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Newport Aquarium Veterinarian

Herschend Family Entertainment
Newport, Kentucky, US
Closing date
Jan 24, 2022

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Aquarium / Zoo / Botanical garden
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Newport Aquarium, one of the many properties owned by Herschend Family Entertainment, prides itself on creating memories worth repeating. Our Core Values - greatly exceeding guest expectations, serving others, creating emotional connections, and constantly improving - give us purpose and guidance.


The position requires a dedicated individual who will take direction from the Operations Director and General Curator in supervising and carrying out husbandry medical procedures for the entire animal collection at Newport Aquarium. The Veterinarian will be responsible for implementing all animal care and health policies to the highest AZA and veterinary standards. The Veterinarian will develop and implement procedures including but not limited to preventive medicine, standard and specialty quarantines, post-mortem examination, microscopic exam, environmental enrichment, nutrition, progressive treatments, epidemiology, zoonosis controls, pest control, regulations for housing and shipping. The priorities for this position include attention to animal health/ welfare, familiarity with AZA guidelines, strong leadership and communication abilities.

Required Skills

What you'd be doing:

  • Assist Operations Director and Curator team with maintaining Herschend Family Entertainment, Newport Aquarium and AZA standards of Animal Health and Welfare; promptly report any potential negative situations to appropriate parties.
  • Create, maintain, and administer preventative veterinary medicine programs including quarantine protocols, annual exams, routine bloodwork, parasite control and prevention, infectious disease testing and vaccinations.
  • Establish and monitor all policies and procedures relating to animal health. Update SOPs as deemed necessary and within scope of work. Advise on and collaborate in regular updating of nutritional programs, husbandry care, animal welfare, and zoonotic disease prevention.
  • Work with the Veterinarian Technician to insure complete records are kept on all animal health activities, medical treatments, post-mortem findings, and any other reports required by Newport Aquarium. Previous knowledge of TRACKS preferred.
  • Collaborate in the process of transferring animals between institutions. Directly communicate with Veterinarian staff of sending /receiving institution.
  • Ensure that safe procedures are maintained in a veterinarian lab setting and personal protective equipment is worn.
  • Support and take an active role in NAQ conservation and research initiatives.
  • Participate in publications and conferences for professional development and institutional advancement in the field. Maintain relationships with the veterinary and scientific zoological community. Maintain knowledge of ongoing research and medical advances affecting collection animals.
  • Maintain free and open communications within the Animal Care Team through individual and group meetings. Facilitate the completion of acceptable projects and concerns that come as a result of these meetings. Offer medical advice in tandem with husbandry leadership from the Animal Care Management Team.
  • Maintains direct communication to other Veterinarians of Herschend Family Entertainment facilities as well as other AZA-accredited facilities. Offer assistance as able, submit data for further research, and request advice as needed.
  • Participate in long and short range departmental planning through regular managers meetings as well as Animal Welfare Committee meetings.
  • Evaluate needs and assist in the preparation of applications for all required permits and licenses and inspections pertaining to the collection.
  • Interact with and respond to Public Relation requests for information. Participate in aquarium education, public relations and programs including tours and lectures as approved by Director of Operations and Curator.
  • Establish/review all animal diets and supplements as they pertain to ongoing health issues.
  • Comply with safety and security directives, policies and procedures.
  • This position has been identified as Safety Critical with authorized operator requirements.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Required Experience

What we are looking for:

  • A Degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from an accredited institution is required with specific knowledge of zoo and wildlife medicine, aquaculture, and marine mammals. Clinical experience preferred.
  • Two plus years of professional animal experience at a public aquarium, zoo or related institution. Experience working with birds, exotic reptiles, and fish necessary. Emphasis should be on animal health with demonstrated discipline and a history of a consistently high degree of work quality. Minimum of 1 year demonstrated supervisory/leadership experience preferred.
  • Familiarity with AZA Accreditation standards; intimate knowledge of Animal Welfare and Veterinary standards.
  • A valid KY DEA license.
  • USDA licensure?
  • A valid KY Controlled Dangerous Substance license.
  • Ability to be a licensed Veterinarian in the state of Kentucky
  • Familiarity with professional zoo/aquarium and animal conservation communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive as an independent veterinarian and seek external counseling when needed.
  • A valid driver's license with a good driving record.
  • Certification from a recognized SCUBA training organization is preferred but not required.
  • Ability to travel when necessary, usually not to exceed four weeks at one time.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which may include evenings and/or weekends and holidays. Ability to respond to emergencies on an on-call basis.

What you get:
  • Comprehensive benefits plan through Humana and Met Life.
  • 5 Personal Days, 5 Sick Days, 8 Holidays, 80 Vacation Hours; all based on a full calendar year.
  • Profit Sharing and 401K Plan after first year of service with company match up to 3.5%.
  • 24 General Admission tickets annually, to be used by family and friends.
  • Complimentary tickets and occasional employee outings to other local attractions.
  • Discounts at our Retail, Photo, and Food & Beverage areas.
  • Training and development.

Special Requirements:
  • Successful completion of pre-employment drug screening and SCUBA diving physical.
  • In good health and capable of performing strenuous and/or heavy physical labor.
  • No history of allergy related to animals or plants, which might interfere with ability to work.
  • Ability to remain on feet for long periods of time, climb stairs, bend and stoop.
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions.
  • No impairment of sight, smell, hearing, touch, balance and agility of movement which might interfere with ability to work.
  • Physical strength, including the ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Immunocompetence (possible exposure to infections and parasitic disease).

You can expect to work on projects that have never been done before - ideas that are unproven, and concepts that make people smile. You can expect to have fun and be treated with respect the minute you start…and through to the end. You can expect to work in an environment that is highly innovative and low in politics - truthful and filled with smart people!

And most of all, you can expect to work hard and make a difference in our world by helping to bring families closer together.

Note: Position will involve exposure to inclement weather, dust, potentially dangerous and unpredictable animal species, and potential dangerous machinery, restraint devices and toxic chemicals and/or drugs. Occasional use of protective clothing or equipment is required. (e.g. goggles, mask, gloves, and gowns)
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