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Welcome to SHAPE—Africa

SEEC (Student Environmental Enrichment Courses)


The Course

This course is designed around the SHAPE format and accredited by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).   It is aimed specifically at college and university students (past or present) who do not currently work within a zoo setting, but are looking to do so as a career.   Over 3½ days students will gain a background in animal welfare and enrichment, dealing with welfare needs of different species, as well as providing practical skills in designing, building and testing enrichment within the settings of a working animal organization.  Our aim is to provide valuable experience and an overview of additional useful skills to a would-be keeper’s CV.  Please note you must be 18 or over to attend this course.


SEEC Instructors

SEECs are organised and run by Mark Kingston Jones. Mark has been involved in the animal welfare field since 2004. He now works under SHAPE as a Workshop Coordinator, having previously worked at Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, as Head of Education and Research. In addition to running 20+ previous SEECs, he has been involved in 15 SHAPE workshops as a Level 1 Instructor, in the UK, Romania, Croatia, Russian, Lithuania, Indonesia, Vietnam, Uganda and South Africa, and is the SHAPE-UK & Ireland Events Co-ordinator. As well as being an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, an external adviser on the PASA Captive Care Committee and a Trustee for Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary, he has presented 33 talks on topics relating to animal welfare at conferences, both nationally and internationally. Additionally he is an author/co-author on 13 publications related to animal welfare and enrichment.


Chris Hales also teaches on the SEECs having been an Instructor on 20+ previous courses. Previously a Keeper at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park for over 14 years, Chris has experience working with a multitude of taxa. Chris is a Level 2 SHAPE Instructor, having taught on 4 SHAPE workshops, including a small carnivore SHAPE workshop in Brazil. With a wide range of experience in the field of husbandry and enrichment, he specialises in carnivore enrichment, which he has presented on at 5 national and international conferences. He is the SHAPE-UK & Ireland Facebook Group Co-ordinator. Additionally he is an author/co-author on 4 publications related to animal welfare and enrichment.



The course is roughly split between lecture and practical components. Lecture topics include: Animal welfare, enrichment overview, animal husbandry and learning and breaking into the zoo world.   Short talks will focus on carnivore, primate, and ungulate enrichment. Additionally, there will be practical’s involving animal learning, and working with rope and fire hose. The final day of the course will result in the application of all these principles as delegates are split into groups, allowing you the opportunity to design, build and test enrichment with the host organisations animals. To see photos and videos of the practical’s from previous courses visit out SEEC Facebook page.



The Course registration fee of £150 includes: All workshop materials over the 3.5 days, materials for practical sessions, and drinks and biscuits during the scheduled tea breaks. Please note delegates are required to provide their own lunches during the course to keep registrations costs down.


For Students

Information on the next public courses can be found here:

Fota Wildlife Park - May 19th-22nd 2016

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo – July 25th-28th 2016

Belfast Zoo – 31st July – 3rd August 2016

Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary – August 16th-19th 2016


For Course Leaders/Lecturers

If you are interested in booking a private SEEC as part of your College or University course please contact Mark directly for more details. We have links at multiple zoos across the UK, so can identify a facility that meets the needs of you and your students.


Feedback From Previous Courses

In 2015 we were ranked as the 2nd highest rated training provide on Coursescheck. To see up to date reviews and feedback from previous courses participants please visit:



For more information, contact the Course Organizer, Mark Kingston Jones.

Welcome to SHAPE—Africa



Course Feedback


 Myself and two course mates attended the 1st SEEC and because it teaches you to think differently about enrichment, when it came to completing our coursework we covered different areas to everyone else and our marks were much better because of it.

-- Fiona Fern, UG Student – Now Keeper, 1st SEEC.


The Student Environmental Enrichment Course was a wonderful and enlightening experience. Being an MSc student, it was a pleasure to get hands-on experience in a zoo setting, speak with zookeepers and have our end result be beneficial for the animals. I recommended this course to all my fellow classmates!

-- Anne Jacobs, MSc Student, 5th SEEC.


If it wasn't for the SEEC course allowing ANYONE to join/take part in, I wouldn't be where I am today. It was the perfect opportunity to step onto the career ladder and get some experience under my belt. I found, at the time, that it was very difficult to do any course or volunteer work without previous animal-related experience. Working in London as a journalist, with a degree completely unrelated, I thought I'd never be able to change career paths again. I loved how easily accessible it was, and how the information, plus practical experience was presented. I even took my SEEC folder to my interview!

-- Sally Barnes – Now Keeper, 10th SEEC.


SEEC turned out to be my foot in the door of the zoo world, as meeting the right people and gaining useful knowledge and skills has ultimately allowed me to achieve my dream job! This course is an opportunity not to be missed and I recommend it to anyone looking to get into zookeeping.

-- Poppy McGoldrick – Now Keeper, 10th SEEC.


 I found the course to be exceptionally well organised, an excellent mix of theory and practical delivered by approachable, knowledgeable and professional presenters. Chris and Mark clearly worked really hard to ensure that every single delegate took part and achieved as much as possible. They have an impressive amount of patience and their ideas, enthusiasm and willingness to pass on knowledge and share experience was inspirational. My thanks to all concerned for such an awesome experience - I've left the course with renewed enthusiasm, focus and determination.

-- Shanti Persaud, Mature Student – Now Keeper, 5th SEEC.


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