Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo entrance, August 2019
|Land area||10 acres (4.0 ha)|
|No. of animals||200+|
|No. of species||75|
The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is a 10-acre (4.0 ha) zoo in Gainesville, Florida. As part of Santa Fe College, It is the only college zookeeper training facility in the United States with its own AZA-accredited zoo on grounds, and has been accredited since 2000.
Guided tours led by students in the program are available at the teaching zoo if you schedule ahead of time, otherwise you are welcome to walk around on your own
The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo was established in 1970. It comprises 10 acres (4.0 ha) of forested land on the west side of the Santa Fe College main campus.
The zoo is home to over 200 individual animals representing more than 75 species, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds. The collection includes white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar), Matschie's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei), Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The zoo also participates in several AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, for white-handed gibbons and Matschie's tree-kangaroo as well as for Asian small-clawed otter (Amblonyx cinereus), red ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra), and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis).
The Zoo Animal Technology Program
Students spend 5 semesters learning about animal husbandry, breeding, nutrition, medical care, physiology, taxonomic relationships, conservation, enclosure construction, proper zoo sanitation, and other topics through classwork and actual work as keepers in the zoo.
Students of the Zoo Animal Technology Program are known as Zooies.
The zoo is a popular destination for both local residents and tourists. The zoo hosts several events open to the public throughout the year, including Party for the Planet (celebrating Earth Day) and "Boo at the Zoo" (BATZ) Halloween festival.