Birds Keeper

at Johannesburg Parks & Zoo
Published July 12, 2022
Location Braamfontein, South Africa
Category Management  
Job Type Full-Time  



Manages animal husbandry and welfare for allocated section and strives towards conservation of

the species; maintains the quality of exhibit/ enclosure; supervises and performs the maintenance

of the enclosure; conducts accurate observation and record keeping of the animals; and ensures

hygiene standards of section are upheld.


  • Diploma in nature conservation or relevant degree or NQF level 6 equivalent
  • Training in the handling and usage of guns (gun license preferred)
  • Course on disease identification and monitoring
  • At least 3 years in animal husbandry or related conservation field
  • Experience in animal training
  • Knowledge and experience in animal recording on ISIS


  • Assists in the development and implementation of the collection plan, animal acquisition, and

disposition of animals including participation in breeding programs

  • Identifies surplus animals within subsection that may be moved to Conservation and

Protected Areas or elsewhere

  • Implements and adheres to collection management policies, processes and procedures
  • Develops animal husbandry manual for subsection and updates on an annual basis
  • Assists in subsection planning on a regular basis, as problems arise, or in advance of

anticipated needs

  • Directs efforts to manage and maintain the subsection according to standards and regulations

of other organizations aligned with JCPZ

  • Ensures effective control of assets and costs within subsection
  • Directs and implements exhibition/ enclosure renovation
  • Initiates procurement process of material and/or equipment necessary for the maintenance of

the enclosure in conjunction with superiors.

  • Supervises team in the day-to-day care of animals within subsection
  • Cares for and trains (where applicable) animals within subsection on a day-to-day basis
  • Verifies food is prepared as per diet sheet and animals fed accordingly. May take on feeding

duties as well

  • May assist with nutritional evaluation of the diets of the animals within subsection
  • Ensures that the animals in subsection are content and healthy at all times
  • Performs hand rearing of newborn animals if and when required
  • Performs night duties and irregular shifts when required


  • Identifies and reports any abnormal behavior of incidents to curator and to the veterinarian on

duty and regularly updates and implement the records

  • Identifies and collects suitable browse for the species of animal within allocated section
  • Assists in the application of animal treatments under the instruction of the veterinarian/ nurses

(e.g. medical treatments, pest treatments, etc.)

  • Collects faucal samples and administer of medication
  • Assists with any emergencies within capacity
  • Performs capture operations and transportation of animals
  • Handles animals as required and to assists in restraining/ controlling problem animals
  • Ensures pest control in subsection in conjunction with curator and the pest control and

hygiene officer

  • Operates and maintains life support system or water bodies
  • Aids in developing and implements policies and procedures governing the maintenance of


  • Supervises and assists with the maintenance of the enclosure, i.e. cleaning of enclosure as

well as equipment and tools

  • Carries out water tests to maintain optimal water quality
  • Ensures signage for enclosure is kept clean, neat and relevant
  • Monitors electric fences ensuring that they are in good working condition daily
  • Monitors, prevents and reacts to possible holes or gaps in the fences to prevent animal


  • Ensures enclosures are safe, secure and clean (will clean as necessary to provide safe and

clean environment to animals at all times)

  • Monitors if cages and animals are properly numbered and identified
  • Conducts animal census daily of the animals on within allocated section
  • Conducts daily animal observation with respect to general physical condition, obvious signs of

illness, disease and discontent, records observations and reports any abnormal behavior or

incidents to supervisor immediately

  • Ensures recording of all animal movements on the observation sheet, namely:

o Feeding times

o Food consumed

o Faucal observation

o Births/ deaths

o Behavioral changes (including reproductive behaviors)

o Temperature of enclosure (if required)

  • Ensures all record keeping and reporting procedures are complied with:

o Updates animal husbandry manual on an annual basis

o Manages studbook as per international standards

o Ensures compliance with audits (Inventories, Census, ARKS, asset register)

o Reports on the condition, educational value and accuracy of the signage about


o Ensures alignment to all national, provincial and local regulations in relations to

permits to keep or move animals

  • Ensures compliance with mandatory requirements and all applicable international and

bilateral agreements

  • Assists during tender process for animals
  • Produces sectional report on a monthly basis
  • Reports on special projects and produces ad hoc reports


  • Reports on budget expenditure on a monthly basis
  • Produces incidents reports
  • Plans and implements behavioral enrichment for the animals within section according to

international standards in conjunction with the Curator, the Veterinarian and the Enrichment


  • Directs and participates in the construction of enrichment structures, platforms and jungle


  • May provide food to animal in a manner that caters to sensory enrichment needs
  • Participates in the design of the enclosure
  • Plans, participates and presents in educational, commercial and promotional activities when


  • Actively participates in conservation and research projects
  • Participates in public relations activities and media liaison (demonstration, newspaper articles,

TV interviews and volunteers)

  • May be asked to participate in conferences regarding specific categories of animals specific

Johannesburg Zoo animals

  • Networks and establishes good relationships with organizations and individuals within

relevant fields.

  • Activities may include, but are not limited to:

o capturing of game

o capturing of escaped animals

o tagging of animals

o herding of animals

o assisting in the transportation process of animals

  • Ensures compliance with provincial, governmental and international laws concerning the

keeping, transporting and relocating animals

  • Adheres to national and international animal health and welfare legislation
  • Works within World Association of Zoos & Aquaria (WAZA) and Pan-African Association of

Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA) guidelines

  • Works within Animal Keepers Association Africa (AKAA) guidelines
  • Supervises day to day time and attendance of staff and escalate to managers where


  • Supervises the performance, grievance and disciplinary issues of staff, escalating to

managers where necessary

  • Manages the budget and expenditure within the sub-section
  • Ensures internal controls, processes, procedures and quality standards are adhered to by the


  • Contributes to team effectiveness and team cohesion
  • Clearly outlines expected deliverables and measures
  • Holds team members accountable for individual performance (against agreed and expected


  • Prepares for, and participates in, regular performance reviews (quarterly or as determined by

the organization)

  • Creates an enabling and supportive environment for the individual team members
  • Strives to improve cooperation and interaction between individuals in order to improve overall

performance of the team

  • Discusses deliverables, measures and targets with manager


  • Actively participates and manages own performance levels by participating in regular one-onone meetings with manager to discuss progress of individual areas of accountability
  • Actively seeks coaching or advice when necessary
  • Strives to improve own knowledge as it relates to the role
  • Discusses and implements personal development plan (aligned to career path)
  • Attends agreed courses, professional development to achieve optimal job performance and

career goals

  • Respond politely to public enquires if received and refers to manager when necessary
  • Implements and monitors JCPZ safety, health, environmental and security policies and


  • Ensures Department is in line with the SHEQ policies and procedures of JCPZ
  • Implements identified risk mitigation measures within training sessions.
  • Trains staff on the operational procedures (SHEQ & EMS) compliance of Department through

policy and procedure adherence


  • Knowledge of animal husbandry and enrichment
  • Knowledge and application of legal requirements for industry
  • Knowledge and application of SHEQ standards and requirements
  • Knowledge of internal and external environment
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication Skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Planning and organizational skills
  • Record keeping and report writing
  • Physical fitness
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Results driven
  • Resiliency
  • Flexible
  • Leadership
  • Creative and innovative
  • Self-driven
  • Alignment with JCPZ values


Interested candidates can send their CVs