Job Posting: San Francisco Zoo – Nutrition Kitchen Manager

The San Francisco Zoo connects people with wildlife, inspires caring for nature and advances conservation action.

Division:                     Wellness

Reports To:                 Director of Nutrition Services

FLSA Status:              Exempt, Full Time (including one weekend day)

The San Francisco Zoological Society (“Society”) is a non-profit institution that manages and raises funds for San Francisco Zoo and Gardens (“Zoo”).  The Society’s mission, supra, is summarized as the 3 c’s: to connect our visitors with wildlife so that they care about nature and ultimately conserve it.  The Society’s leadership team is comprised of a President & Executive Director as well as a professional team of Senior Managers. The Society endeavors to meet or exceed the standards of its industry peers, including those established by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (“AZA”). For over 25 years, the Society has been continuously accredited by the AZA.

SUMMARY:  The Nutrition Kitchen Manager is based at the San Francisco Zoo Nutrition Center and supports the integrated animal wellness program. The position plays a key role in ensuring optimal nutrition for the Zoo’s animals.  The Nutrition Kitchen Manager will work with the veterinary, animal care and animal wellness departments to maintain the health and psychological well-being of the Zoo’s animals. The Manager takes a specific role in understanding the effect and impact of diet on these animals. This includes the formulation, preparation and scientific assessment of diets and nutritional records; tracking diets and diet changes; and assisting with the diet review process. The position will report to the Director of Nutrition Services. This position is required to work at least one weekend day and some holidays, subject to operational needs.

Upholds the Society’s mission, core values and other policies/procedure outlined in the Employee Handbook and elsewhere.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES include the following.  Other duties may be assigned and required.

  1. Is familiar with all diet preparation procedures, oversees and regularly participates in their preparation. Identifies new recipes and food presentations to ensure continuous improvement and animal motivation. Ensures outgoing animal diets are properly prepared.
  • Oversees and participates in animal diet preparation and distribution.
  • Documents and records animal diets.
  • Assesses hand-rearing protocols to ensure most up to date research and practice is included.
  • Drawing on most up to date research and practice, formulates, evaluates and analyzes animal diets and diet consumption to ensure nutritional adequacy and behavioral opportunities for animals.
  • Supports animal enrichment, training and browse programs with associated dietary input.
  • Orders and receives of food supplies for the Zoo nutrition center.
  • Helps to ensure food quality. Ensures recipes are followed and adjusted as needed, quality and presentation standards are met.
  • Is familiar with AZA, HACCP and USDA/OSHA guidelines and helps to ensure nutrition center compliance, biosecurity and food safety.
  • Is familiar with all diet preparation procedures and regularly shares in their preparation to stay abreast of these processes. Identifies new recipes and food presentations to ensure continuous improvement and animal motivation. Ensures outgoing animal diets are properly prepared.
  • Assists in assessing body condition of exotic and domestic animals, conducts research and data entry, and develops feeder animal colonies and nutrition education for Zoo staff and the public.
  • Plays a key role in representing the nutrition center in annual animal wellness reviews and other integrated wellness projects.

Additional Responsibilities

  1. Interacts with Zoo staff and animal husbandry personnel in a professional and courteous manner.
  2. Interacts with Zoo visitors courteously and offer proper attention at all times.
  3. Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skills: Requirements:

QUALIFICATIONS:  Must have relevant experience – e.g. food preparation, nutrition assessment, compliance readiness, animal assessment, foodstuffs analysis. Education may be considered in absence of specific paid or volunteer experience.  Communicate with zoo employees and colleagues efficiency; keep operational records; prepare reports; deal courteously and effectively with the public.

Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.

EDUCATION, TRAINING & QUALIFICATIONS: A bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred.  Some supervisor experience is strongly desired.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: 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.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; use hands; and talk and hear.  The employee frequently is required to stand and walk.  The employee is occasionally required to sit.  The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions including inclement weather.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:  The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to potentially hazardous animals.

APPLICATION: Please apply via our web site at www.sfzoo.org. Please attach a cover letter with your resume detailing your experience as it relates to this position.

Assessing the Nutritional Welfare and Status of Animals

This workshop presented a toolbox of techniques that nutritionists, veterinarians, and animal staff can use to assess and quantify the nutritional health and welfare of their animals.  As part of the new AZA standard 1.5, accredited institutions must follow a written process for assessing animal welfare.  Nutrition is considered one of the “5 freedoms” (freedom from hunger and thirst), the...

This workshop was held at the 2019 NAG/AAZV conference and was hosted by Heidi Bissell, Katie Sullivan, Erin Kendrick, and Mike Maslanka.

