Curator Of Animal Behavior Programs

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore - Baltimore, MD 21217

Job details Job Type Internship Full Job Description

General Summary: The Director of Animal Behavior is responsible for oversight of all animal behavior programs related to the Zoo’s animal collection under the direction of the General Curator.


Essential Functions:


Primary Function:


  • Represent the zoo’s interests on issues involving living collections to government agencies, education and conservation organizations;

  • Develop a long term plan for implementing comprehensive enrichment programs throughout the Animal Department to enhance habitats and animal welfare both during and outside of business hours:

  • Foster a success-oriented, accountable environment within the zoo;

  • Actively collaborate with other divisions to insure that behavioral management practices are to the highest standards;

  • Develop and maintain browse schedules for all relevant species and areas in the Animal Department and coordinate with Horticulture staff;

  • Develop and maintain a schedule for regular rotation of natural habitat furniture (logs and branches) and coordinate request for needs with Horticulture staff;

  • Form partnerships with outside organizations that are interested in providing support and resources for behavior, enrichment, and exhibit management projects;

  • Develop and coordinate internship programs for animal behavior with the Education Department;

  • Develop and maintain a departmental record keeping system, including behavioral and medical observations, in accordance with AZA standards;

  • Oversee enrichment through established enrichment guidelines and protocols;

  • Collaborate with Collection Managers and General Curator to identify training priorities across the department;

  • Work with the Area Managers and Animal Behavior Specialist to implement new training programs;

  • Assist Collection Managers with preparations for the transfer of animals between facilities, and accompany animal shipments when required;

  • Participate in animal welfare assessments, and work with management to rectify deficiencies identified during assessments;

  • Participate in weekly meetings with animal care managers and the animal medical team, and work with them to address all behavioral concerns;

  • Participate, with other divisional staff (both internal and external), in the planning, experimental design and development of animal habitats;

  • Collaborate with the Business Development team to identify donor opportunities within the department, and maintain the department wish list;

  • Represent the Animal Department on the Zoo’s Research Committee, and help animal teams implement approved research studies;

  • Act as a resource for animal care staff participating in, or wanting to participate in, research projects;

  • Act as an approved Red Key holder in all areas with dangerous carnivores;

  • Assist in establishing and enforcing Zoo/Department rules, regulations and policies;

  • Assist in the formation and administration of policy and direction for the successful operation of the department, including its physical, animal, and human resources, in a manner to promote the health and well-being of the collection and the development and well-being of the staff;

  • Support the guest experiences and zoo mission;

  • Assist in AZA-sanctioned programs;

  • Remain on call 24 hours a day, all year or designates an alternate in his/her absence;

  • Maintain qualifications to operate firearms and act as a member of the Recapture Team;

  • 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;

  • Actively collaborate with divisions to insure that behavioral management practices are of the highest standards;

  • Actively collaborate with outside organizations

  • Publish articles and/or lectures on zoo-related ventures in-house and outreach.


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


  • Recruit for, and supervise, the Animal Behavior Specialist position;

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

  • With the Collection Managers, animal medical staff and Human Resources, develop, implement and monitor keeper training courses for grievances and policies & procedures;

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

  • Provide supervisory back-up for Collection Managers and Area Managers;

  • 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;

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