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    Animal Training 

Please Note: All people in the photos of this website who appear to be in full contact with large exotic cats are in fact  professional trainers and handlers or advanced students who dedicate their lives to achieving such activities safely and humanely.

Do you want to be an Animal Trainer, Keeper, or Educator? Do you have any idea what that means?

Here's one way to find out. A way we highly recommend to anyone who is SERIOUSLY considering a life and career in the animal industry. And we can not stress enough, it is a life style, not just a job. A life style that is extremely demanding, physical, challenging, and at times, stressful and heartbreaking. But on the other hand, for the right person, nothing in life is more rewarding and worth living for.

Our classes offer a broad range of information to include:          

- animal husbandry

- animal training, wrangling and handling - yes, there is a difference! (beginning and advanced)

- animal behaviors - trained and instinctual

- compound management

- facility maintenance

- safety

- equipment

- animal transport

- political issues

- showmanship and presentations

- employment seeking skills

- laws, rules & regulations

- veterinary care

- and much much more!!!

These courses are not designed to qualify or license you as solo professional animal trainer. They will however provide you with enough information to help you decide if such a lifestyle is right for you. You will also walk away with skills, knowledge and ideas that will benefit you should you decide to move forward into a more lengthy college program or go directly into the work force. Successful completion of our course(s) will with a doubt make you a more valuable candidate to anyone or anyplace you apply.

Professional animal trainer and owner of Wild Things, Charlie Sammut instructs students to teach "Jacob", a young male African Lion to go to and stand on a mark or pedestal where he is then hand fed. All animals that participate in the courses are hand picked by Charlie and carefully monitored to assure the safety and well being of  the animal(s), the students and the staff. (Big cat contact for professionals or advanced students only.

These courses are HANDS ON! They are meant to be much more than just fun, entertaining and exciting. There is physical and mental work involved. We do our best to portray a true depiction of what our full time trainer's lives are like on a daily basis. A life you will commit to upon accepting a position at any facility or institution.  These courses will involve studying, practicing, and successful testing to achieve a certificate of completion at the end. There are several courses out there like ours and we suggest you try to attend as many (if not all of them) as you can before you commit to a two year program or life time career. It's an investment in your education and future.

Two day course:(2 consecutive days - 20 hrs.)


Registration .................$50.00 per person (nonrefundable)

Workbook & Uniform .......$125.00

Tuition ...............................$1000.00

Total with Workbook & Uniform ........$1175.00

Next Course date(s): TBA Call for info:

It's possible we can accommodate your choice of dates.

Status: Space still available

Five day course: (5 consecutive days - 40 hrs.)


Registration ..............$ 50.00 per person (nonrefundable)

Workbook & Uniform .......$125.00

Tuition ...............................$1625.00

Total with Workbook & Uniform ........$1800.00

Next Course date(s): TBA Call for Info:

It's possible we can accommodate your choice of dates.

Status: Space still available

Depending on the length of the course you attend, your abilities and weather, you could be working with lions, tigers, cougars, elephants, camels, reindeer, birds of prey, reptiles (large and small), servals, caracals, primates, and many of the misc. odd balls in our current inventory.

Student helps train "Oz" our young leopard to jump platform to platform.

Ten day course: (10 consecutive days with one day off in the middle - 80 hrs.)


Registration ........................$ 50.00 per person (nonrefundable)

Workbook & Uniform .......$125.00

Tuition ...............................$2500.00

Total with Workbook & Uniform ........$2675.00

N ext Course date(s): TBA Call for info:

It's possible we can accommodate your choice of dates.

Status: Space still available

The difference in curriculum between the courses is basically the amount of time spent on each topic and with individual animals. Hours are documented and certified upon completion.

All courses include:  lunch daily, refreshments throughout day. Daily transportation is available from some local hotels and to/from the Monterey Airport. Discounts are available at the Laurel Inn in Salinas and at the Vision Quest Ranch B&B located on our ranch (extremely recommended for those with the budget who want to enhance their experience tremendously. Click here to see our facility where you'll be working and learning.

Private Courses: All the above courses can be booked on a private basis to accommodate your schedule.

Two day course .....................................$1875.00

Five day course .....................................$3925.00

Ten day course ......................................$5175.00

Trainer for a Day: a one day CRASH course with as much as we can squeeze into one day and you can comprehend - 10 hrs.

One day course: .................................$675.00

Students learn elephant foot care from Wild Things' head trainer, Christy Ingram and "Butch" our male African elephant

Requirements: Must be 18 years of age or older - private courses open to 15 years and older with custodial consent (activities are tailored to accommodate younger ages.) Participants must be physically able to complete the hands on portion of the course (at the discretion of Wild Things' management). All must be dedicated and hard working animal enthusiasts. 

Your day starts and ultimately ends helping staff take care of the needs of the animals, which always comes first... and it's not all fun... unless of course your a true animal enthusiast.   

All days start with our African Elephants and end with our African elephants - as all good days should - just ask an elephant lover. A fair mixture of classroom, hands on, and demonstration will help send you away knowing for sure if this is really what you want to do 14 hrs. a day/7 days a week.


Student learns leashing and walking techniques on "Roper" our cougar.

For Application and Registration information, contact Heather at (800)228-7382 or e-mail her at

Space is available on a first come first  serve basis.

The perfect gift for the animal lover/student in your life!!!

Click here to learn about Other ways to visit Wild Things

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400 River Road   Salinas, CA  93908         (831) 455-1901     Fax (831) 455-1902

call us at...  (800) 228-7382