Course CodeBEN208
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Work in A Zoo or Wildlife Park

  • Learn to take care on captive animals
  • Understand their behaviour
  • Study health and safely management in zoos and more


ACS Student Comment: "I'm getting positive comments with notes on things I missed, so I think that is helpful. I'm learning a lot about zoo keeping and am able to see its value as I go about my volunteer zoo work. I'm loving the course. Thanks for the opportunity." Jo-Anna Apelt, Australia - Zoo Keeping course.




Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Zoos
    • What is a Zoo?
    • The Evolution of Zoos
    • Change in Zoo Design
    • Modern Zoos, Fauna Sanctuaries and Safari Parks
    • Legislation and Codes of Practice
    • Animal Welfare
    • Record Keeping
    • Identification Tags
    • Animal Taxonomy
    • Phylums and Classes
    • The Function of Zoos - Conservation, Research and Education
  2. Occupational Health and Safety in Zoos
    • Workplace Health & Safety
    • Legislation
    • Health and Safety Management in Zoos
    • Training
    • Workplace Health and Safety Practices
    • Personal Protective Equipment PPE
    • Moving Animals within the Zoo
    • Restraining Animals
    • Carrying out Veterinary Procedures
    • Managing Visitor-Animal Contact
  3. Captive Husbandry – Nutrition and Feeding
    • Nutrition - Natural Diet
    • Feeding Behaviour
    • The Effect of Poor Nutrition
    • Water Requirements of Animals
    • Essential Dietary Components - Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats and Lipids
    • Vitamins and Minerals - In food and Supplementing captive diets
    • Food Storage and Preparation
    • Presentation of Food
    • Monitoring Feeding
    • Feeding Enrichment
    • Primates and Feeding Enrichment
  4. Captive Husbandry - Health
    • Monitoring Health - The Healthy Animal, Recognising Ill Health and Diagnosing Diseases
    • Maintaining Health and Hygiene
    • Diseases - Metabolic Diseases, Parasites, Diseases Common to Zoo Animals, Controlling the Spread of Diseases
    • Quarantine and Vaccinations
    • Record Keeping
  5. Captive Husbandry - Reproduction
    • The Need for Captive Breeding
    • Goals of Captive Breeding
    • Captive Breeding Issues
    • Inbreeding in Captive Populations - the Genetic Effects and Results of Inbreeding
    • Captive Breeding Programs - Issues and Constraints
    • Monitoring Reproductive Status - External Signs and Indicators, Invasive Monitoring
    • Assisted Reproduction - Artificial Insemination and IVF
    • Stud Books
    • Birth Control in Zoo Animals
  6. Captive Husbandry - Behaviour and Enrichment
    • Ethology
    • What Motivates Behaviour?
    • Kinds of Behaviour - Reactive, Active and Cognitive
    • Learned Behaviour - Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, Imprinting and Habituation
    • The Flight or Fight Response
    • Abnormal Behaviours - eg. Stereotypes
    • Welfare Indicators
    • Physical and Social Influences on Behaviour
    • Behaviour Management
    • Environmental Enrichment - Food, Physical, Cognitive, Social and Sensory
  7. Human-Animal Interactions
    • Human - Animal Interactions in Zoos
    • Keeper - Animal Interactions
    • Husbandry Routines - Daily, Weekly and Monthly
    • Dealing with Dangerous Animals
    • Handling Animals
    • Fear of Humans
    • Managing Visitor - Animal Interactions
  8. Enclosure Design and Maintenance
    • Optimum Enclosure Design
    • Walk Through Enclosures - eg. Butterfly Houses and Aviaries
    • Natural Replication
    • Routine Maintenance
    • Providing Stimulating Environments - Physical, Feeding, Sensory and Social Enrichment
  9. Problem-based Learning Project – Environmental Enrichment
    • Environmental Enrichment Research Project
    • Introduction and Definition of Problem-based Learning
    • Problem Definition
    • People Involved
    • Resources
    • Guidelines
    • Discussion
    • Final Report


  • Nature park workers and managers
  • Those wanting to work in nature parks or zoos


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