Zoo Animal Learning and Training

Zoo Animal Learning and Training

By Vicky A. Melfi, Nicole R. Dorey and Samantha J. Ward

Zoo Animal Learning and Training PDF. This accessible, up-to-date book on animal training in a zoo/aquaria context provides a unified approach to zoo animal learning, bringing together the art and science of animal training. Written by experts in academia and working zoos, it incorporates the latest information from the scientific community along with current best practice, demystifying the complexities of training zoo animals. In doing so, it teaches readers how to effectively train animals and to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

Zoo Animal Learning and Training starts with an overview of animal learning theory. It describes the main categories of animal learning styles; considers the diverse natural history of zoo animals; reviews the research undertaken which demonstrates ultimate benefits of learning; and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches. It also shows how the direct application of learning theory can be integrated into zoo animal management; discusses how other factors might affect development; and investigates situations and activities from which animals learn. It also explores the theoretical basis that determines whether enrichments are successful.

  • Provides an easily accessibly, jargon-free introduction to the subject
  • Explores different training styles, providing theoretical background to animal learning theory as well as considerations for practical training programme – including how to set them up, manage people and animals within them and their consequences
  • Includes effective skills and ‘rules of thumb’ from professional animal trainers
  • Offers commentary on the ethical and welfare implications of training in zoos
  • Features contributions from global experts in academia and the zoo profession
  • Uniquely features both academic and professional perspectives

Zoo Animal Learning and Training is an important book for students, academics and professionals. Suited to senior undergraduate students in zoo biology, veterinary science, and psychology, and for post-graduate students in animal management, behaviour and conservation, as well as zoo biology. It is also beneficial to those working professionally in zoos and aquaria at different levels.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors xi

Foreword xxi

Preface xxv

Acknowledgements xxvii

Part A Demystifying Zoo Animal Training 1

1 Learning Theory 3
Nicole R. Dorey

2 The Cognitive Abilities of Wild Animals 15
Lindsay R. Mehrkam

3 The Ultimate Benefits of Learning 35
Kathy Baker and Vicky A. Melfi

4 Choosing the Right Method: Reinforcement vs Punishment 53
Ken Ramirez

Modality Boxes
Consideration of what modalities animals use to communicate with one another; as training programmes are based on good communication between the zoo professional and animal they are working with.

Box A1 Animal Vision 69
Andrew Smith

Box A2 Do You Hear What I Hear? Hearing and Sound in Animals 73
Erik Miller‐Klein

Box A3 Making Sense of Scents: Olfactory Perception in Animals 77
Neil Jordan

Part B Types of Learning That Can Be Achieved in a Zoo Environment 81

5 What is There to Learn in a Zoo Setting? 83
Fay Clark

6 Environmental Enrichment: The Creation of Opportunities for Informal Learning 101
Robert John Young, Cristiano Schetini de Azevedo, and Cynthia Fernandes Cipreste

7 The Art of ‘Active’ Training 119
Steve Martin

8 Integrating Training into Animal Husbandry 143
Marty Sevenich‐MacPhee

9 Us and Them: Human–Animal Interactions as Learning Events 167
Geoff Hosey and Vicky A. Melfi

Taxa Specific Boxes
Consideration of species specific differences in cognitive ability are explored in academic boxes and the considerations necessary to practically implement training with different species are explored in professional boxes below.

Box B1 Elephant Training in Zoos 183
Greg A. Vicino

Box B2 Human–Elephant Interactions in Semi‐captive Asian Elephants of Myanmar 187
Khyne U. Mar

Box B3 Elephant Cognition: An Overview 191
Sarah L. Jacobson and Joshua M. Plotnik

Box B4 Marine Mammal Training 197
Sabrina Brando

Box B5 Cognitive Abilities of Marine Mammals 203
Gordon B. Bauer

Box B6 The Application of Positive Reinforcement Training to Enhance Welfare of Primates in Zoological Collections 211
Jim Mackie

Box B7 Species‐specific Considerations: Primate Learning 217
Betsy Herrelko

Box B8 Training Reptiles in Zoos: A Professional Perspective 221
Richard Gibson

Box B9 The Learning Repertoire of Reptiles 227
Gordon M. Burghardt

Box B10 Training Birds from a Zoo Professional’s Perspective 231
Heidi Hellmuth

Box B11 Learning and Cognition in Birds 235
Jackie Chappell

Box B12 Species‐specific Considerations when Planning and Implementing Training with Aquatics 239
Heather Williams

Box B13 The Cognitive Abilities of Fish 243
Culum Brown

Part C More Than A to B: How Zoo Animal Training Programmes Can Impact Zoo Operations and Mission 247

10 Making Training Educational for Zoo Visitors 249
Katherine Whitehouse‐Tedd, Sarah Spooner, and Gerard Whitehouse‐Tedd

11 Welfare Implications of Zoo Animal Training 271
Vicky A. Melfi and Samantha J. Ward

12 Training Animals in Captivity or the Wild, so They Can Return to the Wild 289
Jonathan Webb

13 Last but in Fact Most Importantly … Health and Safety 309
Tim Sullivan

Bigger Training Consideration Boxes
For some of the topics we felt it might be helpful to provide a box outside to the general text to consider some bigger concepts in animal training. These include ‘training multiple animals’ by Kirstin Anderson-Hansen and a concluding positive note on including training within zoo animal management programmes by Gary Priest.

Box C1 Training Animals in a Group Setting 327
Kirstin Anderson‐Hansen

Box C2 This Generation’s Challenge 333
Gary Priest

Glossary 335

Index 339

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