October 6, 2020, Valencia, CA –
Animal Behavior College has been bringing accessible and extensive online animal education to the masses for over 2 decades. We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Zookeeper Assistant Program, featuring our curriculum that focuses on exotic animals most commonly found in zoos.
Animal Behavior College’s Zookeeper Assistant Program will introduce students to the duties of working in a zoo and the science of animal care, animal behavior, breeding and conservation and so much more. The term “zookeeper” can apply to a variety of positions at a facility, depending on its size, staffing capabilities and budget. Job titles can range from general curator to animal-care supervisor to animal keeper to zookeeper assistant.
By enrolling in ABC’s Zookeeper Assistant Program, you can start your zookeeping education while still working at your current job. Since our program is available online, your materials and exams can be accessed anywhere and anytime. While our program still has required exam due dates and an overall completion date, the course is designed to work around your schedule. Completion time for ABC’s Zookeeper Assistant Program is approximately 8 months.
The authors and subject matter experts who were involved in the development of ABC’s Zookeeper Assistant Program have shared their decades of zookeeping experience in the creation of this highly sought-after program.
Alisa Behar earned a BS degree in Environmental Biology from California State University Northridge and a graduate degree in Zoo Animal Management at an Australian university. She has worked as a zookeeper at several facilities, including The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California; St. Maarten Park Zoo in St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles; and the Bronx Zoo in New York City. For more than 10 years, Alisa taught students at America’s Teaching Zoo in Moorpark, California.
Alisa currently works as the curator of mammals at the Los Angeles Zoo. Throughout her career, Alisa has handled a wide range of animals including carnivores, primates, birds and reptiles. Her proudest accomplishment occurred at the St. Maarten Park Zoo, where she taught the staff how to provide enhanced care for the animals through enrichment programs, training, better nutrition and preventative health regimens. Alisa is passionate about helping educate future zookeepers, so they can better care for animals at zoos around the world, just as she did.
Kirsten Smith has a BS degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from Texas Tech University and an MS in Zoo and Aquarium Science from Michigan State University. Her educational experience at Texas Tech included two study trips to Africa and Costa Rica to learn about international conservation policies and research procedures.
Previously, Kirsten has assisted the Texas Parks and Wildlife agency on several research projects involving native species such as pronghorn antelope, coyotes, mountain lions, and mule deer. While studying at Michigan State, she was a zookeeper assistant and conducted research at multiple zoos, including the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Currently, Kirsten volunteers as a zookeeper assistant in the Asia Department of the El Paso Zoo, caring for elephants, orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and other species while continuing her work with Animal Behavior College.
After working with animals from all across the globe, Kirsten’s favorite part is learning how to bring each field of study together to accomplish one goal: provide the best care and protection for all of Earth’s natural resources.
Crystallynn Hetlinger was born in Los Angeles County, and spent her childhood traveling between California and Peru. When she graduated high school, she knew she wanted to work with animals for the rest of her life. As a young adult, she graduated with honors from California Polytechnic University Pomona with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, which she put to use in myriad ways. She now has more than 15 years of animal experience that spans the globe, from laboratory research to enrichment at wildlife rehabilitation centers. Eventually, she decided she wanted to help others achieve their goals by sharing what she learned, and settled into a role of writer and educator. In addition to her expert input on ABC’s Zookeeper Assistant Program, she also co-authored ABC’s Cat Training Program.
Courtney Deutsch has BS in Zoo Science from Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. During her education, she spent summers interning with Lehigh Valley Zoo in Pennsylvania and Zoo Miami in Florida. While working at the latter in the African carnivores and primates department of Zoo Miami, Courtney assisted staff in an ethogram of their pack of African painted dogs while helping to complete exhibit renovations.
After graduation, Courtney worked in the Children’s Center of the Staten Island Zoo, New York, providing daily husbandry for a variety of species. Courtney later received a dual husbandry and research fellowship—the Robert G. Engel Internship in Mammalogy—with the Bronx Zoo, in which she collaborated with curators to research probable causes of intra-group aggression among their mandrill troop.
Today, Courtney continues her career with the Bronx Zoo as a Provisional Wild Animal Keeper. Her ongoing goals include working on more zoological research projects, supporting conservation effort, and traveling the wild places she’s dedicated to preserving.
Upon the successful completion of your Zookeeper Assistant Course, graduates will receive a professional certification as an Animal Behavior College Certified Zookeeper Assistant (ABCZA). The certification will help you stand out when interviewing for volunteer and employment opportunities at both zoos and wildlife rehabilitation facilities. This will be a first step toward a career as a zookeeper assistant, zookeeper or animal curator.
During our extensive curriculum, you will learn about the following topics:
- Introduction to Zoos and Zookeeping
- Exotic Animal Housing and Exhibits
- Animal Health
- Zoo Conservation and Breeding Programs
- Exotic Animal Behavior, Enrichment, and Training
- Daily Zookeeping Routines and Husbandry
- Zookeeping Safety
- Zoo Visitor Education and Relations
- Building Your Zookeeper Assistant Career
Turn your love of exotic animals into your career today. Get started on becoming an ABC Certified Zookeeper Assistant by calling 800-795-3294.