The files from the workshop are available here:

Some of the above files are available as editable MS Word documents:

Mazuri Technical Associate Position Opening

Imagine what you can do at Land O’Lakes. Our growth relies on extraordinary talent and boundless thinkers who are always looking for a better way and believe anything is possible. Like you, innovation and technology drive us.  At Land O’Lakes, you will also be part of a community with creative doers and dreamers, who want to make a difference. We work together combining our global perspective and direct access to the source to create practical, new solutions to meet agriculture’s toughest challenges.  Join the team at any Land O’Lakes location or with one of our retail-owners and you’ll sense the optimism, honesty and innovation that goes into everything we do. Together, we strive to feed human progress.

Job Posting Title:  Mazuri Technical Associate

Job Description: The successful candidate will provide technical support to the Mazuri® R&D team, Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, Quality, and Customer Service teams to support growth in the Mazuri® business unit.  Accelerate go-to-market of Mazuri® products and sales and marketing support materials within the Land O’Lakes® and Purina® business structure by providing focus and efficiency.

 Specific responsibilities include:

  •  Support and assist the Mazuri® Technical Team
    •    Product set up and formulation
    •    Regulatory support for domestic & international sales
    •    Coordinate documents with international team and/or distributors
    •    Product specification sheet development, maintenance and updates.
    •    Work with labeling team to create and maintain proper labels for Mazuri® domestic and international products.
    •    Assist Mazuri® R&D team in development of new diets.
    •    May assist in project management with research trials with technical team, sales, customers, or other research partners
    •    May assist in researching and resolving quality complaints.
    •    May assist the Exotic Animal business team to respond to external inquiries from sales, retailers, customers or consumers.
    •    Assist with the creation of sales training materials.
    •    Coordinate Internal legal and regulatory review
    •    Develop or work with others on the team to create marketing and sales technical support material
    •    May help in the acceleration of go-to-market strategies with focus on Richmond Advanced Nutrition Center and International
    •    Remain current on exotic animal industry trends and knowledge.

Requirements

  • Master’s degree preferred, or Bachelor’s degree with complimentary experience with animal nutrition.  Preference will be given to candidates with experience with exotic animals.
  • Travel is required at times in this position.  The amount of travel will be dependent on the customer base served and amount of direct customer contact required and may grow over time as the candidate grows in the position, but this position would be a lower travel required position.  Travel may average 0 – 25%.

Competencies & Other Skills

Required:

  • Strong technical skills and understanding of animal nutrition.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication, public speaking and technical writing skills.
  • Must be capable of providing scientific and research data, regarding nutrition and animal management, in sales environments.
  • Must be able to inspire confidence in product performance with creativity and conviction in product-line knowledge.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and leverage collaborative relationships.
  • Ability to effectively work as a part of a team and possess excellent team building skills.
  • Uncompromising integrity.

Preferred: 

  • Excellent problem solving skills. Strong communication, planning & organizational skills.
  • Strong computer skills to support critical software tools that support product sales.
  • Experience and understanding in one or more of the species within the exotic animal industry and the versatility to be able to work well with multiple segments of the industry.
  • Previous feed business experience in technical sales and marketing support.
  • Experience raising animals.

To apply, enter this address –  https://landolakes.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/LandOLakes/job/Virtual-USA/Mazuri-Technical-Associate_R-8990

Polar Bear Nutrition Guidelines

Polar bears, the most carnivorous of the Ursidae family, prey primarily on ringed seals (Best, 1985; Derocher, et. al, 2000; Stirling and Archibald, 1977).  When brought into captivity, maintaining their nutritional and mental health can be challenging.  Due to the lack of indepth species-specific research, captive polar bear diets must be based on a combination of known requirements of related...

Fecal Condition Scoring Resource Center

Fecal condition scores and fecal color provide insight into how a diet is being digested by an animal and the state of gastrointestinal health. The following fecal condition scoring scales have been obtained from a variety of sources.  We have credited the authors where we can, and encourage you to submit additional scales or corrections to attributions.  More info is at the bottom of this page.

About Fecal Condition Scoring

As zoo and wildlife nutrition professionals, we utilize all information we can gather about the animals in our care and how they process their diet, especially information that can be gathered passively, without impact to the animal.  One, often underutilized, tool that used to assess how an animal is processing their diet is a thorough examination of their feces (stool).  This can be informal and subjective (i.e. – “loose,” or “pebble-like,” or “pudding”), but those words can mean different things to different people.  If fecal consistency is used as a tool to assess how a diet is digested and/or overall animal health, an objective assessment of that consistency is necessary.  We spend so much time looking at it, scooping it, moving it, dumping it, so let’s utilize it to better care for our animals!

