GoPro: Chaos & Cyrus Caracal Treats

2019 | 3:20 | ANIMALS |

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Keeper Brittany shows you an example of simple operant conditioning with Chaos & Cyrus Caracal. Chaos has always been the more shy and timid of the two who were rescued together from living their lives as breeding stock in Ohio. Cyrus started to become more outgoing and friendly a few months after arriving, while Chaos still remains very reserved. When it comes to our Operant Conditioning Program - Chaos has exceeded our expectations and has come out of her shell, which is very important for medical reasons. As you will see with Cyrus though, he becomes a totally different cat when food or treats are involved. We are lucky he is outgoing and very food motivated but he is not ideal for the Operant program. We continue to feed him in Lockout using the guillotine door system, or will toss him treats but he is too aggressive to use a feeding stick or to regularly participate in Operant Conditioning.

Big Cat Rescue’s Animal Training Program is based on operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which behaviors are altered by the consequences that follow them. The behaviors are not forced, but “caught”, reinforced and therefore trained. We train only natural behaviors, no entertainment types of behaviors.
Operant Conditioning can:

Reduce the stress loads imposed by captivity
Enhance keeper safety
Facilitate routine care
Improve animal welfare
Enrich the animal and volunteer experience

Big Cat Rescue’s Operant Training Program is intended for:

Eliciting calm behavior from each of our animals while they are in the presence of their keepers and veterinary staff
Training behaviors that are dependable regardless of the trainer present
Providing mental stimulation for our animals
Enabling safe emergency and non-emergency transportation of the animals
Providing public education

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