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Keep the Birmingham Zoo Elephant Free!

Size of living-space to be 3.3 acres – entire exhibit 14 acres

AZA Job Listings

Curator – Trails of Africa
Organization: Birmingham Zoo, Inc.
Location: Birmingham, AL
Date: May 9, 2009
The Birmingham Zoo will soon break ground on Trails of Africa, a 14 acre state-of-the-art Elephant complex that, in its maturity, will display a variety of African veldt animals to complement the signature attraction – Bull African Elephants. These magnificent creatures will roam a vast 3.3 acre habitat and provide a rich and rewarding experience for our visitors.Trails of Africa will provide an unprecedented view of the animals roaming in an environment that closely matches the wilds of Africa. Rounding out the attraction are a number of water features, wallows, the LAIR (Large Animal Information and Research facility – which includes night holding for the elephants), Boma village, demonstration yard, dining, and retail. Trails of Africa is planned to open in Spring/Summer, 2010.To lead the staff and the behavioral training of the Trails of Africa animal collection, the Birmingham Zoo is looking for a dynamic, experienced leader in elephant management, particularly African bulls. The successful candidate will have a broad background in mega-mammal species management, a minimum of 10 years experience in an accredited zoological institution working with elephants and 5 years or more of supervisory experience. A BS in Zoology, biological sciences, or related field is preferred, as well as proficiency in PC software for spreadsheets and word processing.Specific responsibilities include (but not limited to):• Reports to the General Curator and joins a team of two other Curators in the zoo.
• Develops a behavioral program for the animal collection that will provide exciting and unpredictable experiences for our visitors.
• Hands-on formal and informal training and management of the Trails of Africa team which will include 1 Zoological Manager and a team of keepers.
• The successful candidate should have the skills needed to lead a professional team of keepers through the daily operation, husbandry, and management of a collection consisting of bull African elephants, white and black rhino, hippo, giraffe and a variety of African hoofstock, all managed in multi mixed species exhibits.
• Directs all personnel and administrative functions within the Trails of Africa department which includes hiring, disciplining, training, budgeting, performance evaluations, etc.
• Works closely with the zoo veterinarian.
• Works closely with other departments to bring educational experiences to life in regards to the Trails of Africa animal collection.
• Maintains a thriving attraction through enrichment, daily husbandry needs, and dynamic exhibitry within the area.
• Prepares for, and initiates, human and animal emergency and safety procedures, including dangerous animal escape procedures.
• Responsible for continuing education in the areas of enrichment and animal husbandry for self and assigned staff members.
• Insures compliance with all BZI policies and procedures.
• Becomes an integral part of the complete team of professionals throughout the zoo who work together to provide safe and unparalleled guest experiences in all aspects of the zoo visit. • Involvement in various collaborative programs at the Regional, National and International levels focusing on research, behavioral, and animal husbandry issues that will assist the institution in developing and refining elephant management and husbandry.
• Participates in “manager on duty” rotation to provide animal management coverage on weekends and holidays.
• Sets standards of care and writes protocols for the care and management of elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffe and other African hoofstock.Candidates should be able to handle physical demands as noted below:• Use of hands, fingers, tools and controls
• Frequently required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, stoop, kneel, crouch, see, talk and hear.
• Routinely lift or move up to 50 pounds.
• Exposure to wet surfaces
• At times may be required to wear a face mask
• Exposure to the elementsApplications can be downloaded on-line at or send resume with salary history to:Birmingham Zoo, Inc
Human Resources Department
2630 Cahaba Road
Birmingham, Al 35223


(emphasis added)

3.3 acres for 4 to 6 bull elephants plus other hoofed animals from Africa is ridiculous!

Mona, an Asian elephant, had about one-half acre.

Bull, African elephants are much larger than Asian elephants, require more space, and there will be 4 to 6 of them!

Each of these larger, African bull elephants, will end up with approximately the same space as Mona’s yard.

This is NOT an improvement for the animals!


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