The Hemsley Conservation Centre opened in 2015 as a small centre focusing on lesser known and endangered animals that are often overlooked in other collections. Since our conception, we have grown in size and are now home to a wonderful collection of species including lemurs, toucans, softbills, prehensile tailed porcupines, callitrichids, small felids, maned wolf, tapir and short beaked echidna to name a few. We are set to expand further
with new species, new guest experiences and a growing team of professionals as part of our development.

The Role:


  • Prepare for and conduct regular departmental meetings / undertake agreed actions.

Animal Management

  • Ensure exemplary standards of husbandry, health and welfare standard within all animal sections given by keepers.
  • Coordinate, oversee and carry out animal husbandry routines and environmental enrichment.
  • Collate and maintain animal observation records.
  • Facilitate and contribute to zoological research.
  • Organise animal management operations and veterinary intervention as required.
  • Undertake and maintain records of animal enclosure security checks.
  • Maintain and enhance animal enclosures.

Health and Safety

  • Ensure site wide adherence to health and safety policies and procedures.
  • Assist with maintaining risk assessments, implement and monitor H&S measures.
  • Implement and maintain emergency procedures – practice and enact when required.
  • Ensure safe working procedures and staff training are correctly documented, audited and updated as necessary.

Communications, education and public awareness

  • Share relevant information and disseminate organisational news and updates to the team.
  • Facilitate and participate in education, media and marketing initiatives as required.
  • Engage guests informally during course of duties.
  • Responsible for the development and delivery of innovative animal talks and presentations to meet aims and objectives for interpretation and informal conservation education and disseminate this to the team.

Compliance and best practice

  • Support and participate in zoo licence inspections, and other audits as required.
  • Make sure the zoo is operating in line with the most current version of the Secretary of State’s Standards for Modern Zoo Practice in all aspects of its operations.
  • Support and participate in BALAI inspections as required.
  • Maintain understanding of ethical, population management, and animal welfare policies.
  • Ensure zoo adherence to environmental policy and procedures.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A degree in animal management or biological sciences.
  • Extensive knowledge and wide-ranging experience of exotic animal management.
  • Specialist taxonomic knowledge and experience.
  • Demonstrable experience supervising teams.
  • Contemporary knowledge of exotic animal husbandry.
  • Understanding of relevant legislation and best practice.
  • Knowledge of issues affecting zoological collections and their contributions to conservation, science and education.
  • IT skills and proficiency in use of software (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and animal record systems).
  • Full driving licence valid for the UK.
  • Basic understanding of health and safety requirements.
  • Proven experience managing/leading staff and volunteers.


  • Ability to mentor and provide support for professional and personal development.
  • Aptitude for combining academic and practical aspects of the role.
  • Aptitude for innovation and practical problem solving.
  • Strong communication and people skills.
  • Planning and project management skills.
  • An understanding of the values and behaviour expected within this role.
  • Has the ability to organise work, monitor and set work for junior staff and keep excellent records.
  • Is self-motivating and self-managing. Follows through projects to completion. Has a high standard of personal integrity and professionalism.
  • Problem solving skills, and the ability to provide solutions.
  • Understanding of animal training techniques and enrichment implementation.
  • Understanding of the roles of zoos in conservation, education and research.