The Living Desert
Animal Care Keeper-Wildlife Programs
The Living Desert is seeking a qualified individual to join our Animal Department Team as a Wildlife Programs Animal Care Keeper. This individual will work in a dynamic and innovative team within the following areas; Wildlife Programs, Wildlife on Wheels, and Village Reptiles. This is a key performance position that requires an outgoing, creative, confident, self-motivated team player who is willing to make a significant commitment to the organization. This position requires an enthusiastic individual with strong guest engagement skills, good stage presence, and the ability to work in a fast-paced labor-intensive environment. This individual must value fun and have prior experience handling and training animal ambassadors.
Successful candidates will demonstrate exceptional public speaking and performance skills to conduct formal and informal presentations, including full scripted amphitheater shows. This person will be essential within the area team in delivering uncompromising excellence in animal care, welfare and guest engagement.
Reports to Animal Care Curator. This position also works on a regular basis as an Animal Care Keeper primarily focused but not limited to the amphitheater shows and outreach.
Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Specific Keeper Tasks:
- Participates with the daily behavioral husbandry, training, and enrichment for the ambassador animal collection.
- Perform cleaning and maintenance of assigned habitats and make minor repairs when needed.
- 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, and restocking of feed supplies as needed and as prescribed.
- General maintenance and repair of habitats, service areas, and holding units such as: mesh repair, decoration, mister system, shade cloth, netting, fill holes etc.
- Maintain assigned areas and holding units to ensure animal, keeper and visitor safety, and in good appearance for public viewing at all times.
- Perform in daily shows and presentations, both on and off site.
- Participates in script writing and stage design.
- Knowledge of zoo animal husbandry and principals of operant conditioning.
- Ability to work with potentially dangerous animals.
- Ability to speak in public and give animal presentations both informally and formally.
- Ability to enter accurate animal daily reports using in house computer program.
- Precise observational skills of animal behavior and ability to record intelligently.
- Must have strong organizational and time management skills.
- Ability to give and comprehend written and oral instructions, and to accurately carry out such instructions.
- Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing to all levels of staff.
- Must be a motivated self-starter who needs minimal supervision.
- Must have strong communication skills and the ability to work with others in a team setting.
- Must be capable of emergency response handling to avoid injury to self, others, and animal.
- Ability to remain calm and professional in the event of an unpredictable situation and follow through until situation is over.
- Must represent The Living Desert in a professional manner, and act accordingly at all times.
- Associates or Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, Biology, Animal Science or other related degree or equivalent of at least two years of exotic animal care experience.
- Preference given to candidates with formal presentation/show and animal training experience.
- Highly professional, motivated, forward thinking individual who will build positive working relationships while demonstrating sensitivity to the “mission” of the Zoo.
- Knowledge/familiarity with AZA accreditation standards, code of ethics and representative husbandry standards.
- Ability to effectively communicate with all staff levels, Board, senior and middle management, staff, donors, volunteers and guests.
- Analytical, interpersonal, public relations, presentation and communication skills both verbal and written.
- Valid California driver’s license.
- Must be insurable on The Living Desert’s automobile insurance.
- Standing, walking, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, reaching motions, lifting (up to 50#)
- Exposure to extreme heat, chemicals and dust/airborne materials.
- Works with potentially dangerous animals (large ungulates, carnivores, venomous snakes)
- Holiday, evening, weekend work required. Available on as needed basis for emergencies and events.
- Travel opportunities for occasional conference and workshop if funding available. Some or all expenses paid.
To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must send resume, three (3) references and cover letter to Renee Barnett, Animal Care Curator at email@example.com Cover letter should include how you will be key in moving the Animal Department forward, how you will move The Living Desert mission forward and how you will be instrumental in leading this team. Deadline for submissions: Wednesday September 25, 2019 at 5pm (pst)