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Animal Care Specialist Senior

Odysea Aquarium
Scottsdale, United States Posted: May 12, 2023


As part of the OdySea Aquarium team, this position requires a dedicated individual to take direction from the Curator, Director, and/or General Manager in coordinating, training, and implementing professional husbandry protocols for entire aquatic collection, as well as other related projects and programs.  This position will participate in planning and assist the curator in carrying out all animal care, exhibit maintenance, staff training, acquisition & disposition for the assigned animal collection.  This position requires an individual with a high degree of professional experience in a broad range of specialty areas.  This position requires a proven leader, trainer, and team member, who will uphold the priorities of the position, such as fostering a positive work atmosphere, attention to animal health, exhibit excellence, education and conservation, and excellence in guest experience.   

  • As a member of the Animal Care team, lead by example by being patient, kind, humble, respectful, forgiving, honest, and committed when interacting with one another and guests.
  • Assist the curator and work with Animal Training department to coordinate training animals in husbandry and veterinary behaviors which will facilitate excellent animal management.
  • Provide for the needs of all animals in assigned area through regular feedings, administering treatments as directed by the curator, exhibit maintenance, and environmental enrichment programs.
  • Assure that appropriate records are kept pertaining to the health and behavior of animals, including daily care, training, acquisition/disposition, and enrichment activities.
  • Assist the curator with training the Animal Care team members in developing educational strategies that will lead to delivery of strong conservation messaging and excellence in visitor experience.  
  • Assure that animal food, supplies, and maintenance equipment is ordered and stocked in appropriate amounts, given the needs of the facility and the availability of resources.
  • Interact with veterinarians and Animal Health department in carrying out medical procedures and prescribed protocols.
  • Assist curator in overseeing general maintenance of related work areas and equipment.  All work areas must be maintained as neat and well organized.
  • Interact with life support and engineering to affect repairs of critical life support equipment and complete joint projects.
  • Research and suggests upgrades, enhancements, and changes to exhibit systems as needed to the curator.
  • Maintain advanced knowledge of industry innovations and progressive animal care through professional meetings and conferences, trade journals, and communication with professional colleagues.
  • Help design, develop, and construct new exhibits and/or life support systems. 
  • Helps train new Animal Care team members to assure compliance with established standards and protocols.  
  • Assist in recruitment, evaluation, and selection of new Animal Care team members when needed.  
  • Participate in long and short range departmental planning.
  • Take active role in educating guests with species information and conservation messaging.  Upholds standards of excellence in guest experience.  Participate in education, public relations, and membership programs including facility tours and lectures.
  • Cross train as necessary with other team members within animal care departments.
  • Comply with all safety and security directives, policies, and procedures.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned by Curator and Director. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology or related field required.
  • At least, five years of professional experience at a public zoo, aquarium, or similar institution.  One year of supervisory or team lead experience with demonstrated advanced knowledge and experience in zoological operations and animal care preferred. 
  • Ability to lead and work as part of a team in a constantly changing environment as well as individually, with a minimum of supervision needed.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • SCUBA certification.
  • Successful completion of all pre-employment screenings, including SCUBA dive physical.
  • No history of allergy related to animals or plants, which might interfere with the ability to work.
  • Ability to respond to emergencies on an on-call basis.
  • Willingness to follow all procedures and use of personal protective equipment when necessary, as this position can involve exposure to inclement weather, dust, potentially dangerous/unpredictable animal species, large machinery, restraint devices, and exposure to chemicals.
  • Employee must occasionally lift or move, carry, push, or pull up to 20lbs. 
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time, as well as walk.
  • Ability to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; and reach with hands and arms.
  • Ability to balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, climb stairs, or crawl.
  • Required to frequently talk and hear.
  • No impairment of sight, smell, hearing, touch, balance and agility of movement which might interfere with ability to work.
  • Specific vision requirement for this job include close vision, color vision, depth perception, and the ability to focus.
  • Must be able to take directional cues directly or indirectly.
  • Ability to work in an environment that may be loud at times.
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions, including occasional extreme hot or cold, and wet and/or humid conditions.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions      
Must exemplify core fundamentals of the Employee Promise, which states:
  • I am empowered to take ownership of any opportunity to exceed expectations.
  • I anticipate guest needs and pay attention to the details.
  • I treat all internal and external customers with respect.
  • I am on stage! (Smile)
  • I have an attitude of gratitude.
  • I get it right the first time.
  • I display actions that are moral and ethical.
  • I always provide alternative solutions.
  • I am committed to learning every aspect of our product and services.
  • I use the 10/5 rule, 10 feet I acknowledge my guest’s presence with a smile and at 5 feet. I greet them with a courteous word.                 
  • I use name recognition at every opportunity
  • I take personal responsibility for our surroundings.
  • I am accountable for my tools and resources.
  • I value the contribution of every team member.

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