Saturday, February 9, 2013

Go Jason!

While training lemurs today at Zoo Atlanta, Jason showed some amazing improvements  When I first started training the four ring-tailed lemurs about a week ago, Jason was the slowest.  Being close to the bottom of the pecking order, he was hesitant about coming down from the highest branch and was easily frightened whenever I told him "good" just before rewarding him with fruit.  For nearly a week, I was worried that I would make no progress with him, but during the training session just prior to my weekend and the one today, he seemed calm and confident on the floor, went to his target stick when asked, and even succeeded in grabbing the carabiner on the side of the mesh--a "stationing behavior", which will help us get him to sit still in one place.

Of the other three lemurs, Neal and Ringo are still doing very well, with Neal showing great promise in distinguishing his target stick (with a heart-shaped tip) from those of the other three lemurs.  Julius is still a problem, though.  He has never been very trusting of me, though he will come over to me and wait for treats.  With only three days left in my seasonal employment, I'm still hoping for a breakthrough with him.  But today... Go Jason!!

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