Job Postings

Assistant Curator – Carnivores & Other “Code Red” Sections


San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Closing Date
April 11, 2020

The San Francisco Zoological Society (“Society”) is a non-profit institution that manages and raises funds for San Francisco Zoo and Gardens (“Zoo”). The Society’s mission, supra, is summarized as the 3 c’s: to connect our visitors with wildlife so that they care about nature and ultimately conserve it. The Society’s leadership team is comprised of a President & Executive Director as well as a professional team of Senior Managers. The Society endeavors to meet or exceed the standards of its industry peers, including those established by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (“AZA”). For over 25 years, the Society has been continuously accredited by the AZA.

Under the direct supervision of the Curator of Carnivores or designee, this position provides direct supervision of assigned animal keepers in Carnivores and performs related managerial and/supervisorial responsibilities. The incumbent may be asked to perform Assistant Curator related duties in Hoofstock, Marsupials or other “code red” animal department on an as-needed basis. Knowledge in animal husbandry, animal behavior and hazards of working with code red animals is required and demonstrated experience in database management, employee scheduling, organizational and people skills is essential. This position is exempt and at-will and is required to work on weekends, holidays and after hours as needed.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skills: Requires extensive knowledge of the care and feeding of a variety of zoo animals, particularly carnivores such as big cats, bears and small carnivores; animal behavior and hazards of working with zoo animals; zoo rules, policies and procedures; includes knowledge of animal diseases and methods of preventing the spread of contagious disease, and principles of biology and zoology. Ability to perform heavy work including working safely and effectively with dangerous or exotic mammals and working effectively with Zoo employees; manage operational records; prepare reports; deal courteously and effectively with the public. Must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

1. Supervises the work of Animal Keepers in the Carnivores section; coordinates, facilitates and oversees sectional operations such as maintenance and repair activities, exhibit design, safety training, writing and updating Standard Operating Procedures and other assigned tasks.
2. Responsible for administrative functions including scheduling, timekeeping, repair work orders and the ordering, receipt and distribution of materials, supplies and food stuffs.
3. Implements, develops and/or revises standard operating procedures or other reports; conducts or coordinates safety training and other trainings on an as-needed basis or as directed
4. Inspects assigned section to ensure proper care, maintenance and safety of animals and their facilities using AZA and USDA standards.
5. Under direction from the Curator of Carnivores or designee, completes Annual Performance Evaluations for all assigned subordinate staff including evaluation of their compliance to Zoo’s mission and core values, identification of performance objectives and identification of needed training.
6. Administers progressive discipline program consulting with department management and Human Resources.
7. Maintains or reviews necessary records relating to animal observation and daily operations, as required; submits or reviews routine or emergency repair or maintenance requests; may prepare other reports for incidents such as industrial injury, accident or vandalism.
8. May assist other Zoo personnel on special assignments or projects relating to zoo operations such as reviewing, developing and planning upgrades of sections or sectional operations.
9. Upon request, prepares written proposals to management staff regarding exhibit modifications and/or renovations, nutrition, propagation programs, disease prevention and safety; may prepare reports containing background information resulting from the compilation of surveys or literature searches.
10. Performs Curator in Charge (CIC duties as assigned).
11. May be required to perform the duties of an animal keeper on an as-needed basis.
12. May be required to do public presentations for Zoo guests and VIP tours.

1. Assists marketing and development staff in promoting the Zoo’s public image and attaining the Zoo’s public relations and community service objectives.
2. Assists the Curator in maintaining contacts with individuals and organizations involved in promoting worldwide conservation ethics and goals.
3. Performs other duties as required and assigned.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: Directly supervises employees and interns. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies, applicable laws, and relevant labor laws. Responsibilities include but are not limited to, interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems; ensuring compliance with the collective bargaining agreement.

QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

a. Minimum five (5) years of paid progressive experience in exotic animal husbandry management;
b. Three (3) of those five years must be supervisorial and curatorial experience in Carnivores at an AZA accredited zoological institution;
c. A baccalaureate (B.A) degree in biology, zoology, or animal (wildlife) management or a related field from an accredited university or college is preferred.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand and walk. The employee is occasionally required to sit. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 80 pounds.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to potentially hazardous animals.

Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. EOE

Application: Please apply via our web site at Please attach a cover letter with your resume.

Education and Pre-requisites

Not specified.

Compensation and benefits

Not specified.

Application instructions

Please apply via our web site at Please attach a cover letter with your resume.