Animal Operations Manager - Whipsnade

Closing Date
Position Type
Full-Time / Permanent
Advertised Salary
£45,919 including Weekend Enhancement
Weekend Enhancement

Position Details:

Position: Animal Operations Manager – Whipsnade Zoo

Salary: £45,919 (including Weekend Enhancement)

Location: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, with weekend working as necessary

Overview of the Role

Whipsnade Zoo has an exciting opportunity for the role of Animal Operations Manager, to have oversight of its wide range of species across the whole site, animal welfare, exhibits, animal related procedures, policies, and zoo licence compliance. This exciting new role will ensure appropriate training, records and licensing requirements are met for the zoo’s firearms team, as well as managing site wide animal emergency procedures. The chosen candidate will work closely with the Animal Department Section Managers to ensure visitor experience, press, and other animal related operational demands are managed. This is the perfect opportunity for a highly motivated, knowledgeable, and skilled zoological professional to further their career within a world leading conservation zoo.

Key Responsibilities

  • Act as the natural deputy to the Head of Zoological Operations, ensuring the effective and efficient day-to-day running of animal operations, including drafting sensitive communications, pest control provision, browse management, and site projects.
  • Provide coaching, guidance and support to Animal Section Managers and their teams on science-led conservation, ZSL ways of working, policies and procedures and best practice to ensure staff feel engaged, knowledgeable, and safe carrying out their roles.
  • Act as lead decision maker for any escalated concerns, safety issues and priorities, ensuring a positive culture of reporting and health & safety in the animal teams.

To download the full job description, please click here

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have extensive experience of a leadership role working with a variety of species within a Zoo environment.
  • Hold in depth knowledge of up-to-date animal husbandry practices for a range of taxa in a zoological collection environment, with advanced understanding of animal behaviour management.
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to represent ZSL, engage and enhance the supporter and visitor experience with a range of audiences in a zoo environment including families and visitors, VIPs, donors, and the media.
  • Influence our ways of working with their good working knowledge of health and safety implementation, policies, and procedures.

We strongly encourage applications from all backgrounds and celebrate the value of having a team of employees with diverse skills, experiences, and backgrounds. We are committed to ensuring our teams can bring their authentic selves to work without fear of discrimination. ZSL has active equality networks for our staff with lived experience and those who provide active allyship in Race and Culture, Team Pride, Disability Network, and Menopause Network, complemented by our strategic EDI Steering Group.

About Us

We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Through our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos (London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo), the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists, our purpose is to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct.  Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction.


What do we offer?


At ZSL, we are proud of our approach to employee benefits. Our benefits include:

  • Our vision and purpose - you’ll work alongside colleagues who are passionate about science-led conservation, knowing that you will help us to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wildlife going extinct
  • Pension scheme - we offer a generous pension scheme with up to 12% contributory pension.
  • Flexible working – talk to us about your flexible working requirements and we will do everything we can to make sure you work in a way that suits you.
  • Holidays – 25 days annual leave allowance, plus UK bank holidays.
  • Wellbeing – access to a blended programme of wellbeing initiatives, including confidential access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance
  • Complimentary tickets – annual allocation of Whipsnade Zoo and London Zoo tickets, with a 30% discount in online and retail shops.
  • Cycle2Work - our cycle to work scheme enables you to lease a bicycle.
  • Season ticket loan - we offer an interest free loan to buy a season ticket for travel between home and work.
  • Family friendly policies – we offer enhanced maternity and paternity packages.

To Apply

Applicants will need to upload their CV and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the "Apply for this job online" button. If you require any reasonable adjustments, please contact


Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) on 24th September 2023

Provisional interview date: Week commencing 2nd October 2023


The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.


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