Fecal Condition Scoring Scales

Fecal condition scores are developed to provide an objective and commonly understood scale to assess and describe fecal material.  Obviously, this differs with the species and digestive strategy in question (“ideal” horse and cow fecal material differs in consistency).  For this reason, a variety of scales have been developed.  These scales are primarily numerical with descriptive terminology and images associated with them.  These efforts have primarily focused on domestic animals (dogs), but also have expanded to several wildlife species.

The scores range from simple 1-3, 1-5, or 1-7 point systems, to similar systems with sub-scores for each number, and systems that score from 0-100 in 25 point increments. These types of scales are currently in place for some of our carnivore species, but remain undeveloped for most of the animals with which we work.

Implications of Fecal Condition Scores

Fecal condition scores can provide insight into how a diet is being digested (otherwise utilized) by an animal (color is helpful, as well).  Low scores (unformed, loose, diarrhea, etc) may indicate digestive upset, malabsorption, and/or possible hydration issues.  On the other end of the spectrum, hard stools may indicate a lack of appropriate fiber, a water balance issue, etc.  The routine use of fecal scoring systems with animals can provide an invaluable tool to veterinarians and animal managers when “something” changes with condition, consumption, and/or overall health.

Call for More Scales (Training Opportunity)

We welcome the development of additional scales.   This is an excellent opportunity for you, your staff, volunteers, interns, and other students to get involved in the development of a basic animal husbandry management tool!  Need a fecal condition scoring scale for a species not represented?  Consider the following:

  • Look at scales already developed and determine a format that might work best for the species in question.
  • We recommend developing scales that have lower scores as drier feces and higher scores as wetter feces (so we can start to gain some consistency, building from the scales established for domestics).
  • Consider photo techniques.  Just like body condition scoring (BCS), angle, light exposure, shadows can all play a role in visual assessment (especially in a 2D picture).  Take your best shots and include language that describes and supports the image as objectively as possible.
  • Once developed and tested/used, consider not only sharing the value and utility of the scales via a NAG Conference poster or the such, but also with the resource at this site and the associated ACM for the species.
  • This a great chance for your interns, volunteers, keepers, etc to get involved in a simple, yet very useful tool, to provide more objective information and get involved in animal care!

If you know of additional published resources for this page, we encourage you to submit them for potential inclusion:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

What species is this for?

Please upload your document for review.

Please provide as much reference/citation information you can so that we can properly attribute the resource.

Please reassure us you aren't a robot. Type the following:

captcha

We will review your submission and post if we feel it is appropriate for this site.

Guidelines for the Humane and Ethical Acquisition and Management of Vertebrate Feeder Animals (Excluding Fish)

It is vitally important that omnivorous and carnivorous species in the care of zoos and aquariums receive the appropriate foods needed to meet their nutritional and behavioral requirements. Oftentimes this entails using ‘feeder animals’ as part of their diet.  It is important that zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) make certain that feeder animals...

Body Condition Scoring Resource Center

  The following body condition scoring (BCS) scales have been obtained from a variety of sources.  We have credited the authors where we can, and encourage you to submit newly developed or modified scales or corrections to attributions.

The following body condition scoring (BCS) scales have been obtained from a variety of sources.  We have credited the authors where we can, and encourage you to submit newly developed or modified scales or corrections to attributions.

Click to expand

Pangolins, Aardvarks, & Xenarthrans (Sloths, Anteaters, Armadillos)

About BCS Scales

Body condition scoring (BCS) is a subjective measurement of an animal’s muscle definition and superficial fatty tissue.

BCS for Zoo Animals

BCS has been used for many years in the livestock industry to evaluate and improve the productivity, health, reproduction and longevity of herds.  BCS has become increasingly common in zoological settings for many of the same reasons.  Our greatest challenge in zoos is to develop practical systems or scales for the diverse species with which we work.  Some scales have been well-developed and validated, while others remain works in progress.  The NAG encourages the careful and thoughtful development of new scales, the refinement of those that already exist, and the diligent attention to their implementation for the good of the animals in our care.

About BCS Scales

Body condition scoring scales are numerical, and they typically range from 1 (emaciated) to either 5 or 9 (obese).  When using a 5-point scale, many people will assign half points (2.5 or 4.5 out of 5), which effectively turns the 5 point scale into a 9 point scale.  Whenever possible, we recommend the use of a 9 point scale.

