Primate Info Net Banner Wisconsin PRC Logo

Positions Available

ATTENTION: This job expired Dec. 29, 2017 and is no longer linked from the job list. If you are the job poster and would like to renew the listing, please access it through "My Job Listings" (available when logged in only).

Behavioral Care Associate

Hiring Organization:
Save the Chimps, Inc.

Date Posted:

Position Description:
Organizational Mission and History

Save the Chimps operates the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the world. Located on nearly 200 acres on the Treasure Coast of Florida, the Sanctuary provides lifetime care and enrichment for chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, entertainment, and the pet trade.

Save the Chimps was established in 1997 by Dr. Carole Noon in response to an announcement from the U.S. Air Force that they would be releasing the chimpanzees formerly used in NASA space exploration research. Save the Chimps initially lost their bid for the chimpanzees, but after a year-long legal battle gained permanent custody of 21 Air Force chimpanzees. In 2002, Save the Chimps conducted the largest rescue effort on behalf of chimpanzees in history by rescuing 266 chimpanzees from the Coulston Foundation, a now-defunct laboratory in New Mexico with extensive Animal Welfare Act violations. Over the course of several years, Save the Chimps relocated all of these chimpanzees from the Coulston Foundation in New Mexico to Florida in an unprecedented effort known as ?The Great Chimpanzee Migration.? During this time, Save the Chimps continued to rescue chimpanzees from entertainment and the pet trade.

Today Save the Chimps is home to over 250 chimpanzees and has the current infrastructure to potentially care for up to 300 individuals. The chimpanzees are cared for by approximately 60 professional caregivers and support staff, and the organization?s operating budget is approaching $6M annually.

Position Overview
The purpose of the Behavior and Research Department is to support the quality of life for chimpanzee residents of the sanctuary. The Behavioral Care Associate reports to the Director of Behavior and Research and is responsible for a variety of activities associated with the welfare of resident chimpanzees. The position is primarily responsible for behavioral care and management provided in conjunction with behavior plans. The employee manages and implements key elements of the training program for welfare, veterinary and husbandry behaviors as directed. The Associate must also professionally represent Save the Chimps, demonstrate a passion for the organization and its mission, core values, and strategic initiatives.

Essential Job Functions

-For assigned cases, provide behavioral care and management for resident chimpanzees in accordance with behavior plans.
-Implement and document behavioral interventions in terms of practicality, use by residents, and efficacy for improving or supporting welfare.
-Apply knowledge of animal behavior in the context of behavioral care and training, for example, temperament, compatibility and trained behaviors.
-Plan, provide and document positive reinforcement training and other behavior modification to promote welfare and work cooperatively with resident chimpanzees. Monitor and document individual training progress, refining approach based on goals and metrics.
-Assist with the training program and offering didactic and hands-on training of personnel in positive reinforcement training and behavior modification.
-Regularly meet with the Director of Behavior and Research and other sanctuary staff and attend interdepartmental meetings regarding behavioral care and training.
-Coordinate and collaborate with departmental staff for data collection, welfare case management and training. Coordinate with other departments as needed to complete assigned duties effectively and efficiently.
-Develop Standard Operating Procedures to support behavioral care and training program activities.
-Perform other duties as assigned.

Education and Work Experience
-Bachelor's degree required, graduate-level training preferred
-7+ years of experience working with great apes required
-Minimum of 5+ years of training experience required, preferably in a wildlife or zoological setting

Knowledge and Skills
-Strong interpersonal skills with ability to work independently and as part of a team.
-Excellent written and verbal communication.
-Strong computer aptitude. Experience in Microsoft Office including Excel, Word and Outlook. Knowledge of Asana or other project tracking software preferred.
-Able to prioritize, manage, follow through and report on multiple tasks.
-Strong organizational skills with great attention to detail and accuracy.
-Demonstrated ability to solve problems efficiently and effectively.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
-While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; stand for long periods of time; walk; sit; use hands or fingers to handle or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 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.
-Must be able to run and swim in the face of danger

Environmental Requirements:
-Tasks are regularly performed with potential for exposure to adverse conditions, such as dirt, dust, pollen, odors, wetness, humidity, rain, temperature and noise extremes, machinery, vibrations, animals, and wildlife. Employees must not object to unpleasant chimpanzee behaviors include spitting of water or saliva, throwing of feces, food or other waste, and chimpanzee displays that may include banging, kicking of the fencing, and loud screams or hooting.

Save the Chimps is an equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

Term of Appointment:
Full Time

Application Deadline:
December 22nd, 2017

Contact Information:
J. Christopher Scott
P.O. Box 12220
Fort Pierce, FL 34979

Telephone Number:


E-mail Address:

Questions and Comments

Questions about a specific job listing should be directed to the contact person listed for that job. Questions and comments about using the Primate-Jobs web site can be directed to Joe Kemnitz at