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Senior Ambassador Animal Trainer

St. Louis Aquarium
St. Louis, United States Posted: March 24, 2024

This position is responsible for the day-to-day husbandry operations within the Ambassador Animal department of the Aquarium.  Primary responsibilities include the behavioral conditioning, care and wellbeing of all ambassador animals under the facility’s care; maintenance of all habitats; and positive team approach within the Life Sciences Department. Additionally, this position is responsible for leading public presentations with the facility’s wide variety of ambassador animals, which include small mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates.  

Duties & Responsibilities 
  • Supervise and undertake daily operations within the Life Sciences Department to ensure highest level of safety, courtesy, education, efficiency and operational readiness at all times.
  • Develop and train animal behavior and enrichment activities as directed by the Animal Care Manager.
  • Mentor Trainers to ensure behavioral conditioning protocols and habitats meet compliance of facility specific policies and procedures.
  • Hold public animal chats, training, and enrichment demonstrations consistent with the facility’s philosophy and procedures on an assigned schedule.
  • Assist with animal/guest interactions and encounters on a regular basis.
  • Assist in area training for new employees.
  • Assist in the preparation and operation of special events after normal business hours as needed.
  • Maintain up-to-date electronic records on animal health, water quality, system maintenance, system checks and stock reports.
  • Monitor and identify animal health concerns, disease diagnosis and water quality concerns.
  • Communicate to the Animal Care Manager, veterinary and water quality staff any animal health concerns to develop and implement a care and treatment plan.
  • Maintain positive representation to professional agencies, institutions and various committees.
  • Comply with health and safety standards in accordance with local municipality, state and federal rules and regulations. 
  • Provide animal care and ensure habitats meet compliance of facility-specific policies and procedures.
  • Perform duties in order to reduce loss/waste, control costs and accurately communicate expenses.
  • Proactively assist in the implementation of new habitats and educational opportunities in order to maximize guest experience.
  • Assist in emergency situations to minimize damage, loss or injury to guests, team members, animals or company property.
  • In collaboration with all departments, ensure habitats and programs engage, educate and entertain diverse audiences. 
  • Work closely with all departments to ensure volunteers and educators provide exemplary guest service and engagement. 
  • Perform daily dive requirements.
  • Other duties as assigned by Animal Care Manager, Training.
  • Three years + experience with animal husbandry required;
  • training animals in a show or presentation capacity highly preferred.
  • Proficient in operant conditioning in a progressively managed facility and implementation of complex, behavior-based enrichment.
  • Open Water Certification or ability to obtain within six months of hire required.
  • First Aid/CPR, Emergency O2 Provider, and AED certification required. 
  • Degree in wildlife/marine biology or relevant work experience required. 
  • Background in fresh and saltwater aquariums, reptiles, amphibians, birds or small mammals required. 
  • Experience in the care of flora and fauna in a public aquarium setting preferred. 
  • Competency with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong listening, presentation and decision-making skills.
  • The individual must possess the following abilities to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, using some or a combination of the abilities.
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time.
  • Ability to read, listen and communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing. 
  • Ability to access and accurately input information using a moderately complex computer system.
  • Hearing and visual ability to observe and detect signs of emergency situations. 
  • Requires the ability to perform the physical, visual and hearing requirements in the working conditions below.
  • Upon employment all team members are required to comply with the standards, rules and regulations, which may be established by the Company and updated from time-to-time.
  • Team members who violate property rules or have irregular attendance will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
  • The leisure business functions seven days a week.
  • Due to the seasonal nature of the industry, team members may be required to work varying schedules, weekends, holidays and overtime to reflect the business needs of the property.
  • Team members may also be required to attend group and/or department meetings in addition to the work shift as necessary. 
  • This job description is not an exclusive or exhaustive list of all job functions that a team member in this position may be asked to perform.
  • Salaried

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