Job Postings

Animal Care Professional III (Lead) – Trails of Africa


Birmingham Zoo, Inc.

Closing Date
September 8, 2019


Animal Care Professional Level III (ACP-III) is a position responsible for the primary daily husbandry activities of the animal collection in their department with a demonstrated good working knowledge of animal care and welfare. ACP III has also taken the steps to become proficient in their expertise to act as the Lead ACP. Collectively with other Zoo employees these activities will assist in presenting to the public an environment that is educational, entertaining, and serves to further the mission of the Birmingham Zoo. Trails of Africa includes such species as giraffe, Southern white rhinoceros, hippopotamus, duiker, zebra, ostrich, and red river hogs.


Displays and demonstrates the basic biology, behaviors and husbandry of the animals in their department in the daily routine.
Cleans and maintains animal holdings, including the use of chemical agents and special tools to assure the health and safety of the animals.
Uses proper techniques in shifting animals on their assigned routine.
Identifies, recognizes and reports any abnormal behavior of all the animals in their department.
Monitors weather related needs for the animals in their department and shelters animals appropriately.
Identifies, documents, and properly communicates any animal medical problems to the Zoological Manager and Veterinary staff in a timely manner. Completes assignments for animal immobilizations.
Develops a good line of communication with the Zoological Manager and Curator to ensure that all facilities and animals are in good order, and that all problems are reported.
Uses classical and operant conditioning with the animals in their department.
Utilizes and documents on the Training Goal Worksheet daily.
Utilizes the Environmental Enrichment Program and the enrichment requirements of the animals within their department. Properly records the results of enrichment by using the Enrichment Approval and Evaluation forms.
Creates new enrichment ideas and items to be added to their department repertoire.
Properly utilizes the animal record keeping systems within the department.
Documents animal behaviors or issues on the Daily Report.
Maintains and updates the departments’ animal files.
Responsible for capturing, crating, and transferring animals using appropriate restraint and handling techniques designed to put the least amount of stress on the animal.
Prepares and presents Public Animal Talks to Zoo visitors and guests.
Expands knowledge of animal care by cross-training in other animal departments.
Actively participate in one or more of the following: AAZK, enrichment or training committee, safety committee, interpretive committee, weapon’s team, area research projects, education or conservation programs, or other activity that enhances or promotes the Birmingham Zoo.
Exhibits the ability to apply classical and operant conditioning and to train at least basic behaviors, as defined by the area SOPs.
Uses environmental enrichment in daily routines and assists in the development of the departmental program, including researching and developing new enrichment options and development of enrichment schedules.
Actively plays a key role in resolving any animal related emergencies or drills that occur within the zoo (i.e. dangerous animal escape), regardless of which animal area the emergency is in.
Assist ZM in preparing for animal immobilizations.
Assists in training new staff members to include seasonal staff and interns.
In addition to the above the employee has taken the initiative to maintain Level III expectations listed below:

Evaluates animal’s dietary needs. Consults with the Zoo Manager, Curator and veterinarian about dietary needs based on the condition of the animal, weather and temperature influence, and any other special consideration relating to the species or individual animal.
Creates, applies for and/or accepts projects that benefit the animals under their care or conservation efforts and to present those results to peers at a conference, or to co-workers at Zoo training sessions.
Seeks out courses or training opportunities to better their skill and knowledge base. Shares their knowledge with others.
Assists Zoo Manager with input on exhibit creation or changes.
Champions conservation efforts by BZI.
Other duties as assigned.


Familiarizes themselves with the BZI employee hand book, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for the Animal Department as well as the SOP’s assigned animal area.
Sets a positive example for their fellow ACPs. Presents themselves in a professional manner at all times to co-workers, visitors and guests; this includes attendance, appearance and demeanor.
Actively participates in AZA or AAZA membership, committees and activities.
Actively participates in Zoo activities, fundraisers, etc.
An ACP-III is expected to maintain all of the above expectations to remain at this level. These expectations will be monitored and evaluated by the Zoological Manager throughout the year and documented.

Education and Pre-requisites

High School degree, or some college; Bachelor’s Degree in an animal related field preferred.
At least 3-4 years’ experience or internship in a zoological institution.
Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills; have high energy and enthusiasm for completion of tasks; possess team building skills; and has the ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
Must have ability to foster teamwork within and across teams.
Competency in computer skills.
Must have a current valid driver’s license with no prior traffic violations (within the last five years).
Must be First aid/CPR certified.
Must have current negative TB test and provide documentation, or be willing to have a TB test.

Compensation and benefits

Competitive pay and excellent benefits.

Application instructions

Apply online:, About Us, Employment