Zoo Keeping Online Course

Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

Do you want a career working with animals?  Careerline’s course in Zoo Keeping will introduce you to the various aspects of working in zoological gardens and safari parks and general captive animal management.

You will learn about Animal Welfare, Animal Care, Diet and Nutrition, Forms of Enrichment to enhance wellbeing, Captive Breeding, Enclosure Design, Research, Education and Conservation in Zoos.

Course Aims:

  • Describe the nature and scope of zoos as a source of education and conservation
  • Develop appropriate procedures for managing occupational health and safety in a zoo, with a view to minimising risk to staff, animals and visitors
  • Describe the nutritional requirements and feeding preferences of animals within zoos
  • Determine health management measures required for a range of different captive zoo animals
  • Describe the management of breeding in zoos
  • Determine appropriate ways to manage a range of different wild animals in zoos
  • Explain procedures and techniques used to manage human-animal interactions in zoos
  • Identify and describe the qualities of good enclosure design. Develop maintenance programs for different enclosures

Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units. Each having self assessment questions, set tasks (practical homework), and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 9 Lessons in this course:

The Nature and Scope of Zoos

  • What is a Zoo?
  • The Evolution of Zoos
  • Change in Zoo Design
  • Modern Zoos and Sanctuaries
  • Legislation
  • Codes of Practices
  • Animal Welfare
  • Enrichment
  • Record Keeping
  • Identification Tags
  • Animal Taxonomy
  • Phylums & Classes of the Animal Kingdom
  • The Function of Zoos
  • Research and Zoos
  • Education in Zoos

Occupational Health and Safety in Zoos

  • Workplace Health & Safety
  • Legislation
  • Health & Safety Management in Zoos
  • Zoonoses
  • Legionnaires Disease
  • Other Safety Issues
  • Risk Management

Captive Husbandry - Nutrition and Feeding

  • Animal Nutrition
  • The Effect of Poor Nutrition on Animal Behaviour
  • Water Requirements
  • Essential Dietary Components
  • Vitamins & Minerals
  • Food Storage & Preparation
  • Presentation of Food

Captive Husbandry - Health

  • Monitoring Health
  • Maintaining Health
  • Diseases
  • Quarantine
  • Record Keeping/Animal Transfer Data
  • Enrichment Data Transfer Form

Captive Husbandry - Reproduction

  • The Need for Captive Breeding
  • Captive Breeding in Zoos
  • Goals of Captive Breeding
  • Issues with Captive Breeding
  • Inbreeding Risks
  • Captive Breeding Programs
  • Monitoring the Reproductive Status of Zoo Animals
  • Assisted Reproduction
  • Stud Books
  • Birth Control and Separation

Captive Husbandry - Behaviour and Enrichment

  • Ethology
  • Behaviour
  • Types of Behaviour
  • Behaviours in Captive Animals
  • Learned Behaviour
  • The Flight or Fight Response
  • Animal Behaviours
  • Animal Welfare Indicators
  • Environmental Influence on Behaviour
  • Behaviour Management
  • Environmental Enrichment

Human-Animal Interactions

  • Keeper-Animal Interactions
  • Visitor Animal Interactions
  • Dealing with Dangerous Animals
  • Flight Distance of Animals
  • Handling Animals
  • Visitor Animal Interactions
  • Stress Reduction

Enclosure Design and Maintenance

  • Optimum Enclosure Design
  • The Perfect Enclosure?
  • Replicating Nature
  • Providing Stimulating Environments
  • Physical Enrichment
  • Feeding Enrichment
  • Sensory Enrichment
  • Social Enrichment

Problem-based Learning Project - Environmental Enrichment

  • Introduction and Definition of PBL
  • Problem Definition
  • Team Structure and Interaction
  • Discussion
  • Resources
  • Guidelines
  • Final Report

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.


Course Tutors

Dr Karen Catchpole  B.VSc. (Hons)

Karen brings to Careerline great experience and expertise in animal Science. Karen is a practicing veterinarian, now in her own small animal hospital, after working in varied roles over 17 years since graduation from Sydney University with first class honours.  Karen continues to maintain active involvement in education in both professional development and in tutoring both vocational and university students.  Karen's field of expertise is in internal animal medicine & surgery of cats & dogs.

Dr. Karin Dreyer-Haasbroek  B.V.S.   M.Sc.  (Parasitology)

Karin’s love and passion for animals stem from growing up on a farm in South Africa. After gaining her Veterinary Science degree she worked in mixed general practice while completing a master’s degree in Veterinary Parasitology. Living and working in South Africa exposed Karin to a vast range of experiences in the clinical veterinary field: treating patients ranging from marmoset monkeys to lions to the everyday cat, dog or horse. Two years as a Laboratory Vet resulted in helping farmers tackling livestock health problems in a variety of farm production systems. Since her move to Western Australia with her family, Karin has been working in a small animal practice.  During her 20 years as a vet, she has been involved in several research projects and the tutoring of students in various fields of animal science. She enjoys mentoring students and sharing her knowledge and she loves helping students flourish and realise their full potential.

How It Works

1. Learn Online

Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

2. Get Help & Support

Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

3. Receive Certificate

Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.