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Animal Care Professional, Elephants
Birmingham Zoo - BIRMINGHAM, AL
The Birmingham Zoo is currently seeking applications for an Animal Care Professional in the Elephant Department. Under the direction of the Elephant Manager, the successful candidate will be responsible for providing a high level of animal care to a unique bachelor herd of African elephants.
Primary responsibilities of this position include monitoring animal health, maintaining cleanliness of animal areas, providing environmental and behavioral enrichment, preparing diets, modifying exhibits, maintaining accurate records, and presenting both formally and informally for the public. The candidate must be a motivated self-starter that is enthusiastic and team oriented. This position requires a team player capable of positive interactions with staff, guests, and volunteers.
This is a full time position working at least 40 hours per week, including weekends, holidays, and late events as needed. Successful candidates will work in close proximity to dangerous animals, and professionalism and good communication are required.
- Displays and demonstrates understanding of the basic biology, behaviors and husbandry of the animals in their department in the daily routine.
- Cleans and maintains animal holdings, including the use of chemical agents and special tools to assure the health and safety of the animals.
- Uses proper techniques in shifting animals on their assigned routine.
- Identifies, recognizes and reports any abnormal behavior of all the animals in their department.
- Monitors weather related needs for the animals in their department and shelters animals appropriately.
- Identifies, documents, and properly communicates any animal medical problems to the Elephant Manager in a timely manner.
- Develops a good line of communication with the Elephant Manager to ensure that all facilities and animals are in good order, and that all problems are reported.
- Uses classical and operant conditioning with the animals in their department.
- Utilizes the zoos enrichment program to properly meet the enrichment requirements of the animals within their department. Properly records the results of enrichment.
- Creates new enrichment ideas and items to be added to their department repertoire.
- Properly utilizes the animal record keeping systems within the department.
- Documents animal behaviors or issues on the Daily Report.
- Maintains and updates the departments animal files.
- Prepares and presents public keeper chats to visitors and guests.
- Other duties as assigned.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee should expect:
- Use of hands, fingers, tools, or controls.
- Frequently required to stand; walk; sit; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch and talk or hear.
- Routinely lift and/or move more than 50 pounds.
- Exposure to wet surfaces and slippery surfaces.
- Candidate will work with dangerous animals.
- Required to wear a face mask and/or other personal protective equipment for long periods of time.
- Must be able to work under challenging physical conditions and perform strenuous duties in extreme weather.
- Bachelors degree in a relevant biological field preferred.
- Experience in a zoological institution, experience with elephants preferred.
- Must have excellent written and verbal communication as well as decision skills; have high energy and enthusiasm for completion of tasks; possess team building skills; and has the ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
- Must have ability to foster teamwork within and across teams.
- Competency in computer skills.
- Must have a current valid drivers license with no prior traffic violations (within the last five years).
- Must have current negative TB test and provide documentation, or be willing to have a TB test.
POSITION TYPE AND HOURS OF WORK
- Full time
- Schedule varies between weekdays and weekends. Weekend work required as well as occasional evening work and holidays.