Keeper/Deputy Section Head (Elephants) – Howletts

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Keeper / Deputy Section Head - Elephant Section

Salary National Minimum/Living Wage to £22,000 per annum DOE

plus a living out allowance of £2,600 p.a. if on-site accommodation is not required or available.

Howletts Wild Animal Park, situated near Canterbury in Kent, is home to the largest breeding herd of elephants in the UK. Through our conservation organisation, The Aspinall Foundation, we manage two National Parks protecting numerous forest elephants in West Africa.

We are recruiting for a keeper, who will assist the Section Manager with the smooth running of the section which currently houses 6:8 African elephants managed in protected contact. We have elephant moves coming up in the next year and so elephant training experience would be advantageous. Previous experience of working with bull elephants also an advantage.

  For the Deputy role applicants should preferably have:

  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience with large exotic species, preferably elephants
  • An understanding of Protected Contact elephant management
  • Proven ability to motivate, train and supervise staff
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • A genuinely flexible attitude to work
  • Broad knowledge of elephant conservation, behaviour and welfare
  • A full manual driving licence

This is a physically demanding job. Duties will include heavy lifting and strenuous cleaning, as well as enclosure maintenance, browse cutting, grass strimming and operation of vehicles such as tractors and dumper trucks.

You will be a team player with good communication skills.  Ideally, you will have gained the DMZAA (or an equivalent qualification) or be prepared to undertake this which the company will support; or have substantial practical experience.  The company encourages succession planning and therefore, looking to the future, supervisory experience would be advantageous in this role. We provide extensive staff training and will offer the opportunity to develop your professional skills and abilities.

Candidates must have a flexible approach to working hours. The is a permanent, full-time position working 40 hours per week, generally 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week including weekends and bank holidays.  

Closing date for applications: Friday 31 July 2020

Or sooner if sufficient applications are received.

To Apply: Please email your full C.V. and covering letter to

or send to Human Resources Department, Port Lympne Reserve, Lympne, Kent, CT21 4PD.

All applicants must have right to work in the UK

Visit our website to find out more about the work we do.

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