Curator of Mammals – Chester Zoo

Posted: 16 November 2020   |   Full-Time   |  Chester, United Kingdom | Deadline to apply: 18 December 2020


We are Chester Zoo, and for over 80 years we have been a leading conservation and education charity, and an amazing, award-winning visitor attraction.

We’re also a team of passionate, talented, enthusiastic and expert people, doing everything we can to prevent extinction, from caring for animals to discovering new conservation ideas, and giving our visitors an inspirational day out.

We work hard because we love animals, we care about nature, we love Chester Zoo and, despite all the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us, we still want to be the best zoo in the world! If you think you can help us to achieve that, then we’d love to hear from you.

We currently have an exciting vacancy for a Curator of Mammals to join our busy Animal and Plant Department.

The role

Reporting directly to the Collections Directors, you will have responsibility for Chester Zoo’s vast mammal collection (approximately 100 species). As Curator of Mammals you will be part of the senior management team and will be responsible for leading, coaching, developing and managing the mammal team, developing conservation leaders of the future. You will oversee all departmental operations in line with the Zoo’s mission and values; and will support the Director in driving the strategic objectives of Chester Zoo.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have excellent leadership, people management, communication and influencing skills at a senior level with proven experience of managing and developing high performing teams.
  • Have strong interpersonal skills with the ability lead, coach, develop and motivate a large team; providing training and development opportunities, demonstrating effective performance management and ensuring a robust succession plan is in place. Support team members to understand and adhere to people processes and work with the People and Culture Manager, actively seeking opportunities to input into and feedback on those processes to ensure they are industry leading.
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the potential contribution of a modern zoological collection to conservation, science and conservation education.
  • Possess excellent judgement and ability to take high profile decisions.
  • Have an excellent track record in leading and maintaining the highest possible standards of husbandry and welfare, exhibit design and visitor experience.
  • Have an excellent knowledge of mammals, their diversity and individual husbandry needs.
  • Have a thorough understanding of breeding programme management, its role in conservation and the importance of cooperation between zoological collections and zoo associations.
  • Have experience of setting and working within strict budgets.
  • Ability to work under pressure, prioritise and to handle large workloads in a dynamic environment.
  • Have excellent English written and verbal communication skills including public speaking and lecturing both internal and external meetings.
  • A HND or degree level qualification in a zoological related science would be desirable but is not essential.

Job details

Working hours are 40 hours per week, generally worked Monday – Friday, although you will be required to work on weekends and Bank Holidays as rostered and some flexibility is required.

The salary is £55,907.98 per annum based on working 40 hours per week. In addition we offer a range of amazing benefits which can be found at

Candidates wanting to discuss the role further may contact Mike Jordan, Collections Director at

How to apply

To apply for this position, go to and click ‘Apply Now’ to provide your current CV and complete the application form highlighting your skills and experience including why you believe you should be considered for our Curator of Mammals role.

Closing date for applications is 18 December 2020.

Shortlisting of applications and interviews for the role will take after the closing date.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.