established procedures
  11. Ability to both give and follow oral and written directions effectively 
  12. Ability to organize tasks and time to ensure timely completion of all projects
  13. Strong oral and written communication skills
  14. Demonstrated good judgment
  15. Ability to work in any of the assigned animal areas fulfilling all requirements of the title  
  16. Ability to exercise sound judgment in analyzing animal behavior problems or emergency situations, and to respond with appropriate action
  17. Ability to work with and be comfortable around potentially dangerous and unpredictable animal species
  18. Ability to work with potentially dangerous machinery, restraint devices and toxic chemicals and/or drugs
  19. Ability to interact courteously, respectfully and productively with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, zoo visitors and general public
  20. Knowledge of modern aviculture techniques and practices in a zoological setting, including basic nutrition and veterinary topics
  21. Knowledge of AZA avian programs 


A Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences or a closely related discipline is required.  An advanced degree in Biological Sciences or closely related discipline is preferred.


Successful candidates likely to have 3- 5 years experience in routine animal husbandry as in a zoo, aquarium or closely related field; and at least 1-2 years experience in a supervisory position.


  1. Ability to remain on feet for long periods of time
  2. Ability to regularly perform a variety of physical tasks that include but are not limited to climbing, bending, stooping, kneeling, twisting, reaching, crawling
  3. Physical strength, including ability to frequently move up to fifty (50) pounds
  4. Ability to work in small, confined spaces
  5. Ability to work in all weather conditions
  6. Ability to wear requisite Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that may include rubber/latex gloves, steel-toed boots/shoes, face shields, eye goggles
  7. No allergy related to plants or animals that may interfere with the ability to work
  8. No impairment of sight, smell, hearing, touch balance and ability of movement that might interfere with ability to work
  9. Ability to maintain immune response to exposure to infectious and parasitic diseases
  10. Risk exposure to fairly predictable and controllable hazards associated with wild animals and zoonotic diseases


Available to work all necessary hours, including weekends, holidays, special events and all shifts.  Regularly scheduled rotational weekend on duty assignments. Available to attend training sessions and conferences as needed.  Non-infectious status for TB. Valid driver's license with a good driving record.

How to Apply

Please apply online at: Please put job name in subject line of email.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

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