Wildlife Health
& Conservation

Spend one week living & learning at the Tropical Education Center, a “living classroom” of the Belize Zoo in the heart of the Maya Forest Corridor.

Experience the life-changing power of working with animals as you learn about wildlife conservation techniques and work alongside local conservation experts.

Prepare for the future

The Belize Zoo is dedicated to the preservation of species and habitats around the world. During your time at their Tropical Education Center, you can look forward to:
  • Using conservation techniques like tracking, attaching radio collars, and caring for wildlife in captivity
  • Working alongside local conservation experts to preserve special species like jaguars and howler monkeys
  • Exploring the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve as you learn about the history and culture of Belize

By attending Wildlife Health & Conservation, you can earn up to 40 veterinary hours, a required part of every vet school application.

2024 Program Dates & Tuition

  • 9 Days
  • June 21–29
  • June 29–July 7
  • $6,499

What’s Included

Authentic, local meals

Comfortable Accommodations

10:1 Teaching Vet-to-Student Ratio

Up to 40 veterinary hours

Round trip airfare*

*Roundtrip airfare from the designated international airport hub is included. Any travel costs from your location to that hub are not included.

Program Highlights

Conservation Technology

As you learn from some of the world’s leading conservationists, you’ll get the chance to take their innovative technology for a test run, from deploying GPS trackers and radio collars to learning about blow darting and bird banding.

Habitat Exploration

Belize is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with the world’s second-largest barrier reef system, rainforest, and thick pine forests. You can look forward to immersing yourself in each of these tropical habitats.

Explore Local Culture

Belize has a rich cultural history that stretches back over three millennia to the Maya civilization. You can look forward to exploring the Xunantunich Archeological Reserve and tubing through the painted caves hidden deep in the karst hills.

Human Jaguar Conflict Program

The Belize Zoo’s world-renowned jaguar rehabilitation program safely removes jaguars from human-populated areas and relocates them to the Zoo for care and research.

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1

Arrival in Miami

  • Registration at a hotel nearby the Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Group introductions and welcome dinner

Day 2

Journey to Belize

  • Group flight with chaperone from MIA to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE)
  • Introduction to teaching veterinary staff & set expectations and goals
  • Orientation and Welcome Dinner

Day 3

Orientation to Belize

  • Guided visit of Xunantunich Archeological Reserve
  • Lecture: Conservation and Ecosystems in Belize
  • Discussion: Role of Zoos in Conservation

Day 4

Intro to Wildlife Issues

  • Nature walk at the Tropical Education Center
  • Darting Practice Lab
  • Introduction to Wildlife Veterinary Medicine
  • Maps, GPS, and Camera Trapping Lab
  • Night tour of the Belize Zoo

Day 5

Captive Animal Care

  • Camera Trap Setup
  • Jungle Hike & Cave Exploration
  • Cave Tubing
  • Lecture: Animal Enrichment

Day 6

Field Day at Runaway Creek

  • Bird Banding Lab
  • Presentation and Handling Practice: Tapir
  • Radio Collar Demonstration

Day 7

Community Wildlife Conservation

  • Lecture and Discussion: Human Jaguar Conflict Program
  • Lunch at the Belize Zoo
  • Tapir Lab: Physical Scores & Weights
  • Farewell Dinner

Day 8

Departure

The events included in this itinerary are subject to minor changes before your program.

Image Gallery

What some of our students and their parents are saying…

This program allowed me to not only gain more career experience but social experience as well. I was able to learn so much while I was here while also having fun. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone interested.”

I enjoyed this program so much and loved everyone on staff. This is a trip I’ll talk about for the rest of my life.”

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For the safety of students, staff, and animals, not all animals may be touched or handled by participants. The teaching veterinarian and other professional staff members will advise students of the proper time, place, and method to handle animals when it is safe to do so.