The LCF team traveled to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo to attend the Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums (FAZA) Animal Care Professional Development Workshop, which focused on positive reinforcement as a form of enrichment for the animals.
Why did the chicken jump through the hula hoop?….The workshop started with a getting to know you section where the entire group was split into teams to try to get their desired animal to move through a hula hoop. These animals included goats, chickens, and goldfish, with the only means of reinforcement included verbal encouragement (which ended up being the lesser of the two positives) and a food source. Some of the groups showed great success, having their chicken easily go back and forth through the hoop, while others had goldfish that were afraid of the food – thus making it nearly impossible to work with. Great fun and a many laughs were had in our endeavors with our assigned animals.