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Advanced Animal Care Specialist - Ambassador Animals Team (Full Time)

Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium
Kansas City, United States Posted: March 29, 2024


The Advanced Animal Care Specialist is responsible for performing routine work assignments involving the daily care and wellbeing of animals within their area. This position also performs daily maintenance of animal habitats and holding areas, as well as interacts with the public to provide information related to the Zoo & Aquarium’s animal collection. Lastly, the Advanced Animal Care Specialist initiates and carries out new training proposals and behaviors, as well as assists with the training of new animal care staff and volunteers. 

  • This position will work with the Ambassador Animals Team, which is responsible for the daily husbandry and training of the Zoo & Aquarium’s ambassador animal collection, as well as live performances for audiences of all sizes. 
  • The Ambassador Animals Team consists of two ambassador animal buildings and one free-flight bird area, which includes a wide range of animals, including:  pigeons, macaws, Harris's hawk, turkey vulture, African crested porcupine, red river hog, African serval, southern ground hornbill, guinea fowl, red-tailed hawk, African grey parrot, Amazon parrots, hedgehog, chinchilla, boa constrictor, rainbow boa, green iguana, dart frogs, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. 
POSITION DUTIES & ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:
  • Duties
  • Percentage
  • Performs daily animal husbandry activities, including:
  • Preparing diets and delivering animal feedings.
  • Administering medications and assisting with various animal health procedures.
  • Observing, logging, and reporting issues concerning animal behavior, health, and wellbeing.
  • Training animals for all types of behaviors, including husbandry, enrichment and medical.
  • Initiating and carrying out new training proposals and behaviors.
  • Creating and implementing various enrichment items/strategies.
  • Assisting with the training of new animal care staff, interns, and volunteers as needed.
  • 40%
  • Completes daily maintenance of habitats and holding areas, including:
  • Cleaning habitats, holding areas, and staff areas.
  • Performing minor repairs and improvements.
  • Reporting maintenance issues and potential safety hazards to appropriate manager.
  • Assisting with the training of new animal care staff, interns, and volunteers as needed.
  • Performing lawn and other horticultural maintenance within the habitats.
  • 35%
  • Maintains daily reports and other required records.
  • 10%
  • Interacts with Zoo & Aquarium guests and the public, including:
  • Performing various animal chats and animal presentations, as well as assisting with special events related to assigned area.
  • Leading tours within area, as assigned.
  • Engaging with daily visitors to answer questions about the Zoo & Aquarium and animals.
  • 10%
  • Assisting with and traveling for animal shipments, as needed.
  • 5%
  • This position may at times be requested to perform other duties or special projects as assigned, which are in the best interest of the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium. 
  • Additionally, specific duties and percentages may vary slightly between each Animal Care Team.
  • All employees must be able to perform the essential functions of this position satisfactorily and, upon request, reasonable accommodations will be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job, absent undue hardship.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
EDUCATION & FORMAL TRAINING:
  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, zoology, or related field desired.
  • Applicable experience can be substituted in place of formal education on a year-for-year basis for candidates not currently holding a degree.   
EXPERIENCE:
  • 4 years of hands-on experience in the care and management of similar species is desired.
  • Knowledge of animal husbandry, behavior, procedures for proper care and training of zoo and aquarium animals.
  • Strong observational skills to recognize and evaluate conditions of animal health, diets, and behavior.
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, required.
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions, including procedures for care and maintenance of animals, habitats, service and holding areas.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
OTHER MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:
  • Must have valid driver’s license.
  • Must have or be able to obtain negative TB test.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds and have sufficient mobility to ensure a safe work environment.
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to manage stress, endure high risk situations when feeding, transferring, or restraining animals, and make immediate decisions concerning the safety of animals, staff or the public.
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, holidays, and evening hours, in all weather extremes.
  • Must pass a background and drug screening.
Salary
  • $17.50/Hour

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