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Hedlund, Sandra, 2015. Träning av sydafrikansk pälssäl och afrikansk stäppelefant på djurpark - skillnader och likheter. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



Training of zoo animals started when the first zoo opened in 1752. The difference between then and now is that from the beginning the zookeepers did not focus so much on animal welfare. Nowadays animal welfare is the most important thing in the training. Therefore, the zookeepers are training the animals mainly for veterinary purposes and activation. The training makes the animals less stresses during handling.

When the zookeepers started to train elephants they used unpleasant stimuli such as a whip when the elephant did something wrong. They also used an elephant hook. Elephant hooks can be used as both positive and negative reinforcement, and zookeepers still use them today. An elephant hook is used, for example, to move an individual as well as an extended arm. The difference between how it was used before and how it is used now, is mainly that they were more rough before which could give the elephants wounds.

Seals began to be trained before World War II. The trainers then trained the animals to locate submarines. Today zookeepers are training seals for veterinarian purposes, entertainment and activation.

The purpose of this study was to see if I there were any differences and similarities in the training of South African fur seals and African steppe elephant at Borås Zoo. I studied four zookeepers, two South African fur seals and five African steppe elephants. There were two zookeepers from the predators department and two zookeepers from the elephant house. All trainers were filmed during their training, three times each and after the first workout all of the trainers were interviewed. The films were then analyzed to see if there were any differences and similarities in the way they trained the animals. The interview was also compared with the movies to see if the trainers were practicing the methods they described to me in the interview.

There were fewer differences than what I had expected and more similarities between both trainers of various species, and trainers of the same species. All of the trainers used for example positive reinforcement in the training. There were also more similarities in what they had said and what was seen in the movie than there were differences, but this may have been because it wasn’t possible to compare all the interview responses to the films.

It wasn’t possible to compare all of the interview responses to the films because it wasn’t possible to see everything on the trainings session. I couldn’t see everything since they for example didn’t have any new animals to train. That made it hard to see if they trained new animals as they seed they do.

For future studies, one should record the background of the individual animals which will be filmed (age, gender, etc.) and also how far the trainers have come in their training development (beginners or experienced). Based on this information one should construct the interview questions so that it is possible to compare the film material the answers from the interview.

Main title:Träning av sydafrikansk pälssäl och afrikansk stäppelefant på djurpark - skillnader och likheter
Authors:Hedlund, Sandra
Supervisor:Isaksson, Daniel
Examiner:Loberg, Jenny
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:603
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:träning säl, träning elefant, träning av djurparksdjur, träningsmetoder, säl, sydafrikansk pälssäl, elefant, afrikansk stäppelefant, djurpark
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:30 Mar 2015 09:23
Metadata Last Modified:30 Mar 2015 09:23

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