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Wild Animal Science Camps

Wild Animal Science Camps

Wild Animal Science Camps

Wildlife Science Camp giraffe feeding

The North Carolina Zoo’s Wild Animal Science Camps provide a fun and educational opportunity for young, budding scientists! The camp’s hand-on activities mimic the field work conservation scientists undertake in the wild and offer a realistic overview of what it might be like to follow in the footsteps of conservation heroes, like Jane Goodall or Dian Fossey.

Through carefully planned activities around the Zoo, campers will use various research methods used by our Zoo’s field biologists when working in the wild to save snakes, elephants, vultures and more. Campers will learn various methods for studying local wildlife, including how to use camera traps, radio telemetry, and dip netting. Campers will also have the unique and exciting experience of exploring the Zoo at night, where they will try out night-time research tools to observe and study Zoo animals and native wildlife.

All campers will have the opportunity to meet new friends, network with others who share their interests and experience the joys and challenges of working to help protect wildlife and their habitats.


A hands-on, unique learning experience: During their stay, campers practice state-of-the-art conservation research techniques under the tutelage of our Zoo’s scientists, including field biologists, animal behaviorists, and wildlife conservationists. Throughout the camp, animal keepers, education staff, and university students serve as mentors and counselors. The camp is limited to 16 young people to ensure that everyone has plenty of time to interact with our staff and experiment with our technical equipment. Campers will leave this special educational experience with new insights into studying animals.

A once-in-a-lifetime camping experience: Campers gain special, supervised access to more than 500 acres of wildlands and wildlife living at the North Carolina Zoo, during the day and night! We explore the Zoo after hours, learning about nighttime research methods, as we observe our Zoo-housed animals and local wildlife in the dark. Campers will sleep in zoo-provided tents, listening to the chimpanzee’s chatter and the lion’s roar.

Amazing memories: Campers will meet and create memories with other age-mates from across the state and country. Each camper will leave with a camp t-shirt, ID badge, and new set of animal-enthusiast friends!


We offer two age-specific camps: juniors (ages 11 to 14) and seniors (ages 15 to 18). Curriculum for the camps are tailored to meet the needs of each age group, aimed to engage and incite interest in wildlife research. Camp space is limited to 16 campers where campers are admitted on a first-come-first-serve basis.

**We ask that all campers have previous experience sleeping away from home!**


2024 DATES:

Junior: May 18th to 19th

Senior: June 8th to 9th 

What to wear: Comfortable, weather appropriate clothes (we will be outside for most of the camp) and closed toed shoes.

What to bring: A sleeping bag, pillow, bug repellant, overnight toiletries, a change of clothes, a day pack, a bottle for water, and a raincoat.

We provide the tent, sleeping pad, and all meals (lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday).

Times: Drop off is at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday and pickup is at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. Additional details will be communicated closer to the camp date. 

Camp tuition: $449 for Zoo Society members and $499 for non-members. All fees cover food, lodging, and supplies. Non-members will receive a one-year membership upon purchase.

With this purchase, you may be able to claim as much as $400 of the tuition as a charitable tax deduction. Please consult a tax professional for assistance.

If you are interested in donating funds to support scholarships for participation in this program, please call: 336.879.7700 or email:


  • In the event of a thunderstorm, activities will be revised to be conducted indoors.
  • Refunds are only permitted if the camp is cancelled or if we are able to fill the spot immediately.


For any questions: Please email

To register: Please call 336.879.7700