The Director of Chimpanzee Care is primarily responsible for overseeing the effective functioning of the chimpanzee care department and the veterinary program, ensuring that the medical, dietary, and husbandry needs for the resident chimpanzees are adequately met. This position reports to the Executive Director and is the lead member of the chimpanzee care team, supervising the Vet Assistant and Manager of Chimpanzee Care who oversees a growing Chimpanzee Care team. Duties include daily rounds of resident chimpanzees, reading diagnostics, prescribing treatments, facilitating the work of the Care staff by ensuring that the staff have the necessary knowledge to perform routine medical treatments, overseeing the medication/drug inventory; responsible for ensuring administrative functions such as medical records and drug logs are completed. Orders, receives and distributes materials, supplies and medications; and facilitates medical care operations; reviews, develops and/or revises standard operating procedures or other reports; conducts or coordinates operational training. Coordinates medically qualified volunteers and contractors to assist in specialty procedures as needed.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Med Center/Office a) Supervise use and care of medical equipment including microscopes, centrifuge, x-ray, anesthesia, and other veterinary tools. b) Perform and interpret all diagnostics procedures; review results and outcomes to Care staff. c) Ensure medical standards are met through supervision of husbandry procedures. d) Perform surgeries as needed. e) Coordinate necropsies and cremations as needed.
2. Animal Husbandry a) Ensures that veterinary care standards are maintained at or above those set by USDA, DNR, GFAS, and HSUS. b) Oversee the implementation of routine medical procedures; establish SOPs. c) Participate in chimpanzee husbandry to maintain relationships with chimps. d) Update, approve, and implement protocol modifications for veterinary care, triage, rehabilitation viability, and euthanasia protocols. e) Design and implement wellness plans for all chimpanzees collaboratively with Managers of Chimpanzee Care. f) Oversee all husbandry practices for patients within the medical center or under direct veterinary care. g) Evaluate all animals daily and schedule exams or diagnostics as needed. h) Consult with Care staff on medical concerns and routine wellness exams; additionally work with behavior committee on operant conditioning for routine exam procedures.
3. Volunteer & Interns
a) Work with volunteers and interns on a daily basis in a professional and courteous manner b) Mentor interns on individual projects as assigned. c) Work within a team to evaluate and promote/demote volunteers. d) Update volunteers and intern training protocols as needed.
4. Supply Inventory a) Monitors inventory levels of veterinary supplies and medications. b) Works with vendors to ensure quality and prices meet standards provided by management. c) Identifies and suggests new products, vendors, resources, or inventory routines as needed to continually improve quality and meet budget.
5. Admin a) Implements, develops and/or revises standard operating procedures or other reports; conducts or coordinates training. b) Maintains or reviews necessary records of logs relating to medical care in both handwritten medical files as well as the ZIMS online database. c) Prepares and has responsibility for the annual budget for medical supplies and consultants in tandem with the Managers of Chimpanzee Care. d) Train team members in the use of diagnostic, surgical and radiographic equipment.
6. Disaster Response a) Maintain darting equipment, drugs, and oversee training and drills for use of such. b) Test, repair, or replace all medical equipment and supplies as part of the disaster response program on a routine schedule. c) In the event of a major disaster, respond to the situation as outlined in the current Emergency Preparedness Protocol.
• Must have advanced knowledge of animal husbandry and rehabilitation.
• Must know basic principles of operant conditioning in relation wellness exams and medication receipt.
• Must be able to move/lift 50 pounds.
• Good communication skills.
• Excellent interpersonal skills.
• Must have or obtain and maintain up-to-date vaccines as required for this position.
• Must be able to use a computer and word/excel programs. 8. Excellent organizational and time planning skills.
• Demonstrated critical thinking and ability to handle complex situations with sound judgment and problem solving skills.
• Demonstrated to be proactive and self-motivated.
• Must be able to endure occasional long workdays (up to 12 hours) and maintain focus, accuracy and physical activities required by job.
Work requires continual attention to detail. Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to juggle multiple competing tasks and demands.
About Project Chimps
Project Chimps is the newest chimpanzee sanctuary in the United States and was founded to provide lifelong exemplary care to 200 former research chimpanzees at its sanctuary on 236 acres of forested land in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia. Today, Project Chimps is home to 79 chimpanzees and we are working to move nearly 130 more to permanent sanctuary. The sanctuary is occasionally open to the public for special events and group tours.
September 14, 2015, marked the effective end of unrestricted invasive experiments on chimpanzees in the United States. All chimps, both wild and captive, were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on that day, after a decades-long fight to end the use of chimpanzees in laboratory research.
Chimpanzees in private research institutions also needed a forever home. In anticipation of the federal policy change, Project Chimps reached an agreement in 2014 with the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), which houses the largest population of privately-owned chimpanzees in the United States, to provide sanctuary to all of NIRC’s chimpanzees.