Assistant Curator of Primates (Zoo)

Assistant Curator (AC) is a mid-level, supervisory position requiring the individual to be an active participant in the routine care, collection planning, and management of a diverse collection of primates, including great apes. Although their primary responsibility is with the animals and staff of the Primates section, AC’s aid the Mammals Curator in managing the animals and personnel of the entire Mammals division. The job entails animal health, welfare, and enrichment, staff scheduling and job assignments, staff guidance and feedback, exhibit quality and working to provide a quality visitor experience.

Job Description

Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality.

  • Work well in stressful, high pressure situations
  • Be effective handling problems in the workplace, including anticipating, preventing, identifying and solving problems as necessary
  • Audubon Assst. Curators are often called upon to perform facility and exhibit maintenance, including but not limited to, trash and debris removal, floor cleaning, painting, building repair, horticultural duties, etc. 

Weave quality entertainment through the guest experience.

  • Work with Staff to provide enrichment for the animals to engage visitors and enhance their animal appreciation and knowledge
  • Work with staff to develop their skills in interpreting animal behavior and conservation messages for the visitors

Educate our diverse audience about the natural world.

  • Candidates must be comfortable speaking in public
  • Candidates must be able to convey information, both written and verbal, clearly and concisely
  • Conducts behind-the-scenes tours for VIP’s, donors, and Audubon Education programs as scheduled.
  • Extensive interaction with the public which may include on and off grounds educational and media presentations

Enhance the care and survival of wildlife through research and conservation.

  • Work with veterinarians, researchers and students as possible on research benefitting our animal collection and animals in the wild

The above listed duties are general statements of required major duties and responsibilities performed on a regular and continuous basis. They do not exclude other duties as assigned.


To deliver on the Audubon service promise, the Assistant Curator will: 


  • Make eye contact with every customer encounter, smile at every person, offer friendly phrases and greetings.
  • Wear identification badge.
  • Walk individual to destination instead of pointing; offer assistance to people who look confused.
  • Assume ownership of potential safety hazards (wipe-up spill, pick up trash). Always have the camera-ready look.


  • Maintain positive attitude, pleasant tone of voice (remember it is not what you say, but how you say it).
  • Coach coworkers on service expectations.
  • Utilize the power of teamwork to give excellent service.
  • Know when to involve management.


  • Know the answers to questions or seek out the answers.
  • Utilize proper phone etiquette (answer phone within three rings, smile before answering call, ask for permission and wait for response before placing caller on hold).
  • Ensure work area is free of food, drink, socialization, and personal business.
  • Follow Dress Code Policy on clothing and grooming.
  • Keep unpleasant concerns behind closed doors (vent backstage).

Supervision: manages the Primates section staff and volunteers


  • Four years paid experience in a zoological facility is required, supervisory experience is preferred. 
  • The candidate must have a working knowledge of the AZA Code of Ethics, AZA Standards for Accreditation, and AZA Population Management Guidelines, and must be comfortable with public speaking.


  • High school diploma
  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university is required; preferably in zoology, biology, animal science or related field.


  • Negative TB test required
  • Must maintain a valid Louisiana Driver’s License 

Software Requirements:

  • Proven competency in the application of Microsoft Office, Word, PowerPoint and Excel computer programs is required

Machinery/Tools/Equipment Requirements: 

  • Must have the ability to use mobile devices, computer, fax, scanner, phone and copy machine.
  • Ability to work with basic hand tools required, ability to use heavy machinery a plus.
  • Basic carpentry, plumbing and horticultural skills are considered an asset.
  • Ability and willingness to operator power tools, lawn equipment, etc. 
  • Must be able and willing to do routine facility maintenance work.

Physical Requirements:

  • Physically demanding work several hours a day
  • Sitting or standing, bending, stooping, and per OSHA regulations: Heavy work involving lifting no more than 100 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or varying of objects weighing up to 50 pounds. 
  • Constant adequate range of motion and mobility required.
  • Candidate is expected to perform keeper duties as needed

Environmental/Working Conditions:

  • Long hours are sometimes required including evenings, weekends and holidays
  • Ability to do physical labor, often in tropical heat or other inclement weather is required
  • Ability to work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner required.
  • Maintain off-exhibit areas in a clean, organized and safe fashion
  • Candidate must be able to work effectively with minimal supervision and approach all encounters with employees and guests in a friendly and service oriented manner.
  • Willingness to work irregular hours and be available based on special needs/circumstances on a 24 hour basis.
  • Willingness to serve on the zoo’s Hurricane Team if necessary.
  • Ability to compose animal and exhibit information for publication in the following: Audubon’s website, AZA’s website and publications, other publications.
  • Responsible for overseeing the pest control in their areas.


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