ASHEBORO-For the second time the North Carolina Zoo's veterinary staff will be hosting a summer camp aimed at helping to cultivate the next generation of veterinarians who will work with wild and exotic animals.

Building on an extremely successful series of camps held in 2009, the zoo has organized four summer camps where youngsters ages 12 to 15 can live the dream of becoming a zoo veterinarian.

Two day camps, one for girls and one co-ed ages 12-14, are slated for April 17 and May 15. Although the April 17girls' camp is already full, a number of spots for the co-ed camp are still available. In addition two three-day overnight camps for students ages 15-16 have been scheduled for the summer. A three-day camp for girls is set for July 16-18 and a boy's session is slated for July 30 - August 1.

Both three-day camps begin on Friday afternoon and continue through Sunday afternoon. Throughout the weekend, campers will attend classes about zoo veterinary work, exploring diverse topics ranging from tracking wild animals with radio telemetry to tying surgical sutures.

Other classes will have campers using veterinary equipment (X-rays, sonograms and an endoscope), learning to bandage animals and performing CPR on high-tech dog and cat "dummies" that look and feel like the real things. Chief Veterinarian Dr. Mike Loomis will teach the campers with help from veterinarians participating in a three-year residency program coordinated by the zoo and the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary students from N.C. State will serve as mentors and counselors, helping campers make plans for getting into veterinary school and becoming veterinarians.

Overnight campers will stay at the zoo's Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Learning Center and will be supervised by carefully screened veterinary students along with staff members from the zoo and N.C. Zoo Society.

Cost for the day camps is $230 for N.C. Zoo Society members and $279 for non-members. Three-day camps cost $539 for members and $579 for non-members. A limited number of scholarships for campers with financial needs are also available. To learn more visit the Zoo Society Web site at or call 336-879-7273. A short video on the veterinary camps is also available at

The N.C. Zoo Society is the private non-profit organization that raises money and engenders public support for the N.C. Zoo. The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.