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

Work in A Zoo or Wildlife Park

Zoos and Wildlife Parks need staff to manage both the grounds and the animals.

Anyone who has trained and developed skills to manage the grounds of a wildlife park, can hit a brick wall in their career development, if they don't also understand the basics of  managing animals as well. This course takes care of that issue; and improves the career prospects of a horticulturist working in a zoo or wildlife park.

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

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


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


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