Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has a cooperative program with the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines which provides educational experiences for veterinary students, enabling them to work with all types of exotic animals.

Students can take four-week elective rotations where they work with exotic animal and wildlife medicine. In addition, students on other 4th-year rotations may also come to the zoo with specialists in those rotations. Students are involved in all aspects of captive wild animal treatment, anesthesia and diagnostic testing.

The opportunities for zoo experiences continue to grow with the recently completed apartment at the zoo for Iowa State veterinary students. The new facility, the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Center, reduces the need for students to commute every day from Ames to Des Moines. In addition to living quarters for students, visiting scientists and specialists, the new project also includes a Rounds Room, Operating Room, Clinical Diagnostic Area and Post-Operative Care and Hospital.