Hope for the Hopeless

Hope for the Hopeless

50 Points

This badge signifies completion of the course Hope for the Hopeless. Transforming the Behavior of Exotic Animals Once Thought Impossible to Train. The zoo animal training community provides a unique environment to demonstrate the importance of a constructional approach to improving animal welfare. The contemporary zoo animal professional is training a wide variety of species to cooperate in their own medical care (and day-to-day care.) This can include parrots presenting body parts for injections, gorillas opening mouths for tooth brushing, giraffes presenting hooves for trimming, and tigers participating in voluntary intra-nasal swabs to evaluate for COVID-19. These impressive behaviors have inspired many animal training communities. For some animals, behaviors such as these can present challenges due to a history of the use of coercion to gain cooperation. This often results in animals emitting escape and avoidance behaviors or aggressive responses in the presence of people and objects associated with these experiences. A constructional approach provides a procedure to transform avoidance behavior into affiliative responses. Constructional Aggression Treatment can replace aggressive behavior with calm responses. Using a constructional approach allows new desired responses to be shaped in the presence of these stimuli, which results in significantly improved welfare of animals once thought impossible to train. Once you complete the course,  fill out the form to submit your request for admin to review and issue your badge.