Training, the main focus of our zookeepers' jobs!
At Zoo de Granby, animal training is an integral part of our zookeepers’ job and is considered as being one of the fundamental tasks to complete for all our animal species.
Why is this so important? First, we must understand that our animal residents don’t have to face the same challenges as those who live in their natural environment. In the wild, they all have their own primary needs to answer: They all have to hunt for food, protect themselves from predators, watch over and care for their territory, etc. Since these primary needs are taken care of within a zoo setting, we must compensate for their lack of exercise and stimuli through other activities. This is why we incorporate training sessions in our enrichment program, which aims at increasing mental stimulation, promoting physical fitness, encouraging cooperative behaviours when receiving daily cares and medical procedures, thus improving their general well-being. Of course secondary objectives are also added to these essential ones: For example, our educational components (for the purpose of public presentations), our research and conservation components (for reproduction) or other components to offer special experiences to our visitors (camel rides, for instance).
It is also important to understand that our organization’s philosophy concerning animal training aims to teach them to obey certain specific commands through a trusting relationship created with the help of positive reinforcements. This way, we can work with the voluntary collaboration of our animals, who might, according to their mood and the choices they have, decide to interrupt a training session. Our working methods have obtained impressive results for our zoo keepers and their pupils.