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Animal Care Specialist - Aquarium [Full-Time]

San Antonio Zoo
San Antonio, United States Posted: March 30, 2024

Choosing where to grow your career has a major impact on your professional and personal life, so it’s equally important you know that the place you choose to work at will support and guide you. With a diversity of passionate people, San Antonio Zoo is a place where you can collaborate with others securing a future for wildlife.

The Impact You’ll Make in this Role
  • As an Animal Care Specialist with our Aquarium department, you will perform a wide variety of tasks related to providing proper handling, care, maintenance of fishes and other aquatic vertebrae, exhibit areas, buildings, enclosures, shelters, and service areas. 
  • You will be responsible for ensuring suitable medical treatments of zoo animals following instructions of Zoo Veterinarians, daily cleaning and maintenance of aquarium enclosures and service areas.
  • As an Aquarium Animal Care Specialist, you will have the opportunity to tap into your curiosity and collaborate with some of the most innovative and diverse people in San Antonio. Here, you will make an impact by:
Daily Care
  • General husbandry and daily care of assigned animals, including preparing and distributing approved animal diets.
  • Inspect, clean, and maintain both exhibit and off-exhibit areas.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to maintain, train, and troubleshoot complex animal behavior daily.
  • Maintain detailed daily records on assigned animals.
  • Knowledge of safety SOP, safety concerns, and reporting protocols.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assist other team members with their animal-related goals and challenges.
  • All work must perform the following industry best practices, safety protocols, standards, and guidelines established by San Antonio Zoo, governing agencies, and regulatory/accrediting bodies.
  • Upholds all company policies as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures, Team Member Handbook, and Code of Business Conduct.
  • Consistently exhibit an attitude of service inside and outside of the zoo, showing hospitality to all.
  • Be fully committed to the mission of San Antonio Zoo to create awareness that inspires action to care for the wild world we steward and the animals we protect.
Behavioral Observations
  • Daily behavioral observation, animal training, and utilize operant conditioning techniques to maintain current behaviors and build a new repertoire in experienced and naïve animals.
  • Increase the behavioral repertoire of all assigned animals.
  • Continually observe and evaluate animal behavior and conditions for animals in the department and report any problems to the appropriate manager.
  • Maintain detailed daily records on assigned animals.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in analyzing animal behavior concerns or emergencies, and to respond with the appropriate action
  • Ability to work safely around delicate, wild, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous animals.
  • Delicacy to handle, examine the ability to move without harming sick, injured, or small animals.
  • Sufficient strength, agility, and coordination to net, capture, and/or restrain animals of various sizes.
  • For the safety of our internal and external guests, you must secure animals, their enclosures, and other associated structures.
Animal Enrichment
  • Propose and perform species-specific enrichment.
  • Understanding of principles and application of operant conditioning training for advanced husbandry behaviors and public demonstrations
  • Assist veterinary staff in the treatment of the collection of animals.
  • Act as a liaison between vet staff, leadership, and the aquatics team.
  • Assist in animal procedures including, but not limited to, translocations, veterinary practices, and crating.
  • Effectively document and communicate issues or concerns to team members and management.
  • Participate in or assist with the capture and restraint of a variety of taxa, including dangerous species—guide fellow team members in safety practices, improved techniques, and procedures for handling or restraining animals.
Creating Community
  • Engage with the Zoo guests at exhibits, staff, volunteers, and VIP programs and training demonstrations, and/or shows.
  • Promote active guest engagement through interaction with guests during both formal and informal discussions, during events, and as otherwise assigned.
  • Staff Management and Development
  • Study-specific reference materials pertinent to animal care, behavior, and natural history as assigned.
  • Participate in operant conditioning and husbandry programs
  • Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relations with fellow employees.
Other Responsibilities
  • Performs other work-related duties as required and assigned.
Your Skills and Expertise 
  • To set you up for success in this role from day one, the San Antonio Zoo recommends the following skills/qualifications:
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills are preferred.
  • Knowledge of freshwater and marine husbandry.
  • Knowledge of water quality and chemistry.
  • Knowledge/familiarity with AZA accreditation standards, code of ethics, and representative husbandry standards. Familiar with AZA or other captive population management programs.
  • Efficient computer skills with basic knowledge of software and applications.
  • Associate’s degree or higher in wildlife/fisheries management, zoology, biology, or related field preferred.
  • Successful candidates must complete a pre-employment National Sex Offender Search, Criminal Background Check, and Drug Screen.
  • We enjoy year-round operation for all staff, must be available days, nights, weekends, and occasional after-hour assignments.
  • The San Antonio Zoo is an equal opportunity employer.  San Antonio Zoo will not discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.
  • We offer robust benefits including medical, dental, vision and 403B. As well as Zoo memberships and Zoo discounts throughout the park.
  • $15.50/HR

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