Area Manager- Penguin Coast/Africa Barn

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

General Summary:  Provides day-to-day leadership and management of specific animal areas which supports the mission and core values of the Zoo to the staff engaged in the care and exhibition of the collection.

Essential Functions:

 Primary Function:

  • Foster a success-oriented, accountable environment within the Zoo;
  • Support the guest experiences;
  • Serve as the liaison for the Collection Managers and Curators as to daily concerns of the department;
  • Observe animals to detect signs of illness, and report the same to the Collection Manager and Medical Staff to determine type of medication/treatment required and help in the treatment;
  • Develop and maintain SOPs for assigned area(s);
  • Coordinate pest control needs/activities with the Senior Animal Care Technician;
  • Ensure that adequate and appropriate pest control practices are carried out and that all pest control records are maintained;
  • Coordinate water quality testing and Life Support Systems equipment preventative maintenance with the Water Quality Specialist and ensure that adequate and appropriate water quality records are maintained;
  • Inspect all exhibits and related facilities regularly for cleanliness and structural integrity;
  • Direct or perform all keeper activities necessary to the direct maintenance  of the animal collection;
  • Inspect the care and well being of the animals in their area;
  • Supervise and coordinate all activities of the keeper staff;
  • Supervise and participate in moving of animals to new quarters or in crating or uncrating animals for shipment or display;
  • Oversee and/or assist with medical treatments, preparation of food, feeding of animals and maintenance and repair of animal quarters/exhibit;
  • Ensure that area activities are recorded in the daily diary and other permanent records;
  • Collaborate with Animal Department Curators,  Managers and medical staff in development of diets, husbandry techniques, and area protocols;
  • Develop action plans for projects and present them to the Collection Managers;
  • Assist in AZA-sanctioned programs as requested;
  • Available 24 hours/day, if necessary;
  • Attend weekly medical meetings;
  • Serve and support assigned area(s);
  • Coordinate the training opportunities for volunteers, Junior keepers, and interns;
  • Participate on the animal recapture team and maintains qualifications to use firearms on zoo grounds;
  • Train and educate Animal Keepers;
  • Coordinate construction projects and outside vendors and contractors while maintaining safety for animals and staff;
  • Work with the Animal Training and Enrichment Coordinator to develop and maintain animal training and enrichment programs;
  • Manage the particular aspects of scheduling and payroll essential to supervising staff;
  • Responsible for acting as member of Zoo’s emergency response firearms shoot team;
  • Perform other duties as assigned; and,
  • Adhere to all policies and procedures of the Zoo.

Communication (Internal and External):

  • Actively collaborate with divisions to insure that husbandry and behavioral management practices are to the highest standards;
  • Represent the zoo to guests, donors, zoo community associates, and the general public;
  • Answer the public's questions concerning animals' habits or zoo operations;
  • Actively collaborate with the Marketing, Development, Education and Visitor Services departments to design and implement programs and presentations directly related to the animal collection;
  • Actively collaborate with the Marketing, Development, Education and Visitor Services departments  to produce and participate in non-routine special events;
  • Organize behind the scenes tours as requested; and,
  • Conduct and/or contribute to Area, Department and All-Staff meetings.

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

  • Make recommendations to the General Curator and Collection Managers on the hiring and firing and personnel actions such as promotions, transfers and disciplinary actions;
  • Read keepers’ daily reports and ensure appropriate corrective action;
  • Determine which information/data from daily reports should be included in the Zoo’s permanent animal records;
  • Prepare and communicate performance evaluations of keeper staff;
  • Recommend improvements and repairs to animal exhibits and facilities;
  • Recommend updates, clarifications and additions to Animal Department policies and procedures and area SOPs;
  • Coordinate with the Maintenance department for repairs, non-capital renovations and improvements;
  • Schedule staff to various tasks as needed;
  • Support inventory control/ensure the proper working condition of all department equipment; and,
  • Provide supervisory back up for the other area managers.


Minimum Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s Degree preferably in Biological Sciences, Zoology, Wildlife Management, Animal Science or related science; and, 
  • Experience may be substituted for a degree.


  • Three years paid experience with an AZA accredited zoological institution (preferred);
  • At least one year of supervisory experience or equivalent experience working with animals in a supervisory capacity;
  • Valid driver’s license; and,
  • Demonstrated supervisory ability as well as ability to lead and mentor professional staff;


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;
  • Self-directed, collaborative and detail-oriented; and,
  • Strong background in animal husbandry, training, or enrichment.




  • Must be able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including telephone,  two way radio, motor vehicles, electric golf carts, hand tools, animal restraint and capture equipment,  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); and
  • Ability to use personal electronic device as a remote desktop for business purposes.


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, physical, and rabies vaccine 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.

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