fish3

Implications of BCS Scores

horsebcs

Low BCS scores have been associated with lowered reproductive success, poor recovery from illness, and may be a sign of disease or age.  High BCS scores have been associated with an increased risk of dystocia (difficulty giving birth), reproductive disorders, arthritis, diabetes, and other chronic conditions (Chan-McLeod et al. 1994; Burkholder 2000; Aeberhard et al. 2001; Busato et al. 2002; Berry et al. 2007; Boudreau 2012).  Despite the known risks of being too far at either end of the BCS spectrum, a BCS score should be non-judgmental.  You may be pleased that an animal recovering from a serious illness has moved from a 2 to a 3 (on a 9-pt scale), yet worry that a healthy animal has dropped from a 4 to a 3.  You may be glad that an obese animal has dropped from an 8 to a 5, yet endeavor to raise an animal preparing for hibernation from a 5 to an 8 or 9 (which may be “normal,” physiologically, for the species in question).  Keep in mind that just because it may be “normal” for a species to be over-conditioned at a specific time of year or life stage, this does not impact the BCS scale (a score of 8/9 remains 8/9, even if declared “appropriate” in terms of animal management; the scale does not “slide” to make that over-conditioned animal a 5/9). In addition, the scale is does not slide for growing, geriatric, or pregnant animals (regardless of stage of life, metabolic status, etc, the scale is designed to assess condition as objectively as possible).

Tips for Body Condition Scoring

  • BCS is best learned and implemented through consistent practice.  Often, it helps to have multiple staff involved at the start (animal managers, keepers, veterinarians, nutritionists, etc.) to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding terminology, anatomy, and the scoring system being used.  In the end, however, it is often best to have a limited number of scorers so that consistency can be maintained.  In addition, having someone who does not see the animals every day perform the scoring can be helpful.
  • Scorers should be familiar with the anatomy of each species.  If multiple scorers are utilized, they should be objectively evaluated for consistency with the same animals.  It can be helpful to note the initials of the scorer when a BCS is performed and recorded.
  • Although there are many different systems/scales (even for a single species), it is a good idea to pick one scoring system for each species and stick with it.  This allows for increased familiarity and proficiency, over time.
  • BCS is a particularly useful tool for animals that aren’t very tractable or for those who are unable to be weighed regularly.  If body weights are available, BCS acts as a complementary assessment for management purposes.  Ensure that the interval between BCS is reasonable and practical.
  • For growing animals, body weights can be paired with appropriate growth curves to assess development. However, body weights in growing individuals often vary, even within species, and may not be the best assessment of growth. In these cases, BCS can be used not only to assess appropriate growth, but also to establish target weights for individuals.

Developing BCS Scales

If your species of interest does not have a scale established, please consider developing one.  If you do, look at those that have already been thoughtfully developed.

Ideal BCS scales are easy to use, distinguish biologically relevant changes in status, provide enough description that multiple observers will obtain similar results, and, ideally, have been validated through other means (ultrasound, TOBEC, necropsy).  Photographs and drawings should clearly show points of interest and be coupled with clear written descriptions.   The NAG encourages you to share your systems by presenting a poster or presentation at our conference, or publishing in another format that can be accessed by the zoo community.

References
    • Aeberhard K, Bruckmaier RM, Kuepfer U, and Blum JW. 2001. Milk Yield and Composition, Nutrition, Body Conformation Traits, Body Condition Scores, Fertility and Diseases in High-Yielding Dairy Cows – Part 1. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A 48:97–110.
    • Berry DP, Lee JM, Macdonald KA, and Roche JR. 2007. Body Condition Score and Body Weight Effects on Dystocia and Stillbirths and Consequent Effects on Postcalving Performance. Journal of Dairy Science 90:4201–4211.
    • Boudreau L. 2012. Effect of Moderate Diet Restriction on Body Condition, Health, and Reproductive Performance in Female Mink (Neovison vison).
    • Burkholder WJ. 2000. Use of body condition scores in clinical assessment of the provision of optimal nutrition. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 217:650–654.
    • Busato A, Faissler D, Küpfer U, and Blum JW. 2002. Body condition scores in dairy cows: associations with metabolic and endocrine changes in healthy dairy cows. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A 49:455–460.
  • Chan-McLeod ACA, White RG, and Holleman DF. 1994. Effects of protein and energy intake, body condition, and season on nutrient partitioning and milk production in caribou and reindeer. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72:938–947.

If you know of additional published resources for this page, we encourage you to submit them for potential inclusion:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

What species is this for?

Please upload your document for review.

Please provide as much reference/citation information you can so that we can properly attribute the resource.

Please reassure us you aren't a robot. Type the following:

captcha

We will review your submission and post if we feel it is appropriate for this site.

Zoo Nutrition Myth: A fruit is a fruit

The nutrient composition of domestic fruits, which have been selected and cultivated for sweetness, differs greatly from their wild counterparts.  A simple comparison of domestic vs. wild figs reveals the difference. Our domestic vegetables (though still not perfect substitutes by any means) may more closely mimic the composition of wild fruits.  For more information on fruit-free diets, see these articles:

fruits