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Reel Opportunities

Animal Wrangler

What does an Animal Wrangler do?

Animal Wranglers manage any animal that appears on camera and gets them to perform whatever action is required by the script or the director. Off set, they care for and train the animals.

Trainers provide appropriate physical and mental exercises to keep animals healthy and happy during the hours they are not working on set. Additional duties for movie animal trainers may include providing food and water, administering medications and supplements, maintaining cages and enclosures, exercising animals, keeping accurate health and behaviour records, and transporting the animals to and from the set/location.

They must train the animals to perform certain tasks while filming and handle them in between scenes. If the animal is dangerous, they must ensure that proper safety is in place to best deal with the animal.

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What's an Animal Wrangler good at?
  • Animal Knowledge

    Have knowledge of animals and the behavior of animals, especially the animals they are specifically working with

  • Passion for Animals

    Have a love for animals and working with animals

  • Attentiveness

    Being able to look after the animals for long periods of time and stay on top of their needs

  • Animal Training

    Know how to train animals and direct the animals to do certain tasks needed during filming

  • Flexibility

    Thrive in changing situations, and enjoy spontaneity

  • Organization

    Being able to organize the arriving, storing, feeding, and care for the animals on set.

Who does an Animal Wrangler work with?

Animal Wranglers will work with the Director to discover what will be required of the animals. They will work with the Director to get the intended action of the animal required in the scene. They will work with the Producer and Production Coordinator to work out the logistics of the animals’ on set and the storing of the animals. They will also work closely with other crew members on set and other animal trainers while the animals are performing

How do I become an Animal Wrangler?

There is no single route to becoming an Animal Wrangler, but love and respect for animals are required. You have to know how to train and properly handle various animals for the safety of yourself and crew members but also the safety of the animal.

Educational requirements: Although a college degree is not mandatory to enter the field, common college majors for aspiring animal trainers include animal science, animal behavior, biology, zoology, marine biology, and psychology. Most movie animal trainers have a degree in an animal-related field or significant practical experience gained by interning with experienced trainers, gaining valuable hands-on experience along the way.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

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Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.