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Advanced Animal Care Specialist - Ruwenzori Team (Full Time)

Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium
Kansas City, United States Posted: October 25, 2023

The Advanced Animal Care Specialist is responsible for performing routine work assignments, involving the daily care and welfare of animals within their area. This position also performs daily maintenance of exhibit and holding areas, as well as interacts with the public to provide information related to the Zoo & Aquarium’s animal collection. This position requires prior experience and advanced knowledge of animal care. This position will also have latitude to initiate and carry out new training proposals and behaviors, as well as assist with the training of new animal care staff and volunteers.  

This position will work with the Ruwenzori team, which is responsible for the daily husbandry of a variety of African animals, including chimpanzees, river hippopotamus, African spurred tortoises, leopard tortoises, Guinea baboons, African painted dogs, yellow-billed storks and crowned cranes.

Performs daily animal husbandry activities, including:40%
  • Preparing diets and delivering animal feedings.
  • Giving medications and assisting with various animal health procedures.
  • Observing, logging, and reporting issues concerning animal behavior, health and welfare.
  • 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.
  • Assists with the training of new animal care staff, interns, and volunteers as needed. 
Completes daily maintenance of exhibits and holding areas, including:35%
  • Cleaning exhibits, holding stalls and staff areas.
  • Performing minor repairs and improvements.
  • Reporting maintenance issues and potential safety hazards to appropriate manager.
  • Assists with the training of new animal care staff, interns, and volunteers as needed.
  • Maintains daily reports and other required records. 10%
Interacts with Zoo & Aquarium guests and the public, including:10%
  • Performing various animal chats and animal shows, 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 and animals. 
  • 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. 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, animal science, zoology or related field preferred.
  • High school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate accepted with prior experience in similar position.
  • At least 4 years’ related Zoo or animal husbandry experience required.
  • Knowledge of animal husbandry, behavior and procedures for proper care and training of exotic animals.
  • Strong observation skills to recognize and evaluate conditions of animal health, diets and behavior. 
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, preferred.
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions, including procedures for care and maintenance of animals, exhibit, service and holding areas.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • 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 tolerate 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 willing to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, holidays and evening hours, in all weather extremes.
  • Must pass a background and drug screening.

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