Monday, August 29, 2016

America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College


Over the course of his career in the training and management of native and exotic wildlife, Josh Ruffell has lived in many different parts of the world. A graduate of the Exotic Animal Training & Management (EATM) Program at Moorpark College in Moorpark, California, Josh Ruffell specialized in exotic animal training and wildlife education.

Moorpark College is home to the world-renowned America’s Teaching Zoo, which originated in 1974 when the college offered the EATM Program as a major. The program began with one wolf named Kiska, but by 1990, the EATM Compound relocated to its present site on five acres overlooking the Moorpark College campus.

Through the years, the animal population has grown due to donations and breeding loans from research centers and major zoos. Enclosures are added as necessary to accommodate new animals. The range of species includes an African Lioness, Spotted Hyena, Mountain Lions, Bengal Tiger, a variety of primates and a host of other exotic and endangered animals.

Students in the EATM Program are required to spend time at America’s Teaching Zoo on most days, including weekends when the zoo is open to the general public, to help with the animals. Under close supervision, the students handle the majority of the feeding and care requirements of the approximately 200 animals at America’s Teaching Zoo.