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Curator of Mammals

Nc Zoo
Asheboro, United States Posted: April 28, 2024

The North Carolina Zoo is seeking an experienced and collaborative oriented individual with proven management skills to oversee the Zoo’s large mammal collection including African elephants, white rhino, a large collection of African/North American hooved stock (including antelope, giraffe, zebra, elk and bison), black and grizzly bear, and the red wolf propagation/release facility. The Curator of Large Mammals is the principal professional, scientific authority for the North Carolina Zoo for matters involving these taxa and is responsible for all aspects of managing live animal collections of that class including:

Job Responsibilities: 
  • Setting and monitoring standards of physical and behavioral care and writing/maintaining protocols.
  • Formulating, reviewing and revising diets fed to animals in collections managed.
  • Coordinating and monitoring veterinary care for animals in managed collections.
  • Defining animal restraint protocols, especially to include procedures for handling large, dangerous animals (elephant, rhino, bear, large horned ungulates) where staff safety is at greater risk as well as for small, delicate animals (e.g., gazelle) for which the safety risk is to the valuable animal instead of the keeper staff.
  • Creation and maintenance of records and databases relevant to tracking the health, behavior and management histories of animals in the collection, including overseeing the quality of information entered into the ZIMS international zoo animal records database, AZA studbooks, AZA Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) regional collection plans (RCPs), etc.
  • Acquiring, coordinating and managing shipments of animals and placement of those which are more than collection needs at other qualified facilities. Familiarization of required permits and licenses relative to the possession, care, transport and control of disease transmission for exotic animals, including keeping current with all relevant state, federal and international laws and regulations e.g. USDA Animal Welfare Act, USFWS Endangered Species Act and CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) requirements, state exotic animal import/export requirements, IATA (International Air Transportation Association) shipping guidelines, etc.
  • Managing reproduction including selecting animals to be bred or prevented from breeding, modifying and maximizing taxa specific conditions to facilitate successful breeding, planning and managing rearing of young including hand-rearing when necessary.
  • Participation in national (AZA) programs for cooperative management and breeding of various species (this will include writing and publishing a studbook and population management plan and/or active leadership of SSPs or TAGs and/or other professional committees such as ethics, accreditation, wildlife conservation and management, etc. under the auspices of the AZA).
  • Initiating, developing and/or facilitating research projects and/or multi-institutional, national, or international field conservation and research programs.
  • Contributing to Animal Section administration including drafting Section policies and operational procedures and leading/implementing Section initiatives such as EMS program, Animal Behavioral Management Program, Animal Enrichment Program, staff Safety Training program, etc.
  • Serves on the Zoo's Weapons Team and as the senior Section representative on duty on several weekends and holidays each year.
  • Must be able to supervise and direct staff in efficient, effective and productive use of resources through sound planning, organizing, coaching, and directing.
  • Must have the ability to establish a network of professional colleagues and communicate/collaborate with peers throughout the country in order to acquire and place animals and stay abreast of advances and trends in captive management and exhibition of wildlife. 
  • Must have good written and oral communication skills to communicate effectively with supervisors, direct reports, peers, media, and the public.
Job Requirements:
  • Must be available to work after hours, holidays and weekend hours as necessary and available for on-call rotations and emergency call-back.
  • Required to work the rotating schedule as weekend and holiday Curator on Duty, or as needed.
  • Considered "Essential/Mandatory Staff" and may be required to work on adverse weather days, during zoo emergencies, and may be called to work special events.
  • Must have the agility and physically ability to: regularly and safely lift up to 20 pounds occasionally and/or exert up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects; extend hand(s) and arm(s) in any direction; stand for sustained periods of time; raise objects from a lower to a higher position or move objects horizontally from position-to-position; apply pressure to an object with the fingers and palm; perceive attributes of objects, such as size, shape, temperature or texture by touching with skin, particularly that of the fingertips;  express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word;  perceive the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction; receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make fine discriminations in sound; negotiate uneven outdoor terrain on foot; hear and respond to radio communication; and drive motor vehicles at day and at night.
  • Required to participate in the Zoo's occupational health program due to exposure of animal containment areas.
  • Must have or be able to obtain and maintain a valid NC driver's license within 30 days of employment.
  • Learn about the NC ZOO: https://www.nczoo.org   
  • Learn about employee perks/benefits: https://oshr.nc.gov/state-employee-resources/benefits
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies:
  • Must have a diverse knowledge of the taxonomy, natural history, ecology, behavior, anatomy, physiology, captive care & management, and reproduction of animal species in the collections managed (African elephants, white rhino, African/North American hooved stock (including antelope, giraffe, zebra, elk and bison), black and grizzly bear, and red wolf) or with very similar species. 
  • Must have demonstrated experience with collections management at an AZA accredited facility or similar accredited institution.
  • Must have proven leadership and staff management skills
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, Zoology, Animal Husbandry, or related curriculum from an appropriately accredited institution and four years progressive experience in zoological work in an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoo; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • https://oshr.nc.gov/state-employee-resources/benefits
  • $54,197 - $74,520

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