Veterinanrian position at Tacugama

Skip to first unread message

Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Mar 26, 2024, 10:56:26 AMMar 26
to Primate-Jobs

Resident Veterinarian at Tacugama

Tacugama was established in 1995 by the Government of Sierra Leone, through the help of conservationist Bala Amarasekaran and the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone to rescue, care for and rehabilitate confiscated pets and orphaned or abandoned wild chimpanzees. It plays a vital role in conserving and protecting chimpanzees in the wild through education, communication and legal enforcement. 

Everything we do starts with the chimps and transitions into wildlife conservation, research, environmental protection, advocacy, law enforcement, community preservation, and education and ecotourism development initiatives.

Tacugama is currently seeking for a full-time Resident Veterinarian to manage the animal health & welfare of 120 resident chimpanzees, in accordance with the highest institutional standards of care.


The Resident Veterinarian, along with the rest of the veterinary team (One other veterinarian, 15 Chimpanzee care-staff) will aid in the coordination the veterinary care and the animal welfare departments. This includes supervising and managing the animal care team, interns, volunteers and researchers working in the veterinary and the animal welfare departments. The Veterinarians are expected to supervise and maintain the optimal health, nutrition, husbandry and welfare of the 120 resident chimpanzees, and assist with the overall operational management of the sanctuary including staff management, general camp infrastructure monitoring, light accounting and administration. This position reports to the Operations Manager and Programme Director, and liaises with the head of maintenance and the camp supervisor.


  • Observation and general management of chimpanzee health following standard operating procedures (daily sanctuary rounds). This includes the overseeing maintenance of the dens and enclosures. 

  • Apply a critical mind to preventative and responsive veterinary care for all animals in the sanctuary. 

  • Maintaining and updating standard operating protocols, such as those for reproductive management.

  • Plan and perform health checks under general anaesthesia on the chimpanzees, including those newly rescued under strict quarantine protocols.

  • Perform  basic  pathology  (post-mortem  examination  procedures, sample  collection) and  basic  laboratory  activities  (faecal  sampling  and  analysis,  blood  tests and analysis,  etc.). 

  • Fill in and maintain daily data and medical records (ZIMs).

  • Help with the ongoing disease research based on the work of several predecessors. 

  • Provide capacity building for the animal care staff. 

  • Monitor chimpanzee diet and nutrition (quantity and ingredients offered in the diet). 

  • Inventory management of veterinary and animal management supplies (medicines and consumables).

  • Assist with design & implementation of the chimpanzee enrichment programme, including developing new ideas and monitoring safety and efficacy. 

  • Implementation of sanctuary group integration plan and chimpanzee introductions amongst groups.

  • Participate in any activity related to the development of Tacugama in collaboration with the different department.


  • Degree in Veterinary Medicine from a recognized university.

  • 1-3 years of demonstrated experience as clinician.

    • Knowledge of medical equipment (radiographs, ultrasound, blood analysis, etc.), anaesthesia procedures, lab and pathology, sampling and post mortem examination.

    • Experience conducting various types of surgeries, vaccinations and health checks on animals.

  • Minimum one year of experience working with wildlife.

  • Advanced written and verbal communication skills; fluent in written and spoken English.

  • Proficiency with basic computer skills including Microsoft Office.

  • Willingness to live on-site, in relatively basic conditions, alongside fellow colleagues. 


  • Previous experience in team leadership and management.

  • Previous experience working with primates or great apes and knowledge of primate medicine strongly preferred.

  • Advanced certificates or training programs in zoo, wildlife or exotic medicine.

  • Training in pathology and necropsy techniques is highly valuable.

  • Problem-solving skills with a willingness to tackle unique challenges.

  • High emotional intelligence.

  • Previous experience working abroad, preferably in Africa.

  • Experience working with ZIMs.

  • Experience collaborating with research institutions and developing professional connections.


  1. Resident Veterinarians

(15) Care staff

(120) Resident Chimpanzees

Volunteers when applicable


The position is offered as a 1-year contract with the possibility of renewal based on the candidate’s performance. The first 3 months are considered a probationary period. 

This is a full-time, six day a week position. Early and late working hours may be required on occasion to accommodate emergencies or special circumstances.

A monthly salary/stipend is provided, dependent on experience, as well as a daily local African-style lunch. Breakfast and dinner are not provided. 

4-weeks vacation, VISA fees and flight tickets are covered by Tacugama upon completion of the first year. Candidates must provide their own health insurance. 


Tacugama is located 30 minutes from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, in West Africa. The sanctuary will offer accommodation with bathroom, kitchen and seating area. All international staff and volunteers live on-site. Living and working together as a team across the departments in a must. 

To apply, please send your CV in English as a PDF with a cover letter, and indicate the date you are available to start. Please send the application materials to: with the reference RESIDENT VETERINARIAN in the email title.

Application date: Until the position is filled. 

The position is available immediately.

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages