Animal Manager – New Forest Wildlife Park

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Animal Manager

New Forest Wildlife Park

Position :Animal Manager (Full-time / Permanent)

Salary: in the region of £27,

About Us:

The New Forest Wildlife Park is a well-established and expanding family run business. We strive for the highest standards in animal husbandry, conservation, and education. Our mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats through engagement and interaction with the public. This particularly involves native U.K. & European species held at the park, so an intimate knowledge of both taxa is preferred with this role.

Our company aim is realised over both our zoos which hold an important and diverse range of species. The New Forest Wildlife Park promotes and champions our U.K. and European native species. Focusing on both extant and extinct species of Britain, with the addition of some important exotic species too, including one of the world’s largest collections of otter species, all run within the guidelines of EAZA’s EEP programs.

Overview of Role:

 We are seeking an experienced, enthusiastic, and dynamic animal manager to help manage the collection and run the keeper team. The successful candidate will be expected to ensure high standards of animal welfare, animal husbandry and keep daily checks and records of animals within all sections (knowledge of ZIMS is an advantage). Training, supervising, and working closely with the small team of keeping staff as well as working closely with the General Manager and Curator to move forward as we upgrade and improve the animal collection.

Working hours are 40hrs per week, worked within a roster which includes regular weekends and bank holidays, so flexibility regarding hours is crucial.

The role is physically demanding, and our site is mainly outdoors, so ability to deal with all weathers essential.

Applicants must have a passion for working with a variety of animals within a zoo environment however experience with native species and addition exotics knowledge would be an advantage. Good communication skills and experience of dealing with the public is essential, together with the ability to work effectively within a small and self-reliant team.

A minimum of three years paid employment within a zoological related management/supervisory position required.

Main Duties:

  • managing the keeping team in regard to cleaning of all areas within the zoo and being included in performing these duties.
  • managing enclosure/paddock servicing, maintenance, and refurbishment. A basic use of hand tools and equipment would be an advantage.
  • Continual review and updating of all approved diets, nutrition, and enrichment.
  • Managing the supervision of correct feeding procedures where this is deemed appropriate for each species and working with curator and keepers to ensure all husbandry, welfare, veterinary care, and dietary needs are met for the specific species we house.
  • Ensuring that all safety and emergency procedures are always implemented/followed.
  • Liaising with the curator regarding the movement and/or training of animals, “keeper talks” etc.
  • Maintaining courteous and helpful relations with visitors. Dealing with customer requests and information.
  • Reporting defects and repairs required to the maintenance department.
  • Assisting in various projects related to animal management as directed by senior animal management staff.
  • Reporting directly to our company vet regarding any medical or veterinary issues or concerns as they become apparent.
  • Feed stock taking and ordering.
  • Compliance with all staff health and safety, written working protocols, staff training and personal CPD.
  • Basic knowledge of U.K. Zoo licensing requirements, APHA legislation, Natural England legislation, animal transfers/ transportation, wildlife rehabilitation techniques for U.K. species would be an advantage.
  • The ability to manage effectively, efficiently, and fairly a small team of highly motivated friendly keeping staff.
  • You will be fully supported by the curator and senior management team.

Person Specification:

  • Practical experience of animal management with a range of domestic and exotic species.
  • Broad taxonomic knowledge on a range of species managed within zoological collections. Advantage would be carnivore/mustelid/ungulate and strigiform husbandry.
  • Willingness to work on and learn about evolving husbandry management within zoological collections to include positive re-enforcement training for behavioural management and varied methods of enrichment for a range of species.
  • Knowledge of techniques used to handle specific animals should catch ups or veterinary procedures require this.
  • Be able to demonstrate initiative and a pro-active approach to completing tasks beneficial to the section/department without always waiting to be asked.
  • Keeper experiences are an essential part of our business, we are very customer focused so please make sure you are.
  • Academic qualifications will be taken into consideration for this position, but previous experience, attitude and knowledge and experience within the industry are key considerations.

Please note*

  • A full clean manual driving licence is required.
  • Accommodation will not be provided on site.
  • Public transport is not an option for those seeking this position.
  • We do not hold telephone or Skype interviews; all interviews will be held at the park.
  • Our park is set in the New Forest National Park, this role, although within a small collection in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, is physically demanding and requires the ability to think on ones’ own and adjust to a fast changing, flexible work environment.

To Apply:

Applicants will need to contact Jason Palmer at the email address below, an application form will then be sent out. Please return your CV, application form and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability etc), to

Interviews will be held at the park on a full day trial basis with a more formal interview during the day.

Closing Date: midnight Friday 26th August 2024.

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