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Keeper Madagascar

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
Omaha, United States Posted: May 17, 2024

Summary: The Madagascar Keeper provides daily husbandry and behavioral management for all birds, reptiles, amphibians, aquatics and mammals, with an emphasis on prosimians, within Madagascar. The Keeper is expected to perform as a team mentor and communicate regularly with the area Supervisor and Lead Keeper regarding animal management, facility maintenance, and staff development. They will assist in departmental work assignments and the development of departmental goals and plans. Aid in establishing work priorities for the department, especially related to husbandry and welfare. Ensure compliance with all zoo policies and procedures. Help cultivate an understanding of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium’s mission to inspire, educate, and engage people to serve as lifelong stewards for the conservation of animals and their habitats, while creating a feeling of purpose for the members of the team.

Duties and Responsibilities/Essential Functions (include but not limited to):
  • Direct involvement in maintaining records including ZIMS animal records, daily reports, enrichment logs, training logs, welfare assessments, and other required building SOPs.
  • Demonstrate the initiative and expertise to regularly find ways to make improvements within the department.
  • Support the Madagascar Supervisor with day-to-day departmental duties.
  • Expected to be an active department mentor and may be called upon to cover department function and emergency response coordination in the absence of area supervisor and the lead keeper.
  • Assist Supervisor with animal husbandry and welfare protocols and adherence to regulations according to OHDZA, AZA, and USDA/APHIS.
  • Knowledge of all functions of the Madagascar building including animal enclosures/habitats and overall building/grounds maintenance, including ability to problem solve when issues arise.
  • Carries out all aspects of the daily care of assigned animals including cleaning, feeding, exhibit maintenance, and general upkeep of support facilities.
  • Observes behavior of animals on both a day-to-day and long-term basis; notes any unusual behavior, signs of illness or injury, change in appetite, start of breeding cycle, or lack of compatibility with group members and reports same to Supervisor; assists in administering medication or other treatments for illness or injury as directed.
  • Answers questions or gives information regarding animals, zoo operations, and zoo exhibits to the visiting public; maintains crowd control when animals are loose or being moved; observes the public to prevent malicious acts which could result in harm to the public, or zoo animals or loss of zoo property.
  • Assists in the crating and uncrating of animals; catches and restrains as necessary; may assist in transfer between locations
  • Maintains clean and organized exhibits, holding areas, service areas and equipment.
  • Prepare, store and distribute food according to established feeding practices and diet sheets amounts; monitor feeding habits and report any changes or abnormalities; monitor food levels to assure sufficient quantities.
  • Administers prescribed medications, supplements, or treatments under the guidance of the veterinary and supervisory staff.
  • Maintains daily reports, logs, training and enrichment records, research or veterinary records, as appropriate and according to established guidelines; requires basic skills with Microsoft Office software.
  • Understands and applies a practical understanding of operant conditioning as it relates to the daily management of species under their care.
  • Understands and applies the basic principles of animal enrichment as part of the daily management of species under their care.
  • As appropriate, maintains water quality through filtration, balance of chemical elements, and sanitation methods for aquatic or semi-aquatic animal species. Maintain pumps, filters, filtration devices and various testing equipment.
  • As appropriate, maintains live exhibit plantings to enhance exhibit aesthetics; eliminates weeds and toxic plants from animal enclosures.
  • In conjunction with the Integrated Pest Management Specialist, may assist in pest control through the use of exclusion or traps.
  • Identifies potential maintenance or safety issues and reports them to the Supervisor.
  • Participates in keeper chats, tours, animal presentations or demonstrations, and/or other public interactions as requested by the Supervisor.
  • Provide work direction and assist in training interns and volunteers as assigned.
  • Maintain a safe environment for all employees, animals, and guests. This includes following zoo two keeper policies, personal protective equipment, and equipment operation. Employee must have a valid state driver’s license. Also follow OSHA standards regarding work place safety.
  • Exhibits good teamwork and communication skills both verbal and written within the home team and when working with other teams or departments.
  • Perform quality work within deadlines with or without direct supervision.
  • Interact professionally with other employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Work effectively as a team contributor on all assignments.
  • Work independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with other employees and organizations.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Expected to have or develop the appropriate level of knowledge of the natural history and zoo housed wildlife management of Malagasy birds, reptiles, amphibians, aquatics and mammals, with an emphasis on prosimians, to ensure the best possible physical and psychological well-being of the animals in their care.
  • Exotic/zoo animal husbandry experience required.
  • Operant conditioning and enrichment experience required.
  • Excellent communication skills. Public speaking experience preferred.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, as well as knowing when to delegate tasks.
  • Requires excellent time management and staff/volunteer supervision skill sets.
  • Creative, positive, and self-motivated
Work Environment/Physical Demands
  • Will sometimes work extended/odd hours including weekends, holidays and some night programs.
  • Must be able to travel long distances across the Zoo. On foot and on motor vehicles.
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to sit, kneel, bend, twist, stoop, crawl, reach above head and climb.
  • Will lift, push, pull, and/or move up to 50 pounds and occasionally up to 80 pounds using safe and proper lifting methods.
Education and Experience
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Animal Science, Behavior or related field is preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in an AZA accredited organization.
  • Proven knowledge of basic training techniques, theory and application.
  • Internal candidates should have completed Trainer Level II or Animal Trainer Materials and Objectives or be working towards completion.
  • External candidates must complete Animal Trainer Materials and Objectives within 9 months of start date.
  • Internal candidates should have completed ICS 100 and 700.
  • The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification.
  • It is not designed to contain, nor is it to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and objectives required of employees assigned to this job.
  • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC.

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