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Curator of Ambassador Programs

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Draper, United States Posted: August 25, 2023

This is a new position in support of the growth and expansion of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium’s Education and Ambassador Animal programs. 

The Curator of Ambassador Animals will oversee all aspects of the Ambassador Animal Program including: a diverse collection of animals used in on-site and remote education programs; ambassador animals trained for guest engagement and special events; and a new bird of prey program. Responsibilities range from provision of excellent animal care and welfare, management of Husbandry staff to provide the same, training and oversight of Education Staff to ensure proper handling and transport procedures, and development of new guest engagement programs leveraging ambassador animals. The Curator will collaborate with Department Directors as needed, monitor and drive the institutional Collection Plan for their area and support the Director of  Husbandry in overseeing all animal programs. The Curator will help with crisis management, safety drills and participate in safety meetings with fellow department representatives when required.  

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Zoology, Biology or related field, or comparable experience. 
  • A minimum of 5 years of supervisory experience in a zoological environment with a broad range of taxa including raptors and ambassador animals. 
  • A minimum of 3 years working with raptors required. Falconry and free flight experience preferred. 
Critical Skills/Competencies: 
  • Knowledge of raptor care and training 
  • Awareness of AZA ambassador animal standards and protocols 
  • Ability to successfully manage a living animal collection  
  • Experience leveraging animal training to develop guest engagement programs 
  • Experience managing an annual budget to meet departmental goals 
  • Experience managing, mentoring, and coaching staff in a supervisory capacity 
  • Knowledge of concepts, principles and practices of zoo record keeping methods and collection management standards  
  • Working knowledge of ZIMS preferred 
  • Possess excellent communication skills  
  • As a salaried position, Curator-level staff may be expected to take on-call responsibilities on occasion 
  • Ability to drive or learn to operate aquarium vehicles, including obtaining a Utah driver’s license  
Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 
  • Act as a staff liaison for the Director of Zoological Operations and Veterinarian in regard to animal care and health. 
  • Develop and ensure standards of animal care policies and procedures for all animals within the Ambassador Animal Program collection. 
  • Evaluate, approve and oversee all animal enrichment and operant conditioning programs. 
  • Lead by example to animal care staff; providing encouragement, coaching, training, mentoring and opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally.  
  • Lead by example to the animal care staff in regard to professionalism and personal accountability. 
  • Represent the Aquarium at professional meetings, conferences or in the media 
  • Work with Education managers to train education staff to handle animals 
  • Coordinate animals going out on programs 
  • Train animals to be comfortable with handling and behaviors associated with handling (ex: voluntarily crating).  
  • Design and implement a presentation script for a public raptor presentation. 
  • Train raptors in a way that aligns with the presentation while ensuring animal and human safety, and best animal care standards. 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director of Zoological Operations.  
  •  Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: 
  • Valid Utah driver’s license.  
  • CPR/First Aid certification, or the ability to obtain it in-house upon employment.  
  • Must possess or be willing to obtain current, negative TB test results.  
Physical Demands of the Job: 
  • Must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 lbs. and occasionally lift and/or move up to 75 pounds, stand for long periods of time and drive aquarium vehicles.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to use hands and fingers to handle, reach or feel and manipulate objects or controls.
  • The employee is frequently required to sit, walk distances, climb, balance, stoop, bend, kneel, crouch and stand for long periods for time.  

While this job description attempts to describe the essential functions of the position, it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned. It does not restrict management’s right to assign or reassign duties or responsibilities to this job at any time. The overall work environment while performing this job includes exposure to weather conditions and the noise level is usually moderate. The employee is expected to adhere to all policies and to act as a role model in the adherence to the policies. 

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. LLPA does not discriminate on the basis of disability, veteran status or any other basis protected class under federal, state or local laws. 

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