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Assistant Curator of Primates

Indianapolis Zoo
Indianapolis, United States Posted: March 12, 2024

The Indianapolis Zoo is a national leader of animal conservation, and we support local and international animal conservation efforts including many primate conservation initiatives. The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center is home to one of the largest groups of orangutans in any American zoo. Used to stimulate the ape's physical, intellectual, and social abilities, while serving as a vital education, research and conservation center. If you are an experienced animal care professional specializing in orangutans, chimpanzees, and other primates, look no further- your next opportunity is at the Indianapolis Zoo! We are currently on the search to add an Assistant Curator of Primates to our team!

  • This position demands strong management and supervisory skills, and extensive primates work experience and knowledge.
  • Ideal candidates are committed to advancing the Zoo's mission to protect nature and inspire people to care for our world.
  • A minimum of four (4) years of professional work experience working a Zoo or similar organization, and at least two (2) years of practical Zoo experience is required.
  • Prior professional work experience working with primates is required, prior experience working with orangutans, chimpanzees, macaques, tamarins, and/ or baboons is preferred.
  • Prior successful supervisory/ management experience is required.
  • The successful candidate must have the adaptability to work cohesively with a dynamic team and flexibility to work differing shifts such as overtime, weekends, and holidays.
  • This is a full-time position, that will work approximately 40 hours per week. A bachelor's degree in Zoology, Biology, Life Sciences, or related field from an accredited institution is required.
  • The Assistant Curator of Primates is also responsible for assisting, planning and directing exhibit modifications; submitting quarantine arrival forms and, if needed, organizing and implementing quarantine procedures for animals quarantined in the area; oversees and directs animal introductions and seasonal animal moves; and must be able to use behavioral enrichment techniques to modify/enrich animals within the biome.
  • This position requires critical thinking skills, decisive and sound judgment with the ability to work with minimal supervision. Must be able to work in a stressful environment and take appropriate action.
Working with our primates requires a very specific skills set and strenuous physical responsibilities that include but are not limited to:
  • Has day to day accountability and responsibility for the proper care of the animals and or plants in their assigned area. This includes leadership of subordinates as well as personal performance.
  • Assist in efforts to redesign and improve animal care and welfare standards.
  • Develops, recommends, reviews, updates and has the authority to implement approved Husbandry Protocols, Behavioral Enrichment and Animal Training Programs as directed by the Area Curator.
  • Proactive in the decision-making process involving animal health. Has direct responsibility and accountability to ensure implementation of day-to-day health related treatments following veterinarians' instructions. Coordinates and schedules procedures with the veterinarians and area staff. Participates in monthly veterinary rounds.
  • Implements the dietary program.
  • Supports the Area Curator with follow up to injury and accident prevention.
  • Implements counter measures to help mitigate future injuries and accidents.
  • Communicates and trains staff on new safety procedures to prevent injuries and accidents.
  • Trains, coaches, mentors, and evaluates area staff. Has responsibility for creating and conducting performance reviews for all full time and part time direct reports. Applies progressive discipline when appropriate. Recommends employment decisions to the curator relating to termination, hiring, and merit increases.
  • Has direct responsibility and accountability for coordinating arrival and departure details in movement of animals in concert with appropriate parties following all applicable IZS policies and/or procedures under the direction of the Area Curator.
  • Assists in the selection of species, as well as accessioning and de-accessioning of specimens as directed by the Area Curator.
  • Exposure to work indoors and outdoors, under all environmental conditions, which include inclement weather, cold and hot temperatures, and humidity.
  • Must be able to perform very heavy work exerting at least 100 pounds of force occasionally, and or up to 50 pounds of force frequently.
  • Ability to transport and move items, exerting at least 100 pounds of force occasionally, and/ or up to 50 pounds of force frequently.
  • Ability to ascend/ descend ladders, steps, and uneven terrain, while maintaining body equilibrium to perform various jobs.
  • Ability to detect, assess, identify, and observe surroundings to make sound judgments, along with the ability to communicate verbally, comprehend and decipher information accurately, using a two-way radio and telephone.
  • Valid driver's license and driving record that is insurable by our carrier.
To apply:
  • Interested candidates must complete an online Zoo application.
  • Interested candidates must include a resumé, cover letter, and salary requirements to be considered.
  • Employment at the Indianapolis Zoo is contingent upon the successful completion of pre-employment testing including a background check, motor vehicle check (if applicable) and a drug test.
  • The Indianapolis Zoo is proud to be a Drug-Free/ Smoke-Free/ Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)/ Child-Safe Work Environment.
  • Work for the wildest employer in Indianapolis! Some perks include,
  • Medical (Health Savings Account with employer contribution included), Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance,
  • Short-Term Disability paid through the Zoo for eligible employees; 403(b) Retirement Plan, generous Paid Time Off (PTO), Immediate Paid Holidays,
  • complimentary Zoo Membership, Reciprocal Benefits to other local institutions, and many, many more!!!
  • negotiable

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