Science at the Zoo

North Carolina Zoo isn’t just a great place for kids, it is also a learning laboratory for college students, universities, and the scientists that work at the zoo every day. With our unique variety of animal residents, the zoo is an incredible place to answer all kinds of questions. Research conducted at the Zoo spans a variety of disciplines, including veterinary medicine, evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and conservation. The Zoo acts as a resource for universities and colleges all over the country to learn about and better understand wildlife in ways that are only possible by having animals in human care. Studies conducted at the Zoo have helped calibrate how scientists measure body condition in wild polar bears, improved our understanding of biomechanics (how animals move) in gorillas and chimpanzees, and provided  a testing ground for new methods in using Doppler radar to detect poachers and wildlife in the field. Overall, by prioritizing research, the Zoo forges new pathways to discover little known, but desperately needed information on wildlife health and behavior.

If you are interested in conducting research at the Zoo, contact: research@nczoo.org.

Improving the lives of animals through research

In addition to facilitating external research, the Zoo has dedicated scientific staff working to improve the lives of our animals. Research projects are conducted through close collaboration among our research, veterinary, and animal teams, who work together on the implementation and supervision of all on-site research. Our staff use research to improve the lives of our animals by producing applicable results, which directly improve health, habitat design, enrichment use, diet plans, breeding behaviors, and overall animal management strategies.

The Zoo’s dedication to research also facilitates educational and learning opportunities for students. Our staff work closely with undergraduate and graduate students, designing and implementing a variety of research projects. This experience enables students to gain the skills required to execute scientific research with wild animals, as they work towards careers in veterinary science, ecology, or wildlife conservation.

Internship Opportunities

Please visit our Interns page for more information on internship opportunities at the Zoo.

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