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The Toledo Zoo (Toledo, Ohio) has an internship available. This internship is designed for college students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in animal training or animal behavior.

Interns will work directly with the Curator of Behavioral Husbandry and Research and animal keepers to learn the principles of animal training and enrichment through lecture as well as hands-on work with the animals.

This particular internship is for seal training and polar bear enrichment and interns will participate in animal training demonstrations and schedule, implement and evaluate daily polar bear enrichment. As with many internships, this position is unpaid but housing is available.

Requirements are that you must be a junior or senior in college, or recent college graduate with a major in Biology, Animal Behavior, Psychology, Zoology or other related field

Must be willing to learn, have a positive attitude, and team mentality. Proficiency in Microsoft Excel required and previous hands-on work with animals a plus.

Duties include preparing seal diets and participate in daily feeding/training sessions and enter those training records into a computer program.

In addition, will help in the development of enrichment schedules for several species and construct and implement enrichment items while also conducting animal behavioral observations.

To apply please send a cover letter, resume and 3 references to (email preferred) to
Beth Posta
Curator of Behavioral Husbandry and Research
The Toledo Zoo 419-385-5721 ext. 2051

I recently received an animal career publication that looked like it was written by a charitable trust.

However, after scanning through the information, I found that it was simply a promotional piece about pet care careers that directed people to a specific website.

My reason for bringing this up is that there are a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon to solicit funds from those seeking animal careers.

I wrote about accreditation not too long ago and so think it is important that you understand that not all online information is created equal.

Nor are the programs that are out there all worth it.

Although my animal career coaching application period has closed, I will be opening it again once those people are through the program.

If you missed my Unusual Animal Career series and seminars–including weekend intensives that I started back in the 1990s–you won’t want to miss the new program set to launch sometime next year.

I’ll be spending some time reviewing a few animal career publications that might be helpful to you.

In general, vocational guides and college career guidance can be the most helpful to help you sort through the piles of products being promoted online.

Plus, you don’t have to be a student to take advantage of those resources–simply show up and ask for help since you are seeking a career.

When you go for solid sources of information you will save your self some heartache and tons of time.

Does it mean that all private materials or programs are crap?

No, certainly not.

I’ve been involved in private training programs since my career began and do continuing education online–but you have to know how to sort through the mess to find the gems.

In the next few posts I’ll share some good animal career resources with you but also be sure to sign up for the animal career secrets email list so you don’t miss subscriber only goodies!

In the late 1990s I ran the Unusual Animal Career seminar series and not only taught people how to prepare and how to seek a career with animals but also took people into the world of animal careers.

My favorite trip was to an exotic feline facility where the highlight of many students was that they were licked by a leopard.

Hmm, that might be a good title for something.

Anyway, when I moved away from the San Diego location, I moved my animal career coaching to private sessions and have enjoyed watching some of those clients move into careers with animals.

At long last I will begin offering animal career coaching again for selected people who want to participate.

I’ll be sending out notices within a week to my subscribers so I’d urge you to make sure to sign up to the list.

A select group of individuals will be chosen to participate in a beta test of a new online program and course work designed to help you identify if you have what it takes to be involved in an animal career and then direct you into actions that can help you make the career with animals dream a reality.

I’ll be only selecting a few people for this program test and it will be fee based.

It will include some great perks and introductions to a variety of aspects in the animal field (both wild and domestic) so if you want a career with dogs or seek something more exotic–you won’t want to miss it.

The first pre-requisite is that you have to be a subscriber on my list–so sign up now and wait for the announcement!

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I thought you’d be interested in this video from the UK about animal careers and how to individuals obtained their career goals.

The one consideration you should pay attention to is the competition and the trend of combining both experience with education.

This week, in my role as an animal career coach, I go into a rant about people who are dreaming about an animal career.

You can have a dream about an animal career but you also have to wake up and take action to get an animal job.

If you want to read the animal career rant, animal career dreams is over at ArkAnimals.Com.

If you are seeking a career with animals and have a bachelor’s degree in any field, you can take advantage of a new joint program from Project DragonFly and the Cincinnati Zoo. Read more about the Advanced Inquiry Program graduate degree.

If you are interested, head over now because the application deadline is February 28, 2010.

Animal Career Secrets Explores Elephant School. All content copyrighted 2007 by Diana L Guerrero. Some rights reserved.

There are many people who are enamored by elephants. The future is bleak for these massive creatures due to habitat loss, poaching, and other challenges. Of all the careers with elephants there are not too many places where you can get hands-on experience. One of those places is the Riddle’s Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Riddle’s Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1990. Located in the Ozark Mountain foothills in Arkansas, the 330 acre site is an elephant paradise. Founded by Scott and Heidi Riddle (Heidi and I went to animal training school together), this non-profit sanctuary accepts any species of elephant.

