Our Unique Experience

If you are interested in pursuing a career in animal care or zookeeping, you may have realized that most positions require prior experience. That’s where our program comes in. Our unique approach immerses students and faculty in the daily operations of the facility and the care of the animals.

Our program stands on a solid foundation of over 40 years of combined instructional experience, during which we have nurtured and educated over three hundred students in the field of Professional Animal Care and Zookeeping.

Our campus is a one-of-a-kind location, serving as both a functioning wildlife sanctuary and a teaching zoo, open to the public year-round. With a focus on carnivores, our students receive hands-on training in the daily care and management of these magnificent animals.

We provide practical training that uses our current animal population, ensuring that students at all skill levels gain hands-on experience in animal care. Our program emphasizes the importance of animal welfare and health-related skills, teamwork, and relationship-building within a modern zoological facility. To prepare students for the realities of working in animal care, our program requires outdoor work in all weather conditions. We offer a mix of in-person and virtual classroom instruction, including webinars, online courses, and meetings.

Our program provides students with invaluable hands-on experience in animal husbandry, behavior, and management, conservation education, and above all, safety. Students work in close proximity to the carnivores and other animals at the sanctuary, gaining practical skills and knowledge that will serve them well in their future careers. Our experienced faculty members are dedicated to providing personalized attention and guidance to each student, ensuring that they receive a comprehensive education in the art and science of animal care.

In our program, we prioritize fostering a strong community of students and faculty, all of whom share a passion for animal care and conservation. Our small class sizes enable students to form close relationships with one another and with faculty members, creating a supportive and collaborative environment. Students have the opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences and perspectives, as well as to work together on projects and assignments. We believe that this sense of community is essential to creating well-rounded, effective professionals in the field of animal care.

Our wildlife sanctuary and teaching zoo provide an exceptional environment for research opportunities, and students have the chance to participate in ongoing research projects. Through hands-on experience, students can contribute to scientific research in the field of animal care and welfare. Our program is committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the field, and research experience is an important part of this commitment.

Career opportunities for graduates of our Professional Zookeeper Program are abundant and varied. Graduates can pursue careers as zookeepers, animal behaviorists, wildlife biologists, and more. As the demand for professionals with expertise in caring for carnivores continues to grow, our program prepares students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this exciting field. Whether working in a zoo, wildlife sanctuary, or research facility, our graduates are well-equipped to excel in their careers and make a positive impact on the lives of animals.

The remarkable success of our graduates speaks volumes, as many have secured prestigious positions in Zoological and Animal Care facilities nationwide, including renowned AZA & ZAA accredited zoos. While we cannot promise employment, we are dedicated to providing our skilled and dedicated graduates with the tools and resources they need to pursue rewarding career paths within the industry.

Join us and take the first step toward a fulfilling career in zookeeping and professional animal care.