Lead Animal Keeper – Ungulates

Orana Wildlife Park

Set in 80 hectares, Orana Wildlife Park (Christchurch) is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. The Park is home to 1,000 animals representing over 90 different species; the focus of our collection is New Zealand native fauna, domestic animals and African savannah wildlife. Following the completion of our Great Ape Centre, home to New Zealand’s only gorillas, Orana is part way through an exciting development plan to ensure that the Park continues to evolve into the future.

Planning is advanced on our next major capital project – a new Native Species Centre, a state of the art incubation and chick rearing facility showcasing a range of native species that will enable Orana to make an even greater contribution to New Zealand species conservation. Additionally, planning is also underway for the construction of a new rhino facility as part of The Australian Rhino Project - a joint international effort aimed at building an insurance population of white rhinos outside of Africa.

We have a fantastic opportunity for a suitably skilled person to join the leadership team of the Exotic Mammal Section. This position, reporting to the Manager of Exotic Species, and working closely with the Assistant Manager of Exotic Species, carries significant responsibility being the main point of contact for our ungulate species section. We are seeking to employ an experienced senior exotic animal keeper with demonstrated supervisory skills. You will need to be a highly driven and energetic individual with a passion for wildlife.

The ideal applicant will possess the following skills and attributes:

  • Proven experience in a supervisory capacity in a modern zoo with an ability to train and lead other staff.
  • A minimum of seven years animal husbandry experience in a zoo, working across a broad range of taxa, with particular emphasis on large ungulates. Extensive knowledge and experience working with Southern White Rhino is desirable.
  • Experience in nutritional planning, breeding plans and/or exhibit design is an advantage.
  • Understanding of biosecurity and health & safety compliance requirements in a zoo.
  • Experience in completing quarantines for new and/or sick animals according to requirements would be considered an advantage.
  • A mature attitude, a team player with a positive outlook and have an ability to build quality internal relationships across all staff teams.
  • Good communication, with a professional approach to visitors.
  • A high level of fitness (heavy lifting will be required) and an ability to do repetitive tasks.
  • A qualification in zoo keeping (or similar) would be considered an advantage.
  • Good practical and maintenance skills.

Duties will include:

  • Being the main point of contact for the ungulate section ensuring correct animal husbandry procedures and techniques are implemented and followed by all staff on the section.
  • Oversee the day-to-day care and ensure the highest standards of care and welfare is provided for at all times to all animals on the section.
  • Training and supervision of other animal keepers and work experience students.
  • Setting the work standard, being able to work with minimal supervision.
  • Be familiar with all safety procedures and equipment, along with ensuring all such procedures are followed at all times.
  • Plan and effect routine maintenance to all facilities in consultation with Managers.
  • Advise promptly any concerns in relation to required maintenance, potential safety risks and any possible health concerns in relation to the animals.
  • Involvement in zoo-based breeding programmes for threatened species.
  • Implementing behavioural enrichment programmes.
  • Conducting fun, informative presentations to educate visitors on the plight of fauna.
  • Take part in pest control programmes.
  • Animal observation and record keeping.
  • Implementing the organisation’s Health and Safety and Safe Operating Procedures.

The working week for the position is to be determined and will involve working full time, 40 hours per week. Hours of work are 8:30am to 5:00pm. Salary will be in accordance with skills and experience. If you wish to apply, then we invite you to request an application pack by telephone (03 359 7109) or email (info@oranawildlifepark.co.nz). All applications must be submitted on the official application form included in the pack by 5 pm, Friday 30th July 2021. Applications can be posted to: Orana Wildlife Park, PO Box 5130, Christchurch 8542, or emailed to us at info@oranawildlifepark.co.nz. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.