Program Details

Get a behind the scenes look working at a zoo with a focus on education and conservation. Spend time assisting zoo vets in caring for animals at the park and learning more about the important work they do.
Midrand, South Africa
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:

Program Overview

Program Description:

The two-week South Africa Zoo Medicine program is based at Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary in South Africa. Lory Park is one of only six zoos in Africa accredited by the Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria, with a focus on education and conservation. Your program will focus on understanding the anatomy, handling, medical needs in captivity, behavior, and conservation of six main groups of animals at the park: birds of prey, reptiles, big cats, small cats, cubs, and primates. Your work with and coursework about these animals will be supplemented by veterinary labs such as necropsies and lectures from veterinarians and expert guests. In addition, we will spend a weekend on safari in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, one of the largest in South Africa and home to elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffalo, lions, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles, and hundreds of other species.

The program course, “South Africa Zoo Husbandry and Management”, is a 3-credit course that includes observing and learning about the animals at the zoo and learning from your veterinary (DVM) trip leader and zoo staff in the classroom, in the lab, and throughout the zoo.


  • Two-day safari in Pilanesberg reserve to spot elephants, giraffes, and more!
  • Study big cats such as white and tawny lions, Siberian tiger, pumas, and leopards
  • Assist the zoo vet team in providing care such as vaccinations and deworming
  • Visit community schools as part of zoo education and outreach program
  • Participate in training, feeding, and upkeep of cubs
  • Support enrichments and training for primates, including gibbons and lemurs
  • Do research on small cats (black-footed cats)

College credit is available. 

Participants will earn 52 veterinary hours and 10 research hours.

Setting Description:
During this program, we will live on the grounds of the Lory Park Zoo. Housing is in dorm-style rooms, and you will share rooms with other Loop students of the same gender. Bathrooms are shared. Students are not permitted to leave the grounds of the zoo except when we travel off-site as a group. Free wi-fi is available throughout the zoo grounds.
All-inclusive, less airfare.

Additional Program Information

The program is open to anyone age 18-23. Each group of up to 8-12 students will have its own veterinarian and the groups will share site staff.
Scholarships Description:
Need-based scholarships and aid are available. Details can be found on our website or by contacting us for more information.

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