Curator of Reptiles & Amphibians (Zoo)

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans currently has an opening for the Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians on its team. The Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians is an upper-level, supervisory position that is responsible for the daily operations, animal welfare, routine care, enrichment, collection and exhibit planning and conservation of the reptile and amphibian collection at the Audubon Zoo. The Zoo houses a comprehensive collection of reptiles and is actively involved with a variety of projects including the Louisiana pine snake recovery and release program. Annually, staff travels to Jamaica to assist with the head start program for Jamaican iguanas. The professional dedication of the staff has resulted in several significant breedings including, Tomistima, pine snakes, shingle-backed skinks, Texas blind salamanders, and a variety of geckos. New Orleans has experienced a rebirth since the events of Hurricane Katrina. The City is a vibrant, exciting place to live. The Zoo is also in a growth phase with a number of new exhibits recently opened, under construction or on the drawing boards. 

Job Description: 

Curators assist the General Curator in managing the animals and personnel of the entire Animal Department. Curators work closely with the Animal Health Care staff, members of the other Animal Department divisions and all other Audubon Nature Institute departments.

To deliver on the Audubon mission, the Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians will:

  • It is the responsibility of the Curator to maintain the highest standards related to the day-to-day operations of the Herpetology division, including, but not limited to, animal welfare and enrichment, staff scheduling and job assignments, staff guidance, training and feedback, exhibit design/construction and the guest experience.
  • Candidate must have a working knowledge and understanding of the AZA Code of Ethics, AZA Standards for Accreditation, AZA Population Management guidelines and USDA guidelines. While USDA does not regulate these species, the Curator is expected to ensure that all areas of section meet or exceed USDA and AZA welfare requirements and guidelines at all times.
  • Effectively implement and document current best practices in animal enrichment
  • Must be an effective team player and coach, must be able recognize individuals’ strengths and work towards developing those strengths to help move the Audubon Zoo forward
  • Curators are expected to be actively involved with AZA animal management programs
  • Candidate must have the ability to establish and maintain effective, efficient and cooperative relationships with employees, senior administration, vendors and customers.
  • Candidate must be able to work effectively with minimal supervision and approach all encounters with employees in a friendly, service-oriented professional manner.
  • Candidate must ensure that the division complies at all times with Audubon standards and regulations to encourage safe and efficient operations.
  • Extensive interaction with the public which may include on and off grounds educational and media presentations. Coordinates and conducts behind-the-scenes tours for VIP’s, donors, and Audubon Education programs as scheduled.
  • Oversees the Reptile Department budget needs, submitting needs to General Curator 

Desired Skills:

  • Be an innovative manager that inspires excellence in small spaces!
  • Five years, paid supervisory experience in an AZA-accredited zoological facility is required.
  • High School diploma (or equivalent) and a four-year degree from a recognized college or university are required. College course work in zoology, biology, animal science or related field is preferred.
  • Considerable experience in the captive husbandry, display and enrichment of a diverse of collection of reptiles and amphibians, including large crocodilians and venomous reptiles
  • Some experience in operating/troubleshooting aquatic life support systems would be helpful
  • Candidate must be able to convey information and ideas clearly
  • Candidate must serve as a coach promoting teamwork to develop staff and to provide excellent service across Audubon • Audubon Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free work place.

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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