Les Whitt Memorial Scholarship

Zoo Conservation Outreach Group

Suggest an update

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Jul 1, 2019 2:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Working Professional

Funding uses: Scholarship, Conference

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Caribbean, Central America, South America

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?


This scholarship in honor of Leslie “Les” Whitt promotes professional development and capacity building in the field of animal husbandry and management for zoo and aquarium colleagues from countries in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin.  Les Whitt devoted his life and career to the community of Alexandria, Louisiana and the Alexandria Zoo. As Zoo Director, Les was a mentor to young zoo professionals, an active proponent of improving captive animal care, and a strong supporter of international wildlife conservation efforts, particularly those involving endangered species from the Neotropics. He was a founding member of Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (ZCOG), an AZA Conservation Partner organization dedicated to providing technical, material, and financial support to Latin American zoos and aquariums, and served on the group’s Board of Directors from September 1996 until his passing in August 2008.

he Award, which promotes advanced training in animal husbandry and behavioral enrichment, provides full scholarship funding to participate in either of the following Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA) professional training program courses: Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings or Best Practices in Animal Keeping.


The Dickerson Park Zoo, the Columbus Zoo, and Jack Hanna have provided past support for this scholarship award. 


The Friends of the Alexandria Zoo (FOTAZ) provide annual funding for this scholarship award.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


    • Applicants must be employees or associates of zoological institutions or related facilities in Latin America or the Caribbean Basin.
    • Applicants must possess a functional proficiency in English.
    • Applicants may only submit one scholarship application per year.  


      • For this scholarship, preference is given to keepers or curatorial staff.  
      • Preference will be given to  professionals early in their career or who otherwise lack access to training opportunities.


      • An individual cannot be awarded the same scholarship more than once.