Auburn Family

Zoology majors do not want to be zookeepers when they graduate, according to Julia Stone, a senior zoology major.

Zoology provides many opportunities for students to interact hands-on with wild animals. Stone has taken advantage of these opportunities with her internship in South Africa and volunteer work at the Southeastern Raptor Center.

“I wanted to be a zoology major because I’m the kid that never grew out of playing with animals,” Stone said.

Working with big cats is Stone’s dream job, and she got a taste of that dream with an internship she completed at Seaview Predator Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in July and December of 2012. Cleaning enclosures and prepping meat turned into "animal time," which is hands-on enrichment activities with the animals. This is where she plans to work in the future.

"I enjoyed playing with the lions and tigers because I made connections with them and saw how each one had their own unique personality,” Stone said.

This internship was made possible because of the prestigious zoology program here at Auburn University.

Stone says the most interesting thing about her major is the classes. In her Entomology class, which deals with bugs, Stone has to collect (then freeze) 70 families of bugs with 15 orders represented.

“I have more organisms in my refrigerator than food,” Stone said.

Stone has also volunteered at the Southeastern Raptor Center for three years. The Center has two areas, one focused on education and the other on rehabilitation. She works on the rehabilitation side.


“We take in injured or orphaned raptors or birds of prey. We either nurse them back to health and release them, or we find an educational facility for them to go to where they can be used for educational demonstrations,” Stone said.

Auburn University has changed the zoology major to organismal biology this year.

Stone is grandfathered in, which means she will be one of the last students to graduate with zoology as her major. For more information on the new major, visit

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