Every Animal Counts! Training Education and Children’s Zoo Animals

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Episode - 11 ​February 2020

Host: Barbara Heidenreich

Guest: Annette Pedersen, Animal Training Coordinator - Copenhagen Zoo

Education animals, animal ambassadors, domestic animals and lab animals are often the ones who get the short end of the stick so to speak, meaning traditionally, participation was often up to the handler and not the animal. Progressive training flips the script. Animals have the choice to participate and when they do, desired consequences happen. As expected, the results are amazing behaviors. However, we are making other discoveries as well. We are seeing the impact it can have on our messaging, on research data, and most importantly on animal welfare. You will get a lot out of this podcast that covers a wide variety of species from guinea pigs, rabbits, llamas, snakes, tortoises, chickens, horses, cows, pigs and more. Special guest Annette Pedersen, animal training coordinator from the Copenhagen Zoo shares some great examples and resources you don’t want to miss. I also answer your questions about intermediate and terminal bridges.


​Video Examples ​Mentioned in this Episode:


​Guinea pigs trained for voluntary handling for education programs at Copenhagen Zoo

​Guinea pigs trained to vocalize on cue at Copenhagen Zoo

Pig injection training at Copenhagen Zoo

​Rabbits trained to recall at Copenhagen Zoo - famous video!


​Links to Resources Mentioned in this Episode:



Guest Bio:

Annette Pedersen started working in Copenhagen Zoo in 1989 as a part of the Danish keepers’ education. After finishing her education in 1992, she got hired for the marine mammal section (Harbor Seals and California Sea lions), which also housed other animals like penguins, Malayan tapirs, barbirusa, etc. Here she helped developing the marine mammal training program until 2008, where she moved to the Elephant section working on transferring the Elephants from free contact to protected contact (PC). Later that same year she got the position as Animal Training Coordinator of Copenhagen Zoo.

Since 2008 her job has been to develop/expand the training skills of the keepers at Copenhagen Zoo, as well as managing animal behavior and training within a variety of species and challenges.

Since 2009 she helped develop the Danish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (DAZA) animal training course, which is still held once a year in Denmark.

She serves the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) as Chair for the Animal Training Working Group and as member of the Animal Welfare Working group. She is also an instructor for the EAZA animal training courses under the EAZA Academy.

2014-2016 served on the board of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA), and today serves as ABMA EU liaison helping planning another European ABMA conference in 2020 in Beekse Bergen, Holland!

Guest Links:

Copenhagen Zoo

Copenhagen Zoo on Facebook

Copenhagen Zoo on Instagram

Guest Events:

March 24-26, 2020 EAZA ANIMAL WELFARE FORUM Apenhuel, The Netherlands

​ABMA Annual Conference 2020 in Holland



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