My name is Lawrence Mutasa from Zimbabwe, I am an Animal Keeper at Al Ain Zoo in the United Arab Emirates and a student at Sparsholt Hampshire College. I’m currently studying for the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals. 

I chose to study this course because it is offered by Sparsholt in partnership with BIAZA and The National Zoo Academy, and that alone reassures me that after completing the course I will be competent.

The course is very informative and there are short quizzes and tests for self-check during studying. The Tutors have been an absolute delight.  They are very helpful and supportive via email and personalised tutorials via Microsoft teams. 

I have learnt of different methods to educating the public as a keeper, and have begun implementing some of the methods in my work already. My course highlight has been  getting to know and understand my legal obligations as an animal keeper.

It’s fun to study something you already do at work, because I now understand the reason why we do things a certain way, so I’m always eager to come back to my room after work and study more. However sometimes it’s tough coming back from work tired and trying to study – it gets really hot in the summer in the United Arad Emirates!

After finishing the DMZAA, I want to do a degree in Zoology, with the same institution, University Centre Sparsholt, hopefully as a full-time student. 

I would definitely recommend the DMZAA, because I feel like if zoos have well educated keepers it will lead to better animal welfare.