The Riddle duo have extensive elephant experience. Scott has worked with a variety of elephants since 1965. His work has encompassed zoological management, private sector performances, and elephant consulting.

Heidi started her career with elephants back in 1981. She has worked with both sexes of Asian and African elephants, oversees the activities of the place, and serves in the Elephant Manager’s Association.

The sanctuary always has a variety of activities and projects going. Past activities include an intensive semen evaluation project, a veterinary training program for ultrasound and elephant examinations, behavior studies, and much more.

In addition to their elephant experience opportunities, one of their most popular programs is The International School on Elephant Management. Instituted in 1994, the course covers the essentials of elephant care and management. Nutrition, husbandry, foot care, reproduction, and conservation related issues are just some of the topics.

The curriculum is vast and includes: Anatomy, Behavior, Physical Maintenance, Chaincraft, Ropecraft, Medication and Disease, Handling of Difficult or Dangerous Elephants, Elephant Training Techniques, and Elephant Breeding.

The top elephant experts from all over the world can be found instructing. Students come from all over the United States and from countries such as Canada, Australia, England, Germany, Japan, Africa, Spain, Sweden, and many more places around the globe.

Students and instructors stay on the premises. Although space in the school is limited, the bunkhouse is very comfortable and can hold over twenty people. It is quite nice and has both shower and toilet facilities. I visited in the summer and it was comfortable and very clean. The big social interactions took place in the cook house which is not just a place to dine.

When we drove into the place the first thing we saw was three elephants meandering down by a natural pool. It isn’t something you see every day and the girls were having a good time. They get walked out in the am and then walk trunk to tail on their way back to the barns for the evenings. Elephants on parade!

Sadly, Heidi emailed me to say that the school has temporarily suspended the two week training opportunities at the elephant school. I didn’t ask why yet but assume it has something to do with the fact that they have two elephant calves due in the near future.

At the moment the opportunities include a Elephant Ultrasound and Veterinary Procedures Workshop for professionals, with the elephant specialist vet, Dr. Dennis Schmitt, once year around May.

AND the newest addition for the general public is an elephant experience weekend. You arrive on Friday and spend that evening and the next two days under supervision to get a taste of hands-on work with elephants. Heidi told me that these weekends are really popular and usually run April through June and then again in September and October.

If you live in the area, or plan to travel through, they also have a visitors day on the first Saturday of every month when the facility is open to guests. So, if you think you want to work with elephants, or if you are interested in getting a first hand look and feel for what it is like–try this program.

For more information visit the Elephant School section of the Riddle’s website.

On a side note, when I visited they were collecting semen for an artificial insemination program for elephants. Now, I’ve been an associate of a clinic that was a cryobank for dogs–but collecting from elephants takes the process to a whole new level!


Diana L Guerrero is an animal career specialist and has extensive experience in many areas of the animal world. A well known animal expert, she has worked professionally with animals for over thirty years. Guerrero is the author of several books and the host of the syndicated, Ark Animal Answers.


I recently received this notice which fits in with anyone interested in wildlife rehabilitation or a career with birds. The deadline to enroll is September 15, 2007. If you are interested in attending the American Association of Zoo Keepers you can explore a couple of career options in one trip!

Oiled Wildlife Response Workshop

Moody Gardens is proud to be hosting an Oiled Wildlife Response Workshop
October 5th and 6th 2007 in Galveston, TX. The workshop, taught by Wildlife
Rehab and Education Wildlife Center in conjunction with Texas General Land
Office, will include speakers from the U.S. Coast Guard, veterinarians, and
experts from the response field. This hands-on workshop will combine both
classroom lectures and laboratory exercises to encompass all aspects of an
oiled wildlife emergency response.

In conjunction with the American Association of Zookeepers National
Conference being held at Moody Gardens September 30 thru October 4, a
24-hour Hazardous Response training option is available and recommended due
to predicted changes in government regulations. Workshops such as Animal
Handling and Restraint and Zoo/Aquarium Safety as well as 4 additional hours
of appropriate training will be offered. This along with the 16 hours of
oiled wildlife training will allow the candidate to be eligible to receive a
24-hour OSHA certification. The training required for the 24 hour course
will begin with an evening 2 hour workshop on October 3rd , continuing with
4 hours of training on the 4th, 10 hours on the 5th and 8 hours on the 6th.
All must be attended for certification.

Cost for the class is as follows: 24-hour OSHA certification class -
$150.00 alone or $75.00 in addition to conference attendance. Fees include
all materials and breakfast and lunch on the 4th and 5th and dinner on the
4th. Hotel costs are $135.00/night at the Moody Gardens Hotel. For the 16
hour training class the cost is $75.00 (does not include OSHA

For workshop registration or information contact Diane Olsen at 409-683-4102 or
dolsen at moodygardens. Get the AAZK Conference dates and other information.

Animal Career Secrets Explores Careers in Wildlife Rehabilitation has moved here…