Senior Animal Keeper
Location: Highland Wildlife Park
Salary: £20,162 per annum
About Us & Section Highlights
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) owns and manages Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park. The Highland Wildlife Park specialises in cold weather adapted species that are housed in enclosures that generally exceed the norm in scale. We probably devote more space to polar bears than any institution in the world, with a cutting edge approach to how the species should be kept and bred. The recent arrival of an adult, proven female and the completion of her specific enclosure complex will allow us to introduce animals for breeding in spring of 2016.
We are currently building a spectacular cliff-face enclosure for snow leopards which should be completed by early summer. As well as being visually spectacular, it will incorporate a unique (non-lethal) enrichment capability that involves the neighbouring herd of markhor.
As well as being the key regional institution for processing wild caught individuals and breeding Scottish wildcats as part of the national conservation action plan, in mid-summer we will be starting construction of a large off-exhibit Amur leopard breeding centre. The point of this facility is to be able to produce leopard cubs that are not habituated to humans and so are eligible for transporting to Russia for the reintroduction programme.
(A Google image search Highland Wildlife Park will bring up a wide range of photographs that will give you both a flavour of the Park in general and show a good cross section of the species we maintain.)
Living in the Highlands
We are centrally based within the Cairngorm National Park, surrounded by arguably the most stunning scenery in the UK. That said, we are in very easy reach (literally 50 metres away) of the main north/south road, the A9, which is the primary link between Inverness and Edinburgh. Equally we are only 4 miles away from the town of Kingussie, whose train station is a primary stop for trains from Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. The nearest Airport is Inverness and there are direct flights to London, Amsterdam and a range of other UK and European destinations.
Rented accommodation is available locally, and you may find that house purchase prices are somewhat lower than what you are used to. We will of course assist the successful candidate in finding suitable local accommodation.
(As for images of the Wildlife Park, a similar Google search Kingussie will bring up images of one of the local places that could be your new home; some other local villages are Newtonmore, Kincraig and Aviemore.)
The vacancy within the Living Collections Department at the Highland Wildlife Park is for the second-in-charge post on the animal section responsible for all non-ungulate species, primarily carnivores but also some birds, a primate and a rodent species. The successful candidate will have relevant carnivore experience and ideally a fairly broad exposure to other taxa. It is essential that the successful candidate is computer literate, has passed the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals, or an equivalent zoo focused qualification, and holds a valid driving license; qualifications should be confirmed within your application material. Experience of working in a supervisory or managerial role would be beneficial. The successful candidate will be required to cover all aspects of managing the section, including the staff, in the absence of the Team Leader. It is also important to note that the current Team Leader will likely be going on a year’s leave of absence training staff at various bear rescue centres in Southeast Asia during 2015, and the successful candidate may be asked to run the section in her absence, being paid accordingly, and answerable directly to the Head of Living Collections.
Working hours are 37.5 hours per week (annualized figure) and the post involves weekend and occasional evening work.
This post is not suitable for those that are relatively new to the zoo community and only applicants with significant and appropriate zoo experience will be considered. Previous applicants need not apply.
Closing Date: Sunday 12 July 2015.
For full information on how to apply, please visit the Highland Wildlife Park vacancy page and follow the instructions or visit www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/careers-vacancies/. Registered charity number: SC004064
Please don't forget to mention you saw this advert in