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Senior Animal Care Specialist (SACS) - Aviculture I [Full-Time]

San Antonio Zoo
San Antonio, United States Posted: March 13, 2024

Choosing where to grow your career has a major impact on your professional and personal life, so it’s equally important you know that the place you choose to work at will support and guide you. With a diversity of passionate people, San Antonio Zoo is a place where you can collaborate with others securing a future for wildlife.

The Impact You’ll Make in this Role
  • Senior Animal Care Specialist (SACS) will serve as a lead keeper within the Aviculture department.
  • You will assist in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department - comprised of Animal Care Specialists who perform specialty practices such as incubation and hand rearing of chicks as well as daily general husbandry with a vast variety of species such as cranes, flamingos, waterfowl, psittacines, softbills, and others.
  • As a Senior, your primary role is to provide training and development to new team members.
  • Acting liaison between the team and leadership, helping to assure adherence to husbandry protocol, handbook policies and procedures, while developing supervisory skills and modeling behavior that demonstrates a commitment to reaching the goals and objectives of the department and mission of San Antonio Zoo.
  • As a Senior, you will work independently with minimal supervision, with individual assignments determined by the manager based on current workloads and department needs.
  • As a Senior Animal Care Specialist, you will have the opportunity to tap into your curiosity and collaborate with some of the most innovative and diverse people in San Antonio. Here, you will make an impact by:
Daily Care
  • Extensive knowledge of incubation and hand rearing practices and experience.
  • Ability to assess all situations and communicate thoroughly to team members and upper leadership.
  • Promote good communication to encourage a positive, productive and safe working environment and team development while maintaining expectations and deadlines.
  • General husbandry and daily care of assigned animals/birds, including preparing and distributing approved animal/birds diets.
  • Inspect, clean, and maintain both exhibit and off-exhibit areas.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to maintain, train, and troubleshoot complex animal/birds behavior and potential medical concerns daily.
  • Maintain detailed daily records on assigned animals/birds including chick records during the hand rearing process.
  • Knowledge of safety SOP, safety concerns, and reporting protocols.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assist, guide, and teach other team members towards their animal-related goals and challenges.
  • All work must perform the following industry best practices, safety protocols, standards, and guidelines established by San Antonio Zoo, governing agencies, and regulatory/accrediting bodies.
  • Upholds all company policies as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures, Team Member Handbook, and Code of Business Conduct.
  • Consistently exhibit an attitude of service inside and outside of the Zoo, showing hospitality to all.
  • Be fully committed to the mission of San Antonio Zoo to create awareness that inspires action to care for the wild world we steward and animals we protect.
Behavioral Observations
  • Increase the behavioral repertoire of all assigned animals.
  • Continually observe and evaluate animal behavior and conditions for animals in the department and report any problems to the appropriate manager.
  • Maintain detailed daily records on assigned animals.
  • Safety
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in analyzing animal/birds behavior concerns or emergencies, and to respond with the appropriate action
  • Ability to work safely around delicate, wild, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous animals/birds.
  • For the safety of our internal and external guests, you must secure animals/birds, their enclosures, and other associated structures.
Animal Enrichment
  • Propose and perform species-specific enrichment.
  • Chick rearing.
  • Propose and perform species specific plans to promote nesting and breeding.
  • Understanding of principles and application of operant conditioning training for advanced husbandry behaviors and public demonstrations
  • Assist veterinary staff in the treatment of the collection of animals/birds.
  • Act as a liaison between vet staff, leadership, and the aviculture team.
  • Assist in animal/birds procedures including, but not limited to, translocations, veterinary practices, and crating.
  • Participate in or assist with the capture and restraint of a variety of taxa, including cranes, flamingos, waterfowl, psittacines, softbills, and other dangerous species—guide fellow team members in safety practices, improved techniques, and procedures for handling or restraining animals.
Creating Community
  • Lead by example leadership style to promote growth and teaching opportunities.
  • Encourage a positive working environment to build a collaborative team culture.
  • Positively engage with Zoo guests, staff, VIP's, team members, and docents.
  • Promote active guest engagement through interaction formal and informal discussions, during special events and as otherwise assigned.
  • Staff Management and Development
  • Study-specific reference materials pertinent to animal care, behavior, and natural history as assigned.
  • Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relations with fellow employees.
  • Recognize and communicate any and all concerns to upper leadership to promote a harmonious work environment.
  • Other Responsibilities
  • Performs other work-related duties as required and assigned.
Your Skills and Expertise
  • To set you up for success in this role from day one, the San Antonio Zoo recommends the following skills/qualifications:
  • Associate degree or higher in wildlife management, animal science, zoology, biology, or related field preferred—May substitute schooling for additional training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Knowledge of avian behavior and biology is preferred.
  • 3 years of extensive hand rearing and incubation experience preferred.
  • Ability to identify, handle, examine, and transfer eggs safely.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills preferred.
  • Must be able to achieve pest control certification within the first year of employment
  • Responsible for completing all online training courses by assigned deadlines.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older with a clean driving record for vehicle operation.
  • This position requires a valid Class 'C' Texas Driver's License or a valid driver's license from another state with the ability to obtain a Class "C" Texas Driver's License within 45 days of employment.
  • Successful candidates must complete a pre-employment drug screening and background check.
  • Must be able to work in varying climate and weather conditions (rain, snow, hot, or cold).
  • The San Antonio Zoo is an equal opportunity employer.  San Antonio Zoo will not discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.
  • We offer robust benefits including medical,
  • dental,
  • vision and 403B.
  • As well as Zoo memberships and Zoo discounts throughout the park.
  • $18.00 / hr

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