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Empathy Behavioral Coordinator

Posted: June 2, 2024 Expired: November 27, 2023
Racine Zoo
Bachelor Degree 2 Year

Racine Zoo

Empathy Behavioral Coordinator

REPORTS TO: Curator of Animal Care

This is currently a grant funded position and will go through December 31, 2024.  Will be reapplying for grant in the fall.  

JOB CLASSIFICATION: Full-time, 40 hours/week, exempt status

JOB PURPOSE: Responsible for the coordination and day-to-day implementation of the Racine Zoo’s animal training program, including writing and updating training plans, mentorship of keeper staff, and enforcement of training policies and procedures.


- Work with keeper staff, medical staff, and education staff to maintain and develop behaviors that will maximize animal welfare at the Racine Zoo.

- Ensure that all new and established behaviors have accurate and updated training plans.

- Frequently check in with all keeper staff about their training progress and provide feedback and guidance as appropriate.

- Serve as an institutional representative for the ACE (Advancing Conservation through Empathy) for Wildlife learning network and work to implement the mission of the ACE for Wildlife network at the Racine Zoo, including any active grants the Zoo has been awarded.

- Participate in semi-annual ACE for Wildlife network conference events, attend network meetings throughout the year, and provide staff trainings on empathy-related topics.

- Function as a member of the zookeeping staff and work one or more routines as deemed necessary by animal care supervisors. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Diet preparation and administration of medications and supplements
  • Habitat cleaning and maintenance
  • Daily welfare observations
  • Assisting with medical procedures and exams
  • Training new and established behaviors

- Perform other tasks as needed

Experience Required

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s degree in biology, zoology, animal science, or related field; minimum 1-2 years of experience working in a zookeeping role at an AZA-accredited zoo; proven experience utilizing operant conditioning techniques focused on positive reinforcement training with a wide variety of species required. Must have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to accept direction and work as part of a team; possess strong observational, written and oral communicational skills, and have accurate record keeping abilities. Requires strong writing, speaking and organizational skills including the ability to multitask. Proven ability to interact with other staff, guests, and volunteers and to maintain an energetic and positive attitude. Must possess or be able to obtain a valid Wisconsin driver’s license. Must have or be willing to learn basic first aid and CPR. Negative TB test required. Willingness to work overtime and be available based on special needs/circumstances on a 24-hour basis, work outdoors, lift heavy objects, and risk periodic exposure to fairly predictable and controllable hazards associated with wild animals and zoonotic diseases.

How to Apply

To apply, send a cover letter and resume to: 

Beth Heidorn, Executive Director, Racine Zoo

200 Goold Street

Racine, WI 53402 

or email to

Racine Zoo
Racine, WI 53402
Phone: 262-636-9291

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