Job Title:   Animal Training Supervisor/Education - San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Safari Park - Escondido
Animal Behavior
With Benefits


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       **Position is being reposted.  Previous applicants cannot re-apply**

Deadline to apply: Monday, December 10th, 2012
Applications must be submitted online by 9:30pm Pacific Standard Time

(Exempt Position #226018)  Salary commensurate with experience      With Benefits

**San Diego Zoo Global is a smoke-free workplace**

Job Requirements:

 "Put Your Passion For Wildlife To Work"

San Diego Zoo Global requires any applicants offered employment within the Education Department to submit to a criminal background check as a condition of employment. 


The Animal Training Supervisor/Education will report to the Director of Education at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  The supervisor will be responsible for managing the daily operations of the Wildlife Education animal compound as well as the Nairobi Station animal exhibit spaces. 

The successful candidate will be the direct supervisor of all Education animal trainers and animal handlers and will also oversee interpretive staff when they are working in an animal husbandry or animal handling capacity.  The supervisor will be responsible for coordinating animal and staff training plans and working to see they are effectively implemented in order to support the needs of the Education Department’s programs, as well as public animal encounters throughout the Park and various special events throughout the year. This position is designed to be a hands-on, working supervisor who participates actively while overseeing the daily care, handling, and training of the animals on the compound.  The supervisor will work closely with the other members of the Education management team and will share responsibility for general supervisory responsibilities within the department. 
The successful candidate will have two or more years' experience training and caring for exotic animals, including an outstanding working knowledge of the principles of operant conditioning.  Also desirable is experience with caring for and handling a wide variety of species, including reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and birds.  In addition, a minimum of two years experience supervising staff is required, including training, mentoring, coaching and counseling, as well as performance evaluation.  The ability to work closely with others in a team-oriented, highly dynamic and fast-paced environment is essential.  Additionally, the successful candidate will have outstanding written and oral communication skills, exemplary customer service skills, as well as the ability to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.  Rabies vaccination for this position is required.
This position offers an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, prescription drugs, vision, life insurance, annual leave, sick leave, retirement, as well as other optional insurance.  

One of the essential functions of this position is the ability to drive a SDZ Global vehicle.  If you are offered employment in this position, you will be asked to authorize SDZ Global to access your current driving report through the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice Program.  Your hiring for this position will be contingent on SDZ Global receiving an acceptable driving report from you.  In addition, your continued employment in the position will depend on you maintaining an acceptable driving record.  You may obtain a list of conditions that disqualify a person from driving an SDZ Global vehicle from a Human Resources Representative (Post 11/20/2012 - 11/29/2012  Repost External 12/4/2012 - 12/10/2012) .  (pOST.    .  (P




The Animal Care Supervisor performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects San Diego Zoo Global’s mission and vision of connecting people to wildlife and conservation and pursues green/conservation practices when feasible.  The Animal Training Supervisor is responsible for the daily supervision of the safe care and handling of an assigned animal collection.This position reports to Animal Care Manager.              .


  • Responsible for developing animal shows
  • Supervises assigned staff
  • Trains keepers and provides oversight in related activities as appropriate
  • Participates in developing proposals for operant conditioning opportunities
  • Coordinates animal and staff participation in special events
  • Conducts special projects as assigned
  • Participates in preparing a variety of reports and documentation
  • Assists in planning, developing, evaluating, and directing animal show programs
  • Assists in developing, administering, and monitoring assigned budgets
  • Maintains a variety of contacts in order to respond to inquiries and requests
  • Effectively coordinate activities
  • Adheres to the organization’s policies and practices
  • Exemplifies the highest standard of work ethics
  • Practices the GRRREAT Customer Service Standards



  • Responsible for developing animal shows which educate and entertain visitors
  • Supervises assigned staff and participates in animal feeding, care and grooming, behavioral observation, operant conditioning, behavioral and environmental enrichment, training, handling, and showing
  • Performs public relations functions such as photo sessions, documentaries, and personal tours
  • Coordinates animal and staff participation in special events, public relations appearances, educational and donor programs, private tours and parties, and marketing endeavors
  • Monitors animal welfare and progress during training, programs, shows, and special events


Performs related duties and responsibilities as required or assigned.


An example of qualifications include at least three or more years experience training and caring for a large variety of exotic animals, developing and presenting animal shows or programs for manage staff; experience working with represented labor unions is desirable; valid California driver license is desirable.
Knowledge of:
  • Operant conditioning, enrichment, and husbandry techniques
Ability to:
  • Use word processing and spreadsheet systems
  • Supervise and manage staff
  • Understand union contracts regarding labor use restrictions
  • Deal tactfully and courteously with others
  • Work effectively with teams and with others
  • Communicate effectively (verbal and written)


Possible exposure to zoonotic diseases; work outdoors with wild animals in varying weather conditions. 


Move heavy objects up to 50 pounds are desirable; may travel.


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