If working with animals is in your future, a McLean County entity is offering a one of a kind opportunity for central Illinois youth to get hands-on experience.
The Miller Park Zoo's Junior Zookeeper program offers a handful of youth the chance to get hands-on learning experiences with the animals in the exhibits but also the skills necessary to work with the public. Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says it is a one of a kind opportunity.
To get into the program though, you have to sign up and attend one of two mandatory meetings that are happening this week. According to Tetzloff, students entering sixth grade up to high school students and tonight is the final night for those meetings.
Through the life of the program, Tetzloff has seen students pursue a variety of careers. While some go become veterinarians, others pursue marine biology but lately, students who go through the program are pursuing environmental law degrees.
Meetings are about an hour long and Tetzloff says most junior zookeepers begin at basic levels and gradually progress from there. For those that do apply, Tetzloff encourages them not to get discouraged if they do not get accepted the first time because they usually end up with a waiting list.