ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Academy (15-17 year-olds)

Due to operational and staff changes precipitated by COVID-19, we are regrettably postponing our vocational courses until further notice. We understand that this is disappointing, but we would like to reassure you that all postponed experiences at ZSL London Zoo can be rearranged for a later date. We are currently offering rearrangements of bookings made up to 30 April. Any bookings made after this date will be reviewed as we continue to act on the advice of the Government. Please email zooacademylz@zsl.org to discuss your booking. Thank you for your understanding.  

 

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Zoo Academy is an eight-day course which includes study sessions on different exotic species and more than 20 hours practical experience in the zoo.

An Amur tiger climbs a tree to get to enrichment

Our exciting practical course is designed for 15-17 year olds who wish to become vets, vet nurses, zoo keepers or pursue other animal related careers and studies. Culminating in a graduation ceremony on the last day, this course provides an invaluable opportunity to work in the Zoo, meet ZSL staff, see behind-the scenes and understand more about exotic species and their care.

Cost

  • £575 per student.
  • ZSL Gold members, Patrons and Fellows receive a 10% discount on this experience. This discount will be added automatically at checkout when you sign in using your registered email address. If you are having problems please call us on  0344 225 1826.

Your course includes

  • Eight days at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
  • Theory sessions and practical experience in the zoo
  • A ‘Zoo Academy’ portfolio and worksheets
  • A ‘Zoo Academy’ certificate of attendance
  • A reference on ZSL headed paper
  • A copy of all photos taken on the course
  • A unique ‘Zoo Academy’ hoody
  • Two complimentary tickets for family or friends on graduation day

The Zoo Academy course is designed to enable young people to gain practical experience in a zoological collection as well as learn more about exotic species and their care. Each day runs from 10.30 to 15.00.

Supported by the education and keeping staff, students will complete an evidence portfolio of their theory and practical work. Students will be able to keep their portfolios as evidence of their time at ZSL and hopefully use them at future university or college interviews to aid their career with animals. On completion of the course to a satisfactory level students will receive a certificate and reference statement.

Each day features a different topic and is split between theory sessions and practical activites. 

Session 1: Induction, Invertebrates & Reptiles

Session 2: Small Mammals & Domestics

Session 3: Birds

Session 4: Conservation

Session 5: Primates

Session 6: Carnivores

Session 7: Large mammals

Session 8: Enrichment & Graduation
 

The theory sessions will focus on the animal groups the students will be working alongside during the course, covering elements of anatomy, classification, behaviour, nutrition, handling and restraint. The students will complete written activities to add to their portfolios. Practical tasks could include handling invertebrates and reptiles, cleaning out white rhinos, preparing food for a variety of species, making enrichment for carnivores and carrying out a behaviour study of chimpanzees.

White rhino at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Graduation

On the final day of the course, family and friends of the students are invited to attend ZSL Zoo Academy graduation. One of our animal department senior  staff will present certificates and there will be a short presentation about the course. Two complimentary zoo tickets will be given to each student so that family and friends can gain free entry on the graduation day. Additional friends and family can attend the graduation, but they must pay the full admission price.

 

 

2020 Course Dates

We run courses on consecutive Saturdays in term time, and weekdays during summer holidays.

Saturday Course 1: Every Saturday, 7th March – 25th April 2020

Saturday Course 2: Every Saturday, 2nd May – 27th June 2020 (excluding 23rd May 2020)

Saturday Course 3: Every Saturday, 26th September – 28th November 2020 (excluding 24th & 31st October)

Summer Course 1: 20th July – 29th July 2020 (excluding weekends)

Summer Course 2: 3rd August – 12th August 2020 (excluding weekends)

Summer Course 3: 17th August – 26th August 2020 (excluding weekends)

 

BOOK NOW


Cost

  • £575 per student.
  • ZSL Gold members, Patrons and Fellows receive a 10% discount on this experience. This discount will be added automatically at checkout when you sign in using your registered email address. If you are having problems please call us on  0344 225 1826.

This must be paid in full to secure your place on one of the courses. Once payment has been taken, refunds cannot be given and dates cannot be swapped.