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Senior Veterinarian

The Living Desert Zoo And Gardens
Palm Desert, United States Posted: May 29, 2024

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is seeking a dynamic and well-qualified candidate for this key leadership position of Senior Veterinarian. This is a department head position responsible for ensuring the health and welfare of the desert species in our care and leadership of the Veterinary Care team. The Veterinary Care team operates under the umbrella of our broader Animal Care department, making this position an integral part of our esteemed Animal Care leadership team.

  • We are looking for a motivated and dedicated team player who wants to make a positive difference for the deserts of the world.
  • The ideal candidate is an enthusiastic individual who is highly organized, a strong decision maker and demonstrates the ability to lead effectively with all levels of staff across the organization.
  • Active and productive collaboration between the Veterinary and Animal Care teams is critical to the success of this position while working closely with the Director of Animal Care and Health to create a culture of initiative, high level of well-being and creativity related to animal care and wildlife conservation.
  • This leader will establish and maintain a professional veterinary medical program for managing the health and wellbeing of
  • The Living Desert’s animal residents that meets or exceeds contemporary practice standards of zoo veterinary care as outlined by the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and is consistent with accreditation standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
  • We are looking for someone who can be a productive clinical veterinarian as well as a strong role model and mentor, inspiring and challenging themselves and the team to pursue continuous improvement and innovation in animal health programs while working toward an exciting future and shared vision.
  • The Senior Veterinarian must be able to successfully manage all aspects of the veterinary department, including administrative, technical, scientific, and fiscal responsibilities while overseeing preventative care, regulatory compliance, research initiatives, and some wildlife conservation efforts.
  • The Living Desert team is expected to support the Zoo in its mission of “desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.”
  • The team will help the Zoo achieve a forward-thinking vision of a modern zoo and inclusive culture.
  • This position directly manages and supervises the veterinary team and reports to the Director of Animal Care and Health.
  • The Veterinary team includes an Associate Veterinarian, three Veterinary Technicians and an intern Veterinarian.
  • The veterinary team partners with Western Veterinary School and hosts students on a regular basis.
  • This person will continue to foster and collaborate relationships with external specialists as needed.
The Veterinary Care Services Team:
  • is considered the primary animal health team for The Living Desert animal collection and confiscation animals that we take in.   
  • endeavors to practice state of the art veterinary medicine and maintain high standards of veterinary professionalism. 
  • must have great enthusiasm for the profession of zoological medicine. 
  • must have strong work ethic and team-oriented work style. 
  • performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that will move The Living Desert forward into the future.
Experience Required
  • Qualifications, Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:
  • DVM or VMD or equivalent from an accredited School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Three years minimum of exotic animal medicine experience preferable in a zoological facility.
  • Three to five years supervisory experience in a zoological facility.
  • License to practice veterinary medicine in State of California within 3 months of hire date.
  • Obtain DEA license to use Class 2 narcotics.
  • Able to certify health for interstate and international transport of animals per USDA.
  • Must obtain a valid State of California driver’s license. Must be insurable on The Living Desert automobile insurance.
  • Covid vaccination plus one booster required.
  • Annual TB test with negative reading required. Essential Physical Tasks: Standing, walking, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, reaching motions, lifting (up to 50lbs).
  • Typical Working Conditions: Exposure to extreme heat, chemicals, and dust/airborne materials.
  • Works with potentially dangerous animals (large ungulates, carnivores, venomous animals).
  • Holiday Work: Holiday, evening and weekend work required. Available on an as needed basis for emergencies.
  • Occasional conference and workshop attendance available with some or all expenses paid.
  • Continuing education conferences and workshops, as required to maintain licensing.
  • Other meetings and travel may be required and/or available.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) is accrued at a rate of .769 days per pay period which is equivalent to twenty (20) days on an annual basis.
  • In addition to PTO, you will receive seven (7) paid sick days on an annual basis. Your paid sick is earned every July 1st.
  • The Living Desert offers its team members Health, Dental, and Vision insurances.
  • You are eligible to participate in our insurance program on the first day of the month following thirty days of employment.
  • Also included in your health insurance benefits is a $25,000 Life Insurance policy that is in effect for the duration of your employment with The Living Desert.
  • We also offer a 401(k) Plan to our eligible employees.
  • You are eligible to participate in this plan after six months of employment.
  • A one-time annual discretionary match of up to 3% of your annual wages may be available to you on the last day of the fiscal year and paid after that time in the same calendar year.
  • $103,550 - $141,864 / year

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