Great Plains Zoo is seeking a Director of Animal Programs. The Zoo is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a greater understanding of our national world through Education, Conservation, Recreation and Discovery. The Great Plains Zoo cares for more than 1,000 animals from around the world and offers up-close views of animals often not found in larger zoos, including Giraffes, Tigers, Rhinos and a national award-winning Snow Monkey Exhibit. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and sees approximately 300,000 visitors annually.
The 45-acre Great Plains Zoo is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a growing community with:
The Zoological Society of Sioux Falls provides competitive pay and a generous benefit package to employees including:
General Statement of Duties
The Director of Animal Programs leads and directs the activities of the Animal Care Department including staff supervision, budgeting, conservation initiatives and collection planning, and oversees the veterinary medicine program. The Director of Animal Programs also serves as a member of the leadership team to contribute to the future growth and operation of the Zoo as a whole. The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership skills, deep animal care knowledge, strong relationships within AZA, creativity, tenacity, and flexibility.
Maintains an enthusiastic, self-reliant and self-starting approach to job responsibilities and accountability. Strives to anticipate work load and initiate proper acceptable direction for the completion of work with a minimum of supervision or instruction.
Shares knowledge with and advises the President and CEO and VP of Operations (VPO) for mutual and organizational benefit. Tactfully and respectfully, handles requests, suggestions and complaints from other departments and persons in order to maintain good working relationships within the Zoo and Museum.
Provides the leadership and management oversight to address and accomplish established goals, objectives and strategies related to animal programs and related projects of the Zoo.
The Zoo is implementing a multi-year plan to increase our financial commitment to conservation of endangered species in the wild. With a goal of 3% of our annual operations budget dedicated wildlife conservation, the Zoo is crafting a dynamic plan for significant conservation efforts. The Director of Animal Programs will play a significant role in shaping our conservation program, and leading efforts through SAFE, SSP leadership, field research and onsite programs.
Reporting and Supervision
The Director of Animal Programs reports directly to the President and CEO. The Director of Animal Programs supervises the Area Supervisors (2) and the Veterinarian.
Education, Experience and Qualifications
Requires a Bachelor’s Degree (BS/BA) in biology, zoology, wildlife management or related field with a demonstrated work history of increasing responsibility in the management of animal programs. A minimum of five years’ experience at an AZA accredited zoo and three to five years of supervisory experience is required. AZA leadership and involvement on committees, TAGs, and SSP coordination is preferred, or a combination of education and experience acceptable to the hiring authority. Requires valid driver’s license and a driving record acceptable to the hiring authority. Required to pass a pre-employment background check.
Must be proficient on computers to administer appropriate programs, inventories, record keeping and Microsoft Office programs. Requires strong communication and organizational skills. Must be able to work occasional weekends and evenings.
Health & Safety
Must be able to lift and carry up to 30 pounds. Must be certified for CPR and to administer AED (training will be provided). Must be TB negative or submit to required monitoring.
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Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.Taylor F.
We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.Robin A.
Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.Stephanie N.
The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.Bill T.