Chief Animal Caretaker (f/m/d)


Fulltime / LIONSROCK, South Africa, Bethlehem

FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and offices in 14 other countries. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence, for example stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companions animals and wild animals kept in inappropriate conditions. FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly.

We are looking for a qualified and experienced person at our Big Cat Sanctuary Lionsrock in South Africa.

Chief Animal Caretaker (f/m/d)

Main duties:

  • Supervising care taker team in their daily duties
  • Evaluating skills and implement training of care takers
  • Conducting weekly team and management meetings
  • Being responsible for proper record keeping in all areas
  • Ensuring all safety procedures and SOPs are followed at all times
  • Monitoring and evaluating the adaption and integration of traumatised rescued big cats
  • Planning and management of socialisation big cats
  • Monitoring, evaluating and documenting the health conditions of the animals and implementing appropriate response
  • Preparing for and assisting with veterinary visits and procedures
  • Keeping records of behaviour, adaption and integration of the animals
  • Supervising enrichment programmes
  • Assisting in managing other predators and game at Lionsrock
  • Establishing and implementing of a training concept for big cats according to individual needs
  • Inducting and monitoring of volunteers for animal specific tasks including weekly meetings
  • Doing quality checks and implementing FOUR PAWS quality standards in animal management related areas
  • Regular reporting and documentation as outlined



  • Diploma in animal husbandry and management or similar comparable qualification
  • Minimum 10 years of practical experience in management and husbandry of wild animals in captivity, preferably with focus on big cats
  • Skills and knowledge to implement the highest standards of safety and animal welfare in all husbandry related areas
  • Practical experience in behavior training of wild animals, preferably big cats
  • Very good knowledge of English spoken and written
  • Administrative skills including efficient usage of common office computer programs
  • Good leadership, motivation and reporting skills
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral)
  • Great affinity and identification for animal welfare issues in general to ensure implementation of FOUR PAWS values
  • Dedication and commitment to go the extra mile for the needs and welfare of our animals and show role model qualities

All applications will be subject to visa requirements in South Africa. Working conditions will be subject to South African labor regulations.

What we offer:

  • A dynamic and pleasant working environment in a unique, professionally managed and genuine sanctuary
  • A fully integrated and respectful partnership within an international organisation
  • Local and international career development opportunities

We welcome inquiries from everyone, and value diversity in our workforce.

Moreover, we are happy to consider your application for other suitable job opportunities within our global organisation.

Please send your application in English, preferably via email, to
Lionsrock Park
Hildegard Pirker, Head of Animal Welfare Department