Job Postings

Behavioral Training Coordinator


Save the Chimps, Inc.

Closing Date

31 October 2017


Organizational Mission and History

Save the Chimps operates the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the world. Located on nearly 200 acres on the Treasure Coast of Florida, the Sanctuary provides lifetime care and enrichment for chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, entertainment, and the pet trade.

Save the Chimps was established in 1997 by Dr. Carole Noon in response to an announcement from the U.S. Air Force that they would be releasing the chimpanzees formerly used in NASA space exploration research. Save the Chimps initially lost their bid for the chimpanzees, but after a year-long legal battle gained permanent custody of 21 Air Force chimpanzees. In 2002, Save the Chimps conducted the largest rescue effort on behalf of chimpanzees in history by rescuing 266 chimpanzees from the Coulston Foundation, a now-defunct laboratory in New Mexico with extensive Animal Welfare Act violations. Over the course of several years, Save the Chimps relocated all of these chimpanzees from the Coulston Foundation in New Mexico to Florida in an unprecedented effort known as “The Great Chimpanzee Migration.” During this time, Save the Chimps continued to rescue chimpanzees from entertainment and the pet trade.

Today Save the Chimps is home to over 250 chimpanzees and has the current infrastructure to potentially care for up to 300 individuals. The chimpanzees are cared for by approximately 60 professional caregivers and support staff, and the organization’s operating budget is approaching $6M annually.

Position Overview
The purpose of the Behavior and Research Department is to support the quality of life for chimpanzee residents of the sanctuary. The Behavioral Training Coordinator reports to the Director of Behavior and Research and is responsible for a variety of activities associated with positive reinforcement training for chimpanzees. The position is primarily responsible for using established positive reinforcement training methods to train chimpanzees for welfare, husbandry and veterinary behaviors. The employee develops shaping plans, trains chimpanzees and monitors individual progress as assigned in accordance with departmental schedules and priorities. The Behavioral Training Coordinator maintains training records and documents Standard Operating Procedures as directed.

The general requirements of the position are as follows:

• Professionally represents Save the Chimps, demonstrating a passion for the organization and its mission
• Adheres to and promotes the mission of Save the Chimps, its core values, and strategic initiatives
Essential Job Functions
• Use approved positive reinforcement methods to train chimpanzees for welfare, husbandry and veterinary behaviors. Monitor and document individual training progress, refining approach based on goals and metrics.
• Develop and refine shaping plans, training timelines, schedules, and goals individualized for chimpanzee residents as assigned and in accordance with departmental schedules and priorities.
• Apply knowledge of animal behavior in the context of training, for example, individual temperament, needs and skills.
• Maintain a database of training techniques, supplies and other aspects of the department’s chimpanzee training program.
• Coordinate with other departments as needed to complete assigned duties effectively and efficiently.
• Develop Standard Operating Procedures to support training programs.
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Education and Pre-requisites

Education and Work Experience
• Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree preferred
• 1+ year of experience working with chimpanzees, preferably in a sanctuary setting
• Minimum of 2 years of training experience, preferably in a wildlife or zoological setting
Knowledge and Skills
• Strong interpersonal skills with ability to work independently and as part of a team.
• Excellent written and verbal communication.
• Strong computer aptitude. Experience in Microsoft Office including Excel, Word and Outlook. Knowledge of Asana or other project tracking software preferred.
• Must be able to prioritize, manage, follow through and report on multiple tasks on a regular basis.
• Strong organizational skills with great attention to detail and accuracy.
• Demonstrated ability to solve problems efficiently and effectively.

Physical Requirements

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.
• While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; stand for long periods of time; walk; sit; use hands or fingers to handle or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
• Must be able to run and swim in the face of danger

Environmental Requirements:
• Tasks are regularly performed with potential for exposure to adverse conditions, such as dirt, dust, pollen, odors, wetness, humidity, rain, temperature and noise extremes, machinery, vibrations, animals, and wildlife. Employees must not object to unpleasant chimpanzee behaviors include spitting of water or saliva, throwing of feces, food or other waste, and chimpanzee displays that may include banging, kicking of the fencing, and loud screams or hooting.

Compensation and benefits

Benefits including dental, vision, healthcare, paid time off, and others. Additional information is available by request.

Application instructions

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and references to