Rehabilitation Supervisor / Veterinary Nurse

SANCCOB Port Elizabeth

SANCCOB, an internationally recognised seabird conservation organisation, is seeking to employ a full-time Rehabilitation Supervisor / Veterinary Nurse (or Animal Health Technician) to join its Port Elizabeth team. The purpose of this position is to oversee the rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and release of African penguins and other seabirds. This includes the coordination of rehabilitation activities at the rehabilitation centre in Cape Recife, Port Elizabeth (PE), supervising the rehabilitation staff and maintaining the centre as a registered veterinary hospital.

This exciting opportunity requires a self-motivated individual, who understands the importance of providing much needed specialised husbandry care to seabirds undergoing rehabilitation for release.  They need to be a good team leader and carry forward SANCCOB’s mission to conserve Southern Africa’s seabirds for future generations!

This position is very hands-on and requires someone with a veterinary nursing background, someone who is practical and is available at short notice to travel or respond to emergency crises. An absolute passion for seabird’s rehabilitation and conservation is a must.

The focus of the position will be to oversee all rehabilitation and veterinary activities at the Port Elizabeth facility and to ensure that protocols and standards are maintained at the highest level.

Veterinary support is offered by local veterinarians and the SANCCOB veterinarian in Cape Town. The centre is registered as a veterinary hospital and must be run as one. The candidate will be responsible for arranging veterinary visits, ordering, controlling veterinary consumables and medication and overseeing patient treatment and ensuring proper hygiene practices and maintenance of the enclosures, pens, pools and hospital.

On-site training will be provided on the rehabilitation and nursing of African penguins and other seabirds. The candidate will supervise two full-time rehabilitation staff and supervise a team of interns and volunteers, both local and international. The education team will assist with the task of volunteer coordination. The interns, volunteers and rehabilitation staff are trained in bird care, rehabilitation techniques, feeding and administering medication. Training and supervision of rehabilitation staff, interns and volunteers will form part of the daily tasks once the candidate is fully trained. Mentoring of staff and interns will be required.

Key responsibilities:

  • Reporting directly to the PE Centre Manager, oversee all rehabilitation and veterinary activities at the Port Elizabeth facility and to ensure that protocols and standards are maintained at the highest level
  • Daily supervision of all seabird rehabilitation and chick rearing activities at the Port Elizabeth Centre facility, and to ensure all protocols and standards are maintained at the highest level and are according to SANCCOB’s standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Daily care and treatment of different types of seabirds of all ages including after hours on-call duty and general rehabilitation
  • Weekly health examinations of the birds undergoing rehabilitation, including blood sampling, microscopy, post mortems, record keeping and evaluating when the birds are fit for release
  • Ensuring all resident birds are cared for and are routinely checked
  • Administration of the rehabilitation activities, including record keeping and control of veterinary and rehabilitation stock
  • Ensuring proper hygiene practices and maintenance of the enclosures, pens, pools and hospital
  • Working with local veterinarians on veterinary treatment of the birds undergoing rehabilitation. SANCCOB’s vet is based in Cape Town and will be available to give advice but most veterinary work in Port Elizabeth is done by local veterinarians
  • Ensuring that the hospital is prepared for vet visits and surgical procedures
  • The candidate must be used to working according to Standard Operating Procedures and must be willing to train new staff/interns and volunteers when need be.
  • The candidate will be responsible for managing any overtime worked by the rehab team and work on monthly rostering for the bird team.
  • Administration of the rehabilitation activities, including record keeping and control of veterinary and rehabilitation stock, bird food (mainly fish), rehabilitation staff rosters for leave and after-hours duties and monthly reports to the management team.
  • Assist in updating SOPs on a yearly basis
  • Writing up monthly veterinary/bird rehabilitation reports for management

On-site training will be provided on the rehabilitation and nursing of African penguins and other seabirds

Key competencies:

The successful candidate will be a team player who is physically fit, hard-working, dedicated, self-motivated and has a love of seabirds and conservation, with a personable, caring and compassionate nature and good attention to detail. The successful person should be comfortable leading a small team and working long hours, including over weekends and public holidays, and in all-weather conditions.

Minimum requirements for position:

  • A Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (or equivalent qualification) and registration with the South African Veterinary Council is essential
  • Experience in avian conservation, animal husbandry and welfare is an advantage
  • Must have a passion for seabird rehabilitation and conservation
  • Demonstrable experience managing small teams and/or volunteers will be advantageous
  • Demonstrable experience in writing reports, project proposals and articles will be advantageous
  • A valid driver’s license and own transport
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite of programs

Please forward CV with at least 2 contactable referees (max. 3 pages) and a letter of motivation to Dr David Roberts at david.gr@sanccob.co.za by 30 October 2020.

Management will not accept telephonic applications and will only correspond with applicants selected for interviews.