Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Making elephant training painless

Thiruvananthapuram: Conventional methods of training captive elephants involve pain and punishment and often border on brutality, leading to bouts of violence by the animal, with disastrous effect. An alternative system of training that makes the animal respond to application and release of pressure on particular points of its body was highlighted at a workshop organised by the Forest Department, in association with the Wildlife Trust of India, here on Wednesday. Explaining the Positive Learning Method, Australian animal trainer Andrew McLean said it was based on capturing the elephants motivations and rewarding correct responses. Science, he said, offered a toolbox that could be used to teach elephants in a faster and safer way than conventional methods

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