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Lead Animal Ambassador Keeper

Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum And Aquarium
Springfield, United States Posted: May 12, 2023

Job Overview: 
Wonders of Wildlife is Growing! We are seeking a dynamic and experienced LEAD ANIMAL KEEPER to join our Ambassador Animal team! This individual will help train and mentor a dynamic group of keepers while assisting with the growth of the Ambassador Animal area. This individual ensures and promotes effective, efficient care of the department’s animal collection and oversees the daily activities of the Ambassador Animal staff.
Essential Functions:
  •  Primary focused on the day to day management of the team and assigned exhibits.
  •  Must demonstrate strong leadership skills, and extensive experience and knowledge.
  •  Practices good judgment in decision-making as related to animal care, emergencies, and projects particularly in the absence of Curatorial Staff.
  •  First contact for staff who need guidance with personal issues or other problems and is considered the point person for the team.
  •  Acts as a mentor for less experience staff.
  •  Strives to build and maintain a cooperative attitude and working relationships with colleagues and other departments associated with Wonders of Wildlife.
  • Organizes daily and weekly operations of the team’s projects and goals, including creating and maintenance of their areas standard operating procedures.
  •  Participates in Vet Rounds weekly and Animal Welfare Meetings quarterly, follows up on welfare concerns in a timely fashion. Aids in creating Action Plans for welfare concerns and ensures plan is followed with the team.
  •  Manages the Internship program for their assigned area, including hiring, and training of new interns.
  •  Assists in departmental hiring for their assigned team.
  •  Ensures daily tasks are completed by the team including TRACKS entry and chores, first step in approval of diets, enrichment, husbandry changes and work order requests.
  •  Plays an active role with acquisitions and dispositions, including up to date ICP’s for their assigned area.
  •  Actively involved in AZA and other internal and external conservation projects.
MINIMUM Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education:
  •  BS in biology or related field or equivalent experience.
  •  6 years of experience in a facility working with captive mammal, birds, fresh/saltwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.
  •  Extensive knowledge of the disposition, habits, food requirements and cleaning needs of a diverse animal collection.
  •  General knowledge of wildlife management, conservation, hunting, fishing, education, and public speaking preferred.
  •  Working knowledge of operant conditioning, environmental enrichment, and Raptor husbandry
  •  Experience supervising interns and/or volunteers.
  •  Experience shaping animal behaviors using operant conditioning.
  •  Requires walking/standing approximately 75% of the time, sitting 10% of the time, forward bending and crouching 15% of the time, lifting up to 50 lbs.
  •  Requires proficiency with Personal Computer (P.C.) hardware and contemporary software including Microsoft Office Products.
  •  Requires capability of performing essential job functions in holding areas, exhibit spaces and mechanical rooms where spaces are small and tight, and in office environments with climate control and good lighting.
  •  May require immunizations depending on animal collection, this could include TB testing and rabies.
Preferred experience
  •  8+ years’ experience working with ambassador animals
  •  Experience training and working with Birds of Prey in an education outreach setting.
  • Current scuba certification.
  • A thorough understanding of life support systems and water quality parameters for aquatic species.
We offer the following benefits by joining our team:
  • Store/Attraction employee discounts
  • Medical, Vision, Dental, Company Paid Life Insurance, LTD, STD, 401(k)
  • Paid Time Off

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