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Position Title: Mammal Curator

Department: Living Collections

Position Status: Full-time


The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium is looking for its next Curator of Mammals. Candidates must be dynamic and detail-oriented leaders who excel in building relationships, customer service, strategic thinking, and bringing people together. Candidates must also value and exercise the Zoo’s core values of inclusion, innovation, excellence, inspiring wonder, respect, and building connections. This position will lead the mammal department with the assistance of the assistant mammal curator.

With new leadership, the Zoo is pursuing a new vision that centers around best practices for animal care, employee engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, customer service, community engagement and partnerships, and overall excellence.

The Pittsburgh Zoo is currently accredited by the ZAA, Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and is certified by American Humane. The Zoo is currently enrolled in the AZA’s Pathway towards membership program and anticipates applying for AZA accreditation within the next year.

Job Summary

This position oversees the zoo’s extensive large cat and primate collections as well as animals from other taxa and exercises considerable authority and direct responsibility in the overall management and direction of the animal care staff, animal collection, and animal exhibits in a manner which continues the Zoo’s leadership on a national level. The Curator of Mammals will ensure that the goals and objectives established by the Pittsburgh Zoo in support of its mission are met. Responsibilities include personnel hiring, training and evaluation, budget development and management, animal husbandry, health and conservation programs, professional networking, participation in national zoo associations endeavors, and coordination with other zoological facilities This is a Senior Leadership position which reports to the VP of Living Collections and may be required to serve as on-site supervisor for the entire facility.

Essential Job Functions

  • Daily responsibilities include monitoring keeper’s progress in their assigned areas and supervising staff; Schedules animal related programs;
  • Maintains animal collection plan and transactions;
  • Ensures that all the guidelines of animal husbandry are met;
  • Develops enrichment and behavior management for the collection;
  • Prepares and monitors budgets and collection planning;
  • Develops goals and projects for the department;
  • Completes annual performance reviews for all staff in a timely manner;
  • Works with the assistant curator to monitor staff performance and document any necessary disciplinary action.
  • Attends weekly animal management meetings and department head meetings as required;
  • Actively participates in spring and fall staff retreats;
  • Develops and coordinates safety efforts within the department;
  • Must be an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
  • Represents the Zoo in relevant AZA and ZAA species conservation programs and communicates institution’s wants/needs to program leaders;
  • Communicates nationally and internationally on animal transactions, animal transports, animal management, conservation, and Zoo related issues;

Other Functions

  • Participates in Zoo’s emergency response teams as needed;
  • This position is an integral part of the Zoo’s Management Team and strong knowledge of and experience in team participatory skills are required.
  • Performs all other duties as assigned and directed.

Performance Factors

  • Attendance and Dependability: The employee can be depended on to report to work at the scheduled time and is seldom absent from work. Employee can be depended upon to complete work in a timely, accurate and thorough manner and is conscientious about assignments.
  • Communication and Contact: The employee communicates effectively both verbally and in writing with superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society.
  • Relationships with Others: The employee works effectively and relates well with others including superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society. Exhibits a professional manner in dealing with others, and works to maintain constructive working relationships.
  • Provides excellent customer service in the areas of guest relations and park beautification


Experience and Education

Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology, Animal Science, Biology, Ecology or related field from an accredited college or university, plus minimum of five years of previous supervisory experience at a professional zoological facility in a management capacity; or equivalent combination of education and experience in lieu of a degree.

Skills and Aptitudes

  1. Knowledge of:
    1. Care, nutrition, breeding, behavior, and safety precautions required for a wide variety of terrestrial zoo animals.
    2. Maintenance of zoo exhibits and facilities.
    3. Animal behavior, training theories and applications.
    4. Pertinent government and other regulations for housing, shipping, selling, and trading of animals.
  2. Demonstrated ability to train, lead, supervise, and direct the work of others.
  3. Skill in the handling and restraint of a wide variety of zoo and domestic animals.
  4. Ability to:
    1. Plan, organize and supervise the care of exotic and wild animal species.
    2. Provide input on exhibit designs in relation to their features and appropriateness for a particular animal.
    3. Assist with public relations, marketing, development and educational activities.
    4. Maintain effective working relationships with other departments, staff, professionals from other zoo organizations, and the general public.
    5. Prioritize and delegate work.
    6. Communicate effectively both oral and written.
    7. Coordinate animal transportation.
    8. Set-up and maintain inventory control systems.
  5. Computer skills – Fluency in ZIMS and Microsoft Office.

Preferred Experience

  • Bilingual
  • Working in a union environment

Additional Requirements

  • Ability to work outdoors under various weather conditions.
  • Flexibility to work weekends, holidays, and occasional evenings.
  • Subject to 24 hour on-call availability for Zoo emergencies.
  • Successful completion of a background check.
  • Valid state driver’s license.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; use hands to manipulate, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk and hear; and sit for prolonged periods of time. The employee may be required to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to weather conditions.


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume with salary requirements to:


Zoological Society of Pittsburgh

Human Resources Department

One Wild Place, Pittsburgh, PA  15206