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← Animal Care and Well-Being at the Academy

How enrichment programs at the Academy of Sciences of California are an integral part of daily animal care, helping to reinforce bonding between the animals and their carers.

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Zeige Revision 9 erzeugt am 03/08/2018 von Molly Michelson.

  1. ♪ (intro music) ♪
  2. Enrichment and training programs
  3. are ingrained in the work that we do every day.
  4. They're not extras, they're not if we have time,
  5. they are the baseline for animal care here at the Academy.
  6. We have 38,000 animals under our care,
  7. everything from leafcutter ants to American alligator to sharks.
  8. And that looks different for everyone.
  9. You're not going to have the same program for an octopus
  10. that you would for a leafcutter ant, per se,
  11. but we take all of their needs and conditions
  12. that need to be met for them to really thrive into consideration,
  13. so everything from naturalistic exhibits and mixed-species exhibits
  14. to formal training programs
  15. where we're focusing on specific behaviors,
  16. to providing a lot of choices within the environments
  17. for the animals to choose from on a daily basis.
  18. Each one has its personality.
  19. In fact, that's one of the easiest ways we can distinguish
  20. between who's who.
  21. Some of them are a little more shy.
  22. Some of them will come up to you right away.
  23. Some of them will hang out with you the whole time.
  24. Getting in with them is probably the highlight of my week.
  25. The minute we get in, we're just surrounded by them,
  26. whether they want a little scratch on the nose
  27. or some of them like to be kind of pet on the head.
  28. They like that interaction, even when there's not a treat involved.
  29. We not only take care of the rays, we monitor their diets.
  30. We'll put different objects in their habitat
  31. just to kind of keep things different.
  32. In the wild, their habitat would be constantly changing,
  33. and that kind of keeps their mind moving and active and curious.
  34. ♪ (music) ♪
  35. Every morning we do enrichment during the feeding programs.
  36. For the scale training, they're stepping up onto the scale.
  37. We can see if their weight is fluctuating.
  38. Because they can't talk to us,
  39. we don't know if they're not feeling well, if they're getting sick,
  40. so weight decreases and eating less food is really important
  41. for us to talk to our vet and see what he thinks might be going on.
  42. Enrichment can be anything from putting logs and rocks in the exhibit,
  43. or nesting material.
  44. I'll hand it out and they'll grab it with their beak
  45. and then bring it back to their nest.
  46. We want to have changes in there for them,
  47. something new in their environment
  48. or that stimulates their brain in a certain way.
  49. The enrichment's definitely important for our personal relationship,
  50. so they can trust me more, I can trust them a little bit more.
  51. They know that I'm not trying to hurt them.
  52. ♪ (music) ♪
  53. Training is really building a language between you and an animal.
  54. We can't ask them questions,
  55. so we have to find a way to communicate with each other
  56. and to identify what we want from them
  57. and what they want and need from us, too.
  58. It allows us to actually move them back and forth
  59. between their night quarters
  60. and when they're on exhibit during the day in the Rainforest.
  61. Another example of their training program
  62. is something like nail trimming or clippings,
  63. That's a routine part of their care,
  64. and makes veterinary exams a little easier.
  65. Other programs include really fun things, and with macaws
  66. it's usually related to chewing and food.
  67. They're natural chewers.
  68. They forage all day long in the forests
  69. looking for fruits and seeds and nuts,
  70. so we give them browse that we actually cut out of the Rainforest.
  71. I also love giving them puzzle toys,
  72. so I actually hide parts of their food, or treats like nuts,
  73. in items that they have to manipulate
  74. and try to figure out how to get those things out of.
  75. That's really good stimulation for them.
  76. ♪ (music) ♪
  77. It's really fantastic.
  78. Having to problem solve to make sure that the animals in your care
  79. are truly receiving the highest quality care is really exciting,
  80. and then to also be able to turn around
  81. and to share that with our guests,
  82. and to really let these ambassador animals shine through
  83. to educate and inspire everybody.
  84. It really reinforces the idea that as living organisms
  85. we're all connected and we have so much in common,
  86. and we're really not that different.
  87. We all care about where we're going to get our food,
  88. do we have shelter, all those important things.
  89. It's really no different for all of these creatures, too.
  90. Watching that every day kind of reestablishes that connection
  91. for me to the rest of the living world.
  92. ♪ (music) ♪