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Animal Care Manager - Training

St. Louis Aquarium
St. Louis, United States Posted: January 20, 2024

The St. Louis Aquarium is building a reputation as a leader in providing interactive opportunities to guests in order to connect them more closely to nature. This position is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations in the Aquarium’s Ambassador Animal collection, a key role in a key department to achieving the Aquarium’s vision.  Primary responsibilities include the behavioral conditioning, care, wellbeing and management of all ambassador animals under the facility’s care as well as occasionally aquatic animals as appropriate; positive management of all staff within the training team; leading public presentations with the facility’s wide variety of animals; and maintenance of all ambassador animal habitats..  Additionally, this position is responsible for the continual development of enrichment programs within the facility; and continually developing the skills of the training staff.

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Manage, support and supervise all staff within the training team to ensure highest level of safety, courtesy, education, efficiency and operational readiness at all times.
  • Develop and train animal behavior and enrichment activities, including carrying out public presentations and interactive programs consistent with the facility’s philosophy and procedures.
  • Manage activities to maintain positive representation to professional agencies, institutions and various committees.
  • Ensure compliance with health and safety standards in accordance with local municipality, state and federal rules and regulations.
  • Ensure animal care and habitats meet compliance of facility specific policies and procedures.
  • Mentor the training team to build confidence and success.
  • Manage the schedule of training team to ensure adequate staffing levels are maintained for all animal husbandry needs and public presentations.
  • Monitor the training team inventory and departmental expenditure in order to reduce loss/waste, control costs and accurately communicate expenses.
  • Proactively assist in the implementation of new habitats and educational opportunities in order to maximize revenues and guest experience.
  • Maintain up-to-date electronic records on animal health, water quality, system maintenance, system checks, and stock reports.
  • Monitor and identify the effectiveness of habitats, including comprehensive review and improvement of animal habitats and animal care standards.
  • Monitor and identify animal health concerns, disease diagnosis and water quality concerns.
  • Communicate to Executive Director, veterinary, and water quality staff any animal health concerns to develop and implement a care and treatment plan.
  • Manage and maintain animal behaviors in line with veterinary health check requirements. 
  • Assist in the development and implementation of policy and procedure documents.
  • Manage and control department and facility objectives and key performance indicators.
  • Manage emergency situations to minimize damage, loss or injury to guests, team members, animals or company property.
  • Assist in the preparation of daily reports for all Life Sciences Department activities.
  • In collaboration with Guest Experience Department and the Aquarium Foundation, ensure habitats and programs engage, educate and entertain diverse audiences.
  • Work closely with the Aquarium Foundation to ensure volunteers and educators provide exemplary guest service and engagement.
  • Perform dive requirements.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • The individual must possess the following abilities to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, using some or a combination of the abilities.
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time.
  • Ability to read, listen and communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to access and accurately input information using a moderately complex computer system.
  • Hearing and visual ability to observe and detect signs of emergency situations.
  • Requires the ability to perform the physical, visual and hearing requirements in the working conditions below.
  • Upon employment all team members are required to comply with the standards, rules and regulations, which may be established by the Company and updated from time-to-time.
  • Team members who violate property rules or have irregular attendance will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
  • The leisure business functions seven days a week. Due to the seasonal nature of the industry, team members may be required to work varying schedules, weekends, holidays and overtime to reflect the business needs of the property.
  • Team members may also be required to attend group and/or department meetings in addition to the work shift as necessary.
  • This job description is not an exclusive or exhaustive list of all job functions that a team member in this position may be asked to perform.
Experience Required
  • Five years + experience with care and training of mammals and birds required.
  • Two years + in a similar management role required. Certified Diver required.
  • First Aid, Emergency O2, and AED certification required.
  • Degree in wildlife/marine biology or relevant work experience required.
  • Proven aptitude for developing compelling habitats preferred.
  • Experienced animal biologist/aquarist with a strong background in reptiles, amphibians, birds and small mammals required.
  • Experience in the care of flora and fauna in a public aquarium setting.
  • Experience working with relevant authorities and accrediting associations.
  • Competency with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Experience managing large teams required.
  • Exceptional leadership skills and proven experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience managing departmental budgets preferred.
  • Strong listening, presentation and decision-making skills.
  • Creative problem solver who thrives when presented with a challenge.
  • Energetic and eager to tackle new projects and ideas.
  • Insurance benefits, PTO, free parking, free food on shift, employee discounts

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