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Welcome to the LPA des Combrailles in Pontaumur, a small town situated in the Auvergne area in France.


This vocational school proposes Animal Management courses preparing the students to work in the animal industry.

About 100 students mainly girls come to study here sometimes from far away therefore the majority of them are boarders.



There are about 200 species divided into different sectors including:


  • fish tanks: warm water fishes, cold water fishes, sea water fishes.
  • reptiles: snakes and lizards (for example Pogona Vitticeps).
  • birds: a big collection of Psittacidae, Columbidae, Fringillidae, Estrildidae, Sturnidae, Musophagidae (for example budgies, cockatiels, African Grey Parrots, Blue-Fronted Amazons …).
  • little mammals: hamsters, rats, rabbits, mice, octodon, guinea pigs, gerbils, chinchilla.
  • insects: stick insects, crickets bred for birds and reptiles food.

Testimony of a student : the variety of species here is important and I enjoy handling animals! My project is to be more qualified so next year I’ll carry on a Higher National Diploma.


Helios, a hand-reared Blue and Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) arrived in March 2013 at the age of 1 year. He has become everybody’s favourite and the mascot of the school !


Testimony of a student : “My favourite sector here is the reptiles because I have a real passion for these animals. This school has a very complete reptile room with Ball Python, Corn Snakes, King Snakes, Boa, Garter Snakes, Gecko Lizards, Bearded Dragons and Plumed Basilisk.



  • in the park: Phasianidae, Anatidae
  • ponds with Goldfishes, Florida turtles,  Koi carps
  • birds: aviaries with parakeets

Testimony of a student : “I’m at the moment in 2nd year, the classes are very specialized and in THIS school you can find the biggest number of species which is great!”



  • a 3-year course in Animal Management (BAC Pro Technicien Conseil Vente en Animalerie)
  • a special certificate necessary to work in pet shops (to breed and sell animals) in France (Certificat de Capacité)
  • a 2-year course preparing a Higher National Diploma (BTSA Technico-Commercial)

Throughout the courses students undertake a work placement in pet shops to develop their practical skills.



Every week, the pet rooms are maintained by a team of 7 students from each form; one student from the final year is in charge of the team.

This student who supervises other students during routine duties is assessed on his abilities to manage the team and the team on theirs to look after the pets.

Students at work in the fish room : 49 fish tanks for species recognition, 14 breeding tanks and freshwater aquarium plants are available.



There is a possibility to do a 4-week work placement abroad during the final year and therefore discover a pet shop in England, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland …



Every year in March or April.


This page has been written by the 3rd year students (3-year course in Animal Management) during their English classes. (September 2013)