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Wild Animal Keeper, Reptiles, Bronx Zoo

Bronxville, United States Posted: March 31, 2024

WCS stands for wildlife and wild places. As the world’s premier wildlife conservation organization, WCS has a long track record of achieving innovative, impactful results at scale. We run field programs spanning 60 countries and the entire ocean.  We build on a unique foundation: Our reach is global; we discover through best-in-class science; we protect through work on the ground with local and indigenous people; we inspire through our world-class zoos, aquarium, and education programs; and we leverage our resources through partnerships and powerful policy influence.  Our more than 4,000 diverse, passionately committed team members in New York City and around the world work collectively to achieve our conservation mission.

Primary Position Objectives:
  • To perform any activity required for the captive life support systems necessary for animal wellbeing and exhibit appearance in the Department of Herpetology. 
  • To assist volunteers and interns in the care of the collection.
Care of Animals:
  • Ensure the wellbeing, feeding, and care of reptiles and amphibians in the collection.
  • Maintain and develop a broad knowledge base on the proper husbandry of amphibians and reptiles. 
  • This includes reading current literature and regularly sharing pertinent knowledge with colleagues.
  • Ensure the proper and adequate nutrition of animals in the collection.
  • Regularly observe all amphibians and reptiles in their assigned sections (including relief sections) and for prompt reporting of indications of illness, injury, stress, or behavioral problems.  This includes responsibility for ensuring prompt and appropriate action in situations requiring an immediate response.
  • Carry out special instructions for animal care issued by veterinarians, the Senior Keeper, Collections Manager, and Curator (e.g., administration of medications).
  • Ensure that animals have adequate nest boxes or egg laying sites and eggs are set up under the proper incubation conditions.  Amphibian eggs and metamorphs must also be set up according to protocol.
  • Maintain mechanical aspects of animal life support including water quality, heat lamps, UV light sources, etc.
  • Prepare or guide preparation of animal diets or other food substances according to accepted protocols.
  • First thing in the morning, inspect condition of all animals, exhibits, and facilities in their assigned sections (including relief sections) to ascertain that they are clean, well lit, safe for employee or visitor access, properly heated and ventilated, and take the necessary actions to ensure such.
  • Monitor and document enrichment as part of daily routines.  We encourage you to propose new ideas.
  • Observe the animals entrusted to their care and report promptly on any indication of illness.
  • Participate in the transfer of animals from one enclosure, zoo, etc., to another.
Care of Installations and Operations:
  • Ensure their exhibits and facilities are clean, illuminated, properly heated, and ventilated. Ensure protocols are followed to remove debris.
  • Properly and regularly operate support systems, including heating, air conditioning, and other mechanical systems in Herpetology department facilities.  Basic maintenance (e.g., backwashing filters) will occur on a regular schedule.
  • During emergencies, perform steps necessary for ensuring animal safety prior to arrival of designated specialist(s). 
  • Make any minor and emergency repairs necessary to animal management and exhibition and report the need for major repairs.
  • Clean publicly visible areas as well as areas behind the scenes in and around exhibits
  • Participate in the installation of exhibit materials such as, but not limited to plantings, substrate, other cage furniture, etc.
  • If necessary, the Wild Animal Keepers may safely operate vehicles and equipment as duties require.
 Mentoring and Coordination:
  • Follow all rules stated explicitly in the WCS Employee Manual.
  • Provide primary coordination and training of Interns and Volunteers in all phases of care of the collection. Ultimately, the condition of assigned sections is the keeper’s responsibility.
  • Share critical information with co-workers.
  • Ensure that all Volunteers and Interns under their guidance understand, perform, and complete required daily tasks.
  • Aid, help, and inform the public regarding the Bronx Zoo, its animals, and exhibits.
  • Enforce the Bronx Zoo’s visitor’s rules and regulations and those of the Department of Parks of the City of New York and the Department of Herpetology.
  • Record and reporting significant changes in activities of animals in the department.
  • Ensure that all Volunteers and Interns under their guidance understand and perform required daily tasks.
  • Report any unusual conditions of the collection.  You are responsible for ensuring that reports are received in an appropriate time frame and that any necessary action is initiated.
  • Record all appropriate information on Daily Reports.
  • Take and record appropriate data and write reports as part of daily routines or as directed by the Senior Keeper, Curator, Collection Manager, or veterinary staff.
  • Perform related tasks and duties as required.
Qualification Requirements :
  • One year recent, full time paid experience in the handling, feeding and care of animals in a zoo or on a stock farm, OR
  • One academic year of full time study in animal husbandry or related fields in a school of agriculture or veterinary science, OR
  • An equivalent combination of education or experience.
  • Ideal candidate will possess a Bachelor's Degree in the science field and or 3-4 years demonstrated experience in the field of animal care and husbandry.
  • Employee must be able to work Saturdays & Sundays & all holidays.
  • WCS is an equal opportunity employer, and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process.
  • We are dedicated to hiring and engaging a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.
  • The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates.
  • The organization does not discriminate for employment based on gender, race/ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information or any other covered status or characteristic protected by applicable laws and regulations.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based upon a person’s membership in one of these protected categories in areas such as recruitment, selection, job assignment, supervision, training, promotions, job grading, transfers, termination, compensation, benefits, educational opportunities, WCS sponsored recreational activities and facilities.
Experience Required
  • 2-5 Years
  • Benefits & Paid holidays
  • Salary: $45247

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