Application Zoological Curator of Elephants/Rhinos

At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Position Summary

The zoological curator of elephants and rhinoceros is responsible for managing all components of the Asian elephant and Indian rhinoceros programs to support day-to-day operations, as well as supporting the zoo’s field conservation efforts and operational conservation practices. These components include budget preparation and oversight, animal health and welfare, collection planning, staff training and corrective action.  This position manages animal areas and staff as needed and supports the Director of Animal Collections’ role including collaborating with other zoo personnel in the presentation and development of guest experiences in order to support and model the Zoo’s mission, vision and values. 

Essential Functions of the Position

  • Provides oversight, supervision and management of assigned staff caring for a reproducing group of Asian elephants and establishing a breeding program for Indian rhinoceros. 
  • Facilitates the selection of new personnel for assigned areas; manages staff performance, including performance evaluations; recommends performance based increases and corrective action as needed.
  • Ensures proper documentation of time cards, performance opportunities, training logs, animal enrichment logs, health records, feed records, and any other documentation associated with the assigned areas.
  • Oversees assigned areas to include developing and managing the budget, facilitating horticulture, custodial, facility, and overall guest experience needs in those assigned areas and takes personal accountability for ensuring a premium guest experience.
  • Manages the development of capital improvement and maintenance requests; participates in Master Planning.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Animal Collections on species planning and institutional policies and procedures; facilitates animal transactions.
  • Participates in and provides leadership for the Emergency Response Team if requested.
  • Oversees, evaluates, and updates annually, or more often if needed, area and safety protocols and Standard Operating Procedures for assigned areas.
  • Participates on internal teams, ad-hoc committees, and in AZA-sanctioned and job-related external collaborations and cooperative programs.
  • Collaborates with other Zoo departments.
  • Participates in conservation activities to support Zoo’s mission.
  • Participates in and leads new exhibit design.
  • Obtains and maintains certifications and professional training that support current industry standards as determined appropriate to position
  • Fosters constructive attitudes and team orientation among staff; positively communicates and collaborates with Zoo personnel and professional colleagues and creates an atmosphere of respect and works as a team.
  • Represents the zoo in a professional manner at all times.
  • Takes personal accountability for performing at a high level and completing all assigned tasks in a timely manner, to include meeting all deadlines.

Nonessential Functions of the Position

  • Other duties as assigned.

Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of established principles and practices protected contact management of elephant and rhinoceros as it relates to exhibition, advanced care, geriatric animal considerations, reproduction and habitat maintenance.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and ability to safely accomplish all of the AZA-required elephant behavioral components.
  • Knowledge of the behaviors/physical appearance indicative of health problems in the assigned animals. Specifically, elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV).
  • Knowledge of State, Federal, and International laws, regulations, and guidelines relating to the operation of a zoological park.
  • Knowledge of exhibit/habitat design, construction, and maintenance principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of general zoological classification and veterinary medical terminology.
  • Knowledge of basic conservation and other scientific research principles and practices.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and skill in management principles and practices, including employee training and supervision.
  • Knowledge of advanced budgeting principles and practices. 
  • Knowledge of the operation of a variety of computer software, including word processing, database, spreadsheet, and graphic applications.
  • Knowledge of the Oklahoma City Zoological Park's programs, activities, exhibits, and events.
  • Knowledge of the policies and procedures of the Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens. 
  • Skill in maintaining a collection of exotic/zoo animals.
  • Skill in planning/designing animal exhibit/habitat areas.
  • Proficiency in handling animals.
  • Skill in communicating animal natural history in an educational and informative manner. 
  • Proficiency in preparing a variety of records, reports, and correspondence using appropriate format and computer software.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, AZA and other professional colleagues, State, Federal, and International regulatory officials, media, contractors, vendors, and the public, both in person and through phone, e-mail and written correspondence.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; skill in working in an environment subject to constant interruptions and quickly changing priorities; ability to prioritize and delegate responsibilities when necessary; effective time-management skills. 
  • Willingness to provide Emergency Response Team leadership and participate on the team if asked. 
  • Ability to practice and foster safe work methods, identifying work place hazards, and using appropriate safety equipment.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • This position will supervise the Assistant Zoological Curators.

Physical Demands

  • Required to walk, sit and stand for periods of time.
  • Ability to push, lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Ability to bend, stoop, kneel and move intermittently throughout the day.

Work Environment

  • Indoor/Outdoor.
  • Driving around the Oklahoma City area throughout the year.
  • Exposure to fumes, odors, dust, moving mechanical parts and vehicles, on an occasional basis.
  • Noise level is usually quiet to moderate, with occasional increases due to large groups of people in Zoo buildings and on ground.
  • Exposure to external environmental conditions, such as heat, cold, rain, snow and ice.
  • Exposure to potentially dangerous animals.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which may include evenings and/or weekends and holidays and during emergency situations such as dictated by weather.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, psychology, zoology or related field.
  • 10 years of experience working with animals in a zoological setting including a minimum of 5 years of supervisory experience.
  • OR, an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed in this job description.
  • Must possess a valid Oklahoma motor vehicle operator’s license and pass a Driver’s History check to operate Zoo vehicles.
  • Successful completion of a pre-employment background check and a drug test.
  • Ability to pass annual TB tests.

 

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