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Charlie the Sea Otter and the Target Pole

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Video | Volunteering

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Hugh's Aquarium View Video Number 38

What I tend to have when working husbandry behaviors is a target pole. A training tool that we use with several of the animals here at the aquarium. The animals are trained to put their paws, nose or flippers on the end of the pole when asked. It can be used to help guide animals toward new behaviors and/or act as a focus point to help position the critter. It is the building block for all behaviors.

For our 20-year-old sea otter Charlie, the target pole can be quite comforting. With diminished sensory perception (cataracts), the target pole helps give this senior citizen otter confidence on where his trainer is and that he is where he needs to be during a session.

It is a basic training behavior that we can use in husbandry to help care for our animals.

Check out the video of a recent session I had with Charlie using a target pole.