Director of Animal Staff Operations

Baltimore, MD Full-time
Maryland Zoo is an EEO employer - M/F/Vets/Disabled

General Summary: The Director of Animal Staff Operations is responsible for providing coverage for all animal areas as needed, supervising the Relief Keeper team, and working with the General Curator on team building and department operations. They report directly to the General Curator. 

Essential Functions:

Primary Function:

  • Supervise the Relief Keeper team and coordinate their schedules to meet department needs;

  • Work with Area Managers to recruit animal care staff;

  • Provide tertiary coverage for all animal areas in absence of Area Manager and Back Up Manager;

  • Provide department coverage in the absence of curatorial level staff;

  • Work with General Curator on team building and fostering a positive and inclusive work environment within the Animal Department; 

  • Actively uphold and work to further the goals of the department’s behavior management programs;

  • Participate in the Zoo’s welfare assessment program;

  • Provide operational support for the department as needed, including with keeper and manager training, payroll, and red key duties; 

  • Represent the Zoo at events and in the media as needed;

  • Assist in establishing and enforcing the organization’s rules, regulations and policies;

  • Support the guest experiences and zoo mission;

  • Assist in AZA-sanctioned programs;

  • Remain on call 24 hours a day or designate an alternate when not available;

  • Participate on the Animal Recapture Team and maintain qualifications to handle and operate firearms according to Zoo policy;

  • Perform other duties as assigned; and,

  • Adhere to all policies and procedures of the Zoo.

    Communication (Internal and External):

  • Represent the zoo to guests, donors, zoo community associates, and the general public;
  • Communicate effectively throughout the department and other divisions of the Zoo regarding zoo-wide information;

  • Provide answers to the publics' questions concerning the animals or zoo operations;

  • Communicate the daily concerns, ongoing issues and regular information to the General Curator;

  • Produce periodic reports for the General Curator;

  • Represent the department at internal and external meetings;

  • Maintain department records as required by AZA standards.

Management of Resources (financial, human resources, facilities):

  • Motivate and mentor area supervisors and their staff to excel in their fields;

  • Motivate and lead a high performance area management team; attract, recruit and retain required keeper staff and area managers;

  • Assist in developing and implementing a staff training program that provides opportunities for staff to grow and learn within their profession;

  • Assign tasks to area supervisors in coordination with the General Curator;

  • Assist Area Managers annual employee evaluations for animal staff;

  • Participate in counseling, coaching and discipline of department staff;

  • Assist the General Curator with inter-divisional interactions, budget management, and other duties so as to maintain familiarity and all aspects of division operation;

  • Serve and support the division as a representative of assigned areas.

Minimum Qualifications:


  • A Bachelors of Science degree in Zoology, Biology, Wildlife Management, or animal related sciences; and,

  • Masters in Zoology, Biology, Wildlife Management or animal sciences is preferred.


  • Three to five years experience working with a zoological or private animal collection, demonstrated supervisory ability;

  • Three to five years experience in the direct management and collection planning of animal collections in a zoological setting;

  • Working knowledge of animal husbandry; and,

  • Valid driver’s license.

Traits Desirable:

  • Ability to work with a wide variety of individuals from ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds;

  • Extremely well-organized;

  • Strong leadership, communication, mentoring, time management, interpersonal and follow-up skills; and,

  • Self-directed, collaborative and detail-oriented.


  • Must be able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including telephone,  two way radios, motor vehicles, electric golf carts, hand tools, animal restraint and capture equipment, firearms, gardening/carpentry tools, power equipment, e.g. leaf blower, weed eater, lawn mower,  or power washer and computer equipment, scales, transponder reader, digital thermometers and water chemistry equipment.  Must be proficient with a word processing and spread sheet program (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel).

Working Conditions:

  • Must be able to exert up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, 25 pounds frequently and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.  Physical demands are in excess of those for sedentary work; must be able to remain on feet for periods of time, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, push, pull, climb, balance;

  • Must be able to travel large areas of the Zoo as needed;

  • Must be able to work in an outdoor weather environment in all seasons and weather, including heat/humidity, cold temperatures, and/or wet conditions;

  • Must be able to lift and/or carry weights of up to 75 pounds and climb a ladder; 

  • Exposure to potential environmental hazards such as poison oak/ivy, uneven terrain, and insect bites/stings.

  • Exposure to zoonotic diseases and risk of animal attack; and,

  • TB test and physical required.


The statements above are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification.  They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of all personnel so classified.  Therefore, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change.

Please visit our careers page to see more job opportunities.

Apply for this Position

Accepted formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx
Accepted formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx
By clicking the button, I agree to the GetHired Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
Already a member? Login to Apply