Are you inspired to be a part of an organization committed to protecting wildlife around the globe? San Diego Zoo Global is a mission-based, non-profit wildlife conservation organization with two world famous front doors where we unite our passion for wildlife, expertise in wildlife care, and conservation science to save species from the brink of extinction. Our commitment is to provide visits to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park as opportunities to learn about and engage with best-in-class conservation work, and how that work is changing outcomes for wildlife everyday.  


The Animal Care Manager performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that supports San Diego Zoo Global’s mission and vision of saving species worldwide by overseeing all aspects of the welfare, safe care, and handling of assigned animals using strategic planning. The Animal Care Manager develops the skills, abilities and confidence of the Wildlife Care Specialists to the highest level. This position is responsible for upholding SDZG’s Animal Welfare guidelines and standards. This position reports to the Associate Curator of Mammals.


• Evaluates, adjusts, and coordinates husbandry standards and techniques applied to the assigned animals while maintaining alignment with the Safari Park and SDZG strategic plans

• Plans, oversees, and directs the implementation of animal husbandry programs, reproduction, neonatal care, introductions, moves, restraints and shipments

• Frequently inspects habitat needs, and observes overall health and welfare of the animals assigned

• Collaborates with the nutrition team to ensure that dietary needs are fulfilled

• Active and ongoing discussion with the veterinary team around whole life planning. This would be done in conjunction with the Wildlife Care Specialists

• Engage with supervisors and Wildlife Care Specialist team to ensure procedures are planned and supported with special attention paid to the safety of the animal and team

• Oversees and participates in the preparation and maintenance of a variety of animal records required for managing animal health and care

• Assures that we meet the of legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements in animal management as well as domestic and international shipping of our animals

• Ensures the use of SDZG animal handling, shipment, management and positive methodologies

• Under direction develops, coordinates, guides, and recommends taxa specific husbandry management policies, training regimens and procedures for ambassador animals and programs

• Engages with Architecture team on habitat design and modifications relative to husbandry requirements of the species to ensure each animal has the opportunity to exhibit species specific behaviors

• May assist curator team in the acquisition of permits

• Supports off-site development

• Ensures supervisory and departmental compliance with time and attendance requirements

• Represents the leadership and the Wildlife Care team in partnership with SDZG operations

• Partners with Construction & Maintenance to prioritize and ensure completion of work orders

• Effectively leads their assigned team by providing the support and guidance that enables each team member to be empowered and successful

• Resolves and oversees resolution of problems and concerns referred by staff

• Participates in AZA, SSP’s and TAG’s, studbooks, and committees as needed to fulfill SDZG mission and goals

• Partners with the curator team around the animal acquisition and disposition procedures

• Implements, supports, and adheres to all SDZG and department policies and practices

• Ensures adherence to SDZG inspection ready status

• Exemplifies the highest standard of work ethics

• Supports and maintains a high level of performance towards customer service, to both internal and external customers and to conservation partners and colleagues

• Performs related duties and responsibilities as required


Seeking a candidate with at least 8 years of hands-on exotic animal care and progressive management experience of animal care personnel in an AZA accredited zoo or equivalent facility. A college degree in Zoology, Animal Science, Wildlife Management or other related field is preferred. A good driving record a valid driver license is required. 


  •  Animal Welfare
  • Basic taxonomic knowledge
  • Exotic Animal management and husbandry skills
  • Effective organizational communication and team building
  • Effective leadership skills
  • Regulatory agencies and governing bodies (USDA, USFWS, AZA, CITES etc.)
  • Habitat design and maintenance
  • Manage supervisory staff
  • Develop, monitor, and administer budgets
  • Communicate effectively (verbal and written)
  • Prepares and makes presentations
  • Develop short and long-range strategic and tactical plans
  • Work effectively in a diverse environment


Work outdoors in all weather conditions in and around animal habitats; may need to work weekends and nights; some assignments require the ability to travel; work may involve exposure to zoonotic diseases.


Some assignments will require the ability to work at elevated heights, move moderate to heavy objects, use power tools, operate heavy equipment and be exposed to harsh field environments; frequent walking, standing and bending; may require travel.


  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts