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Wild Animals/Wish to work with great cats


Hi Jonathan,

I am from India,Goa,a place where wildlife biologist will certainly be the last option as a career.But since childhood being attracted towards animals,specially wild animals,its my hearty wish to devote my entire life to them.I referred to your previous suggestions to the former questioners and I guessed I would need some forehand experience in a zoo from which,I have been miles away.I am a just-to-begin high school-er and I need your guidance to help me to pursue my dream.I will be deeply honored if you tell me how to become a wildlife biologist and some career options in wildlife,specially dealing with great cats,for me.And please tell me if there are any scholarships exams for financial assistance and colleges related to this field in India.

Dear Akshata

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

Please note that I have had several questions from people wanting to work with animals and that the number of people who want to work with big cats outnumber the people who want to work with all other animals. This means that if you can be more versatile about your goals and consider working with other animals, you will give yourself a better chance of working with animals. This doesn't mean that you wouldn't work with big cats later. A lecturer at my former college used to specialise in bank voles and later worked with black rhinoceroses.

I keyed in zoology, courses and India into Google and there are several websites that may be useful, but please be careful about this. University courses can be very expensive and there is no guarantee that a degree will give you more chance to work with big cats. I work in a library and a number of people ask about grants for courses in the UK. I'm afraid I can't tell you which colleges will give you financial assistance, but I think you would have more chance if you were going for a course in applied biology, specialising in agriculture or medicine, but this seems to be outside your interests.

Two weeks ago, I went to a talk about EDGE, which is run by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). EDGE aims to save endangered animals around the world and involves local people. One man was studying caecilians (worm-like amphibians) in the Cameroons. The EDGE website is at

I know someone from ZSL who has been doing work in Nepal and Assam and I'm sure there is conservation work being done in an area near you. The Institute of Zoology site is at

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust ( does conservation work in several countries and provides courses at Jersey for conservationists from third world nations.

You may also find useful information at the Research Society of Zoology in India website (  

I hope this helps and I wish you a lot of luck in the future.

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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