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Animal Care Team Lead - Baobab Team (Full Time)

Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium
Kansas City, United States Posted: April 28, 2024

The Animal Care Team Lead is responsible for assisting the Animal Care Manager with the overall management of their assigned area. This position performs routine work assignments involving the daily care and wellbeing of animals within their area. The Animal Care Team Lead also performs daily maintenance of habitats and holding areas and interacts with the public to provide information related to the Zoo & Aquarium’s animal collection. Lastly, this position assists with the day-to-day management of the team, including personnel management, creating, and maintaining area standard operating procedures, and overseeing their assigned area in the absence of the team’s Animal Care Manager.

  • This position will work with the Baobab team, which includes a wide range of animals, including: western lowland gorilla, black mangabeys, red-capped mangabeys, amur leopard, duiker, dik-dik, red river hogs, warthogs, cheetahs, bateleur eagles, lesser kudu, hooded vultures, saddle-billed storks, hamerkop, hadada ibis, hottentot teal, marbled teal, silvery cheeked and southern ground hornbills, taveta weavers and aldabra tortoises.
  • Duties
  • Percentage
  • Performs daily animal husbandry activities, including:
  • 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 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.
  • 50%
Completes daily maintenance of habitats and holding areas, including:
  • Cleaning habitats, holding stalls and staff areas.
  • Performing minor repairs and improvements.
  • Reporting maintenance issues and potential safety hazards to appropriate manager.
  • Training new animal care staff, interns, and volunteers on daily maintenance activities.
  • Performing lawn and other horticultural maintenance within the habitats.
  • 15%
Supports Animal Care Manager in the day-to-day management of team and performs various leadership duties, including:
  • Assisting with all aspects of personnel management, including interviewing, scheduling, coaching, evaluating, and training of new animal care staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Training staff on new animal behaviors.
  • Assisting with the creation of area standard operating procedures and various animal management plans, ensuring compliance with AZA and USDA guidelines.
  • Overseeing area in absence of Animal Care Manager, with support of area curator.
  • Eligible to participate in or serve as a representative for various AZA programs, after meeting AZA requirements.
  • Eligible to apply for various SSP coordinator/studbook keeper positions.
  • 15%
  • 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.
  • Representing the Zoo & Aquarium via media relations, upon completion of training with marketing staff.
  • Engaging with daily visitors to answer questions about the Zoo and animals.
  • 5%
Assists with and travels for animal shipments, as assigned, including:
  • Participating in inter-institutional training and communication regarding incoming or outgoing animals.
  • 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.
  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, zoology or related field strongly desired.
  • High school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate accepted with prior experience in similar position.
  • At least 5 years of related Zoo or animal husbandry experience required.
  • Previous leadership experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of animal husbandry, behavior and 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.
  • 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.

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