The National Zoological Garden (NZG) is a rapidly transforming facility reporting to the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). It has an impressive animal collection, a breeding centre as well as a wildlife research centre. The NZG is well placed as an education and awareness platform for visitors comprising of educators, learners, students, special interest groups and the general public. The following challenging opportunity is in the process of being filled:

The National Zoological Garden is looking for well-qualified, experienced, hard-working, enthusiastic and motivated person to be appointed as Curator: Primates and Australian Animals.

The Curator is a middle management position which contributes to achieving departmental objectives by planning and evaluating activities for specific group/s of animals in the zoo’s animal collection, managing staff; and by implementing departmental and organization strategic plans.

The Curator provides guidance, leadership and training with regards to the husbandry and welfare requirements of a specific selection of animals within the animal collection, including the development and implementation of operational plans for all animals in their care.

Amongst others, the successful applicant will be expected to perform the following duties:

  • Ensure that all animals in their section receive high quality care, appropriate habitat and environmental parameters, appropriate food and feeding regimes, and appropriate social structure
  • Develop standard operating procedures for their sections and ensure that staff carry out their responsibilities as outlined in these procedures
  • Develop the goals and operational plans for their section in accordance with the Departmental Business Plan and Annual Performance Plan
  • Improve and develop husbandry guidelines by keeping up to date with latest developments in the industry
  • Initiate, plan, implement and supervise section projects
  • Attend to emergencies on the section, during and after hours
  • Contribute to the strategic plans of the NZG and Conservation Department as needed
  • Liaise closely with the Veterinary department on all aspects of animal health and welfare
  • Identify, plan, approve and coordinate enrichment activities in section
  • Identify, plan, approve and coordinate animal conditioning activities in the section
  • Follow and implement HR policies and procedures through staff management and development
  • Mentor interns and undergraduate students conducting in service training
  • Develop and conduct specialist training for NZG staff and external stakeholders
  • Compile and manage annual budgets according to financial and supply chain management processes
  • Makes sure equipment, vehicles and other resources are used in a responsible manner
  • Develop, coordinate and conduct public engagement activities such as celebrations of local and international awareness days, animal encounters and public awareness talks and activities
  • Liaise with media when requested by the Marketing department by giving them factual information needed in a responsible manner
  • Conduct talks for HEI’s on request
  • Join and contribute to specialist groups such as Southern ground hornbill Action Group, taxon advisory groups, etc.
  • Attend and contribute to seminars and conferences for networking and data dissemination
  • Lead or participate in Conservation related activities such as African Conservation Programmes under the auspices of PAAZA
  • Develop links and collaborate with public and private entities. E.g. Working for Water, Conservation bodies
  • Conduct weekend duty as required.

Minimum requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree or BTech in Zoology, Nature Conservation, Game Ranch Management or Animal Health)
  • 5 year’s ex-situ experience with primates, including Great Apes, 2 years of which must be at a supervisory level
  • Computer literacy
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Must have a good understanding of the World Zoo and Aquaria Conservation Strategy and Animal Welfare Strategies
  • Must have a good understanding of the South African National Standard for Zoo and Aquarium Practice
  • Must have a good understanding of Health and Safety in the work place
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • Report writing skills
  • Operational strategic planning skills
  • Staff management, development and team building skills.

Additional desirable qualifications:

  • Additional experience with taxa that require specialized care will be an advantage.
  • Research capabilities.

Successful applicant must be prepared to undergo testing for allergies and TB and also vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and other needed vaccinations. A positive test will not preclude employment at the NZG.

This position will seek to provide representivity and address the imbalance of the past. Interested parties are requested to send applications (with a cover letter, full CV and certified copies of qualifications) to the email address below. Short-listed candidates who are invited to an interview will be expected to demonstrate proof of the above key competencies and minimum requirements.

Applications should be forwarded to nzg.recruitment@sanbi.org.za with the subject: Curator: Primates and Australian Animals.