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Animal Welfare Specialist - San Diego Zoo Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027, USA Req #608
Friday, June 26, 2020
San Diego Zoo Global is a conservation organization dedicated to the science of saving endangered species worldwide. San Diego Zoo Global operates three world-class facilities: the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

Our organization’s vision - we will lead the fight against extinction.

Help us to make a difference for wildlife and begin your adventure with a career at the San Diego Zoo. Join the dedicated crew who are passionate about what they do and strive to create unforgettable experiences for our guests.


The Animal Welfare Specialist will support San Diego Zoo Global’s mission of saving species worldwide by supervising the daily safe care and handling of the animal collection under their care as well as serve as a leader within the organization. Their primary responsibility is to oversee and manage the San Diego Zoo Global Animal Welfare Program and all of its components (primarily at the Safari Park) including but not limited to: all animal welfare assessments, leading Outcome Based Husbandry working groups, teaching evidence based welfare courses onsite and abroad, and managing all aspects of the enriched experience program. This position reports to the Curator of Applied Animal Welfare.



  • Collaborates with all SDZG facility directors, Life Science Division, Veterinary Services and ICR
  • Participates in the development of an organizational SDZG wildlife master plan for all wildlife taxa from an animal welfare perspective in fulfillment of SDZG mission and goals
  • Provides complex interpretation of appropriate animal welfare policies, wildlife management policies, procedures and legislation
  • Develops, in concert with the Applied Animal Welfare team, and recommends related taxa welfare policies, procedures and standards
  • In concert with the Applied Animal Welfare team, responsible for the preparation, maintenance, analysis, and distribution of all animal welfare assessments throughout SDZG
  • Manages professional and support staff as assigned and in fulfillment of SDZG policies and practices
  • Assures, oversees and participates in the preparation and maintenance of managed wildlife welfare records
  • Consults with wildlife care specialists at SDZG and at other zoos or conservation organizations regarding wildlife welfare needs, developing monitoring programs, measuring behavior, and applied husbandry techniques.
  • Assures effective organizational communication and teambuilding
  • Participates in strategic, conceptual and functional exhibit and facility planning, research and design to ensure consideration of wildlife welfare needs
  • Supports SDZG mission and vision driven capacity enhancement efforts
  • Develops, administers and monitors assigned budgets.
  • Prepares and makes presentations
  • Collaborates with Welfare Curator on all welfare issues
  • Serves as a consultant to the Institutional Animal Welfare Panel (IAWP)
  • Ensures compliance with membership and regulatory agencies (USDA, CA DFW, AZA, etc.)
  • Exemplifies the highest standard of work ethics
  • Adheres to all SDZG and department policies and practices
  • Performs related duties and responsibilities as required


San Diego Zoo Global is seeking a candidate with training and/or experience that would demonstrate the essential functions, knowledge and skills listed; Bachelor’s Degree in biological or natural sciences or a related field or equivalent specialized training with mammals is required. A valid California driver’s license in good standing is required.



  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in behavioral research, data analysis, field work
  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience designing welfare assessment programs for a variety of taxa
  • Experience in domestic and international travel preferred


  • Hands-on wildlife care and management experience with wildlife
  • Advanced working knowledge of general wildlife taxonomy and relationships
  • Conduct, oversee or advise on the welfare aspects of field study work as needed to fulfill SDZG mission and goals
  • Manage assigned staff
  • Work effectively with others
  • Communicate effectively (verbal and written)
  • Develop, administer, and monitor budgets
  • Use computers, the internet and database systems
  • Prepare and make presentations
  • Prepare materials for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Travel domestically and internationally


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


  • Location: San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Duration: Year Round
  • Positions available: 1
  • Non-Union Position:  Salary is commensurate with experience
  • Candidates must be available for an interview if contacted. Full job description may be requested at that time.


SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL IS AN EEO/AA/DISABILITY/PROTECTED VETERAN EMPLOYER  - San Diego Zoo Global makes every effort to ensure equal employment opportunities for all individuals and abides by EEO and nondiscrimination provisions of all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application please email your request to and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.

All New Hires are subject to passing a drug screen and some employment is contingent upon passing pre-placement testing.

Are you ready to start your adventure and put your Passion for Wildlife to work?

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027, USA