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Zoological Manager, Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park (Full-Time)

Posted: January 18, 2024 Expired: February 15, 2024
Saint Louis Zoo
St. Louis
High School

Saint Louis Zoo

Zoological Manager, Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park (Full-Time)

Zoological Manager, Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park (Full-Time)

The Saint Louis Zoo’s mission is to conserve animals and their habitats through animal management, research, recreation and educational programs that encourage the support and enrich the experience of the public. We are passionate about our commitment to conservation and achieve success by pursuing three keys that are important to us - Animals Always, People Matter and Operational Excellence – and by operating according to our Core Values of Community, Creativity, Openness, Integrity and Life-Work Balance.

Summary: The Saint Louis Zoo is seeking an exceptional leader to join the WildCare Park team as Zoological Manager. The Zoological Manager is a new position that will serve a supportive role by assisting the WildCare Park General Curator and leading a growing team of WildCare Park keepers. At the 425-acre WildCare Park in St. Louis County, under construction and scheduled to open to the public in 2027, the animal care team will be cross-trained as generalists, overseeing a variety of taxa, including ungulates, marsupials, birds and native wildlife. In addition, the WildCare Park team is responsible for oversight of the animal care and facility maintenance functions of the 355-acre Saint Louis Zoo Sears Lehmann, Jr. Wildlife Reserve in Franklin County where the Zoo’s non-public facility for American red wolves exists.  Candidates must have leadership experience and demonstrate a leadership style that fosters an inclusive, team-based environment. Intern mentoring, guest interaction and community engagement are key components of this position.

Essential Functions:

  • Understanding of the Three Keys and Core Values of the Saint Louis Zoo and modeling these Keys and Values on a day-to-day basis.
  • Serving as an ambassador for the Saint Louis Zoo, WildCare Park, the Wildlife Reserve, the animals and the community at all times, including at professional conferences, at local community events and with internal and external partners, such as donors, guests, contractors, neighbors, media and others.
  • Thinking innovatively, working collaboratively, communicating proactively with internal and external stakeholders in a fast-paced, evolving environment to contribute to the design, development, construction and operation of  WildCare Park and the Wildlife Reserve;
  • Supporting the General Curator/WildCare Park by assisting with departmental administration, including management of personnel, annual and capital budget management, animal collection planning and facility oversight;
  • Creating a positive, inclusive work environment and providing leadership, support, coaching and mentoring for the growing team of WildCare Park keepers and interns;
  • Managing the training of personnel and supporting the performance of shared duties across both campuses in partnership with other departments;
  • Thriving in a teaching environment that includes mentoring WildCare Park keepers, interns and volunteers with positivity, patience and professionalism, including classroom teaching and on-the-job training;
  • Participating in fundraising efforts, including capital campaign donor tours and grant writing;
  • In partnership with others, developing and overseeing programs to achieve the highest standards of animal wellbeing through exemplary animal care, training, enrichment and social management as appropriate for the goals of the unique animal conservation programs and according to AZA Standards, as well as overseeing the tracking and documentation these activities;
  • Managing the WildCare Park and Wildlife Reserve animal collections according to safety, wellbeing and reintroduction protocols, as needed, for herd/pack management, recovery/reintroduction programs, veterinary health care and research purposes, ensuring that our programs meet or exceed the requirements of AZA, USDA and USFWS;
  • Facilitating the ordering, receiving and handling dietary items and other supplies for the animals, as well as monitoring the quantity and quality of these items on a prescribed schedule;
  • Managing the successful implementation of AZA SSP, AZA SAFE and USFWS program recommendations;
  • Creating and maintaining departmental records and assisting with animal transports;
  • Overseeing the maintenance and enhancement of outdoor and indoor animal living spaces, including regular site visits to all facilities; Overseeing the horticultural, facility and custodial needs of both campuses, as well as monitoring the overall guest experience at WildCare Park;
  • Collaborating with colleagues from other international, national and regional conservation organizations;
  • Providing support and leadership to AZA population management programs (SSP, TAG, SAFE, etc.) and serving as the institutional representative for selected committees and programs.
  • Overseeing the native wildlife monitoring and native habitat restoration programs at WildCare Park and the Wildlife Reserve, including data management for several ongoing collaborative projects;
  • Assisting with the WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa and the WildCare Institute Rhino Conservation Program.
  • Participating in and raising awareness for WildCare Institute Centers and Programs, recovery/reintroduction initiatives and AZA SAFE programs related to the animals at WildCare Park and the Wildlife Reserve.


  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in an animal- or conservation-related field is required.
  • Must have at least two (2) years of leadership experience in a zoological setting, with a preference for having led a team(s) of animal care professionals. Leadership experience with shared multi-department responsibility and multi-leader teams are beneficial.
  • Must have a minimum of five (5) years of practical experience in the care, management and propagation of ungulates, wolves and/or birds at an AZA accredited or equivalent facility.
  • Must have animal management experience, including experience with animal introductions, multi-species habitats, animal transports and propagation of ungulates and/or other taxa, as well as expertise related to animal behavior and natural history, operant conditioning, field conservation and related subjects. Experience managing herds and groups of animals in large spaces is especially beneficial.
  • Must embody exceptional leadership skills, exude positivity and approach challenges with a proactive mindset. Must have a demonstrated history of not just building but also nurturing meaningful and productive connections with coworkers. Should enthusiastically embrace WildCare Park’s team-oriented philosophy and be prepared to engage in collaborative team initiatives across various departments beyond Animal Care.
  • Should have a natural curiosity, a willingness to learn, and an open-mindedness towards innovative ideas. Should possess the ability to efficiently and swiftly solve complex problems, including having the capacity and confidence to respond to questions, consider input and make sound decisions, especially in the context of animal procedures and emergencies.
  • Needs to embrace the degree of flexibility essential for overseeing a growing team, a growing animal collection and a growing, evolving organization. This includes being open to occasional adjustments in schedules due to construction requirements, seasonal demands or facility maintenance.
  • Seeking an individual who is self-motivated and adept at identifying tasks that enhance the functionality of programs at WildCare Park and the Wildlife Reserve. The ability to clearly convey these tasks and guide the team in their execution is a key aspect of the role.
  • Proficiency in communication, both written and verbal, is a must. Given the frequent engagement with donors, guests and the community, a genuine enthusiasm for public speaking and exceptional presentation skills are indispensable.
  • Familiarity with the animal care requirements and regulations set forth by AZA, USDA and USFWS is essential for this role.
  • Proficiency with current and emerging technology and familiarity with video/audio recording and surveillance systems, is crucial for success in this position. A solid background with common zoological software, such as ZIMS, PMCTrack and others, is necessary.
  • Having prior experience in instructing team members on the usage of small equipment, such as weed eaters and chain saws, as well as larger vehicular equipment, such as animal trailers, trucks, tractors, mowers, skid steers and forklifts, would be advantageous in this role.
  • Ideal candidate should possess an exemplary safety record and prioritize safety in the execution of all duties and responsibilities. Additionally, performing assigned duties which may include standing for extended periods, walking, lifting, bending, driving and working in diverse weather conditions, is necessary.
  • A successful candidate must maintain a clear driving record and will be required to obtain a Class E driver’s license. Background checks, including criminal and drug tests are mandatory.
  • COVID vaccinations are required for this position.


How to Apply

Saint Louis Zoo
One Government Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63110

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