Animal Care Keeper - Wildlife Programs
Animal Care Keeper – Wildlife Programs – Full Time
Date Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2021 Position Closes: Until filled
Are you inspired to be part of an organization committed to conserving desert plants and animals around the globe? The Living Desert is a mission-based, non-profit desert conservation organization located in the bio-diverse Coachella Valley California. Our expertise is in desert species care and conservation science to save desert species from extinction. Our commitment to provide guests to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens opportunities to educate and engage with best-in-class conservation work and how that work is changing outcomes for desert species every day.
HOW YOU WILL IMPACT OUR MISSION
The Animal Care Keeper – Wildlife Programs will support The Living Desert’s mission of desert conservation through preservation, education, and appreciation by helping the Zoo achieve a forward-thinking version of a modern zoo and inclusive culture. Your enthusiasm will engage our guests and deliver the mission of desert conservation.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Reporting to the Animal Care Curator you will be focused on the Wildlife Programs section of the zoo. This section is comprised of a variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Wildlife Programs keepers demonstrate exceptional public speaking and performance skills to conduct both formal and informal presentations, including scripted amphitheater shows, outreach programs, and private events. This is a key guest interactive position that requires creativity and confidence. Strong communication, flexibility, problem solving, and self-motivation are also necessary skills for this position. Wildlife Programs keepers work together as a strong connected team to deliver uncompromising excellence in animal care, welfare, and guest engagement.
- Must represent The Living Desert in a professional manner, and act as a role model at all times
- Strong observational and communication skills with the ability to accurately report daily information to management and team utilizing all forms--written, oral, and computer programs
- Ability to work with others in a team setting, while maintaining a safe, positive, and productive working environment
- Participates in the daily behavioral husbandry, operant conditioning, and enriching experiences for the ambassador animal collection
- Performance in daily shows and presentations, both on and off site
- Participates in script writing and stage design for show and programming productions
- Application of operant conditioning techniques to accomplish behavior and program goals
- Ability to use critical thinking skills to trouble shoot issues and reveal solutions to move the team forward
- Excellent guest service and communication skills for effective and engaging public presentations
- Daily cleaning of animal habitats, service areas, holding units, and support areas utilizing various tools, instruments, disinfectants; and with the ability to do so safely
- Diet preparation, feeding, medicating, and restocking of supplies as needed and as prescribed
- Keep accurate and detailed records of daily observations of area collection animals containing information regarding behavior, diet intake, fecal output, health, weight, breeding, aggression, enriching experiences, training progress, medical treatments, etc.
- General maintenance and repair of habitats, service areas, and holding units such as: mesh repair, decoration, mister system, shade cloth, netting, fill holes etc.
- Complete monthly containment checks
- Attend and participate in team meetings to discuss the needs of the animal collection and animal staff, resolve challenges, and learn new procedures and policies
- Familiar with AZA and USDA regulations and comply with them
- Ability to remain calm and professional in the event of an emergency or unpredictable situation and follow through until situation is over
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
The Living Desert is seeking candidates with an outgoing, creative, confident, self-motivated team player who is willing to make a significant commitment to the organization. We are looking for individuals with enthusiasm, strong guest engagement skills, energetic stage presence, and the ability to work in a fast-paced labor-intensive environment. They must value fun and have prior experience handling and training animal ambassadors.
SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
- Excellent guest service skills
- Safe work practices and policies
- AA, AS, or higher degree in Zoology, Biology, Animal Science, or other related degree or equivalent of at least two years of exotic animal care experience. Bachelor’s degree preferred
- Preference given to candidates with formal presentation/show and animal training experience
- Will substitute training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skill, and abilities. Generally, one year of full-time exotic animal experience will translate to one year of college
- Valid California driver’s license
- Must be insurable on The Living Desert’s automobile policy
- Standing, walking, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, reaching motions, lifting (up to 50 lbs.)
- Exposure to extreme heat and cold, chemicals, and dust/airborne materials
- Work with potentially dangerous animals (large ungulates, carnivores, venomous reptiles)
- Holiday, evening, weekend work required. Available on as needed basis for emergencies and events
SOME OF THE PERKS YOU WILL ENJOY AS A TEAM MEMBER
- Medical, dental, vision, life, and short-term disability insurance
- Employee Assistance Program
- Family membership to The Living Desert
- Retail and food and beverage discounts
- Duration: Year Round
- Positions available: 2
- Pay: $16.61/hr
TO APPLY FOR THIS POSITION
Send cover letter and three (3) references to Renee Barnett, Animal Care Curator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover letter should include how you will be key in moving the Animal Department forward and how you will move The Living Desert mission forward