Did You Know That Training of Animals is Good for Their Health?
Our South American sea lions at Coral World are very well-trained, and their training is more important than you might think. Sure, it’s fun to watch them wave or smile in the show, but their training is also an important part of each animal’s overall health and well-being.
The most important reason for the animals’ training is their health care. We use the word ‘husbandry’ to describe the general care the animals receive, and husbandry training is a very important part of that. Because a sea lion can’t tell us if or when he’s feeling sick, proactive health checkups are extremely important, and husbandry training allows the sea lions to voluntarily participate. Our animals will lie still for body exams, open their mouths so we can inspect their teeth, turn and hold their eyes open to be examined, exhale sharply on command so we can check their respiration, and a number of other very cool behaviors that all relate directly to their health care. They will even lie calmly and allow us to take blood samples. I know people who can’t do that! The training allows us to give the sea lions the best possible health care with the absolute minimal amount of invasiveness.
We also train our animals for their own mental and physical stimulation. The training and constant interaction with their trainers allow our sea lions to move, explore, learn, and interact! Our sea lions dance, play soccer, solve challenging problems, and meet new people every day!
You can read about animals in a book or watch a television show, but nothing can compare to having the opportunity to get up close to the magnificent animals. Get a sea lion kiss. Pet him and feel what his fur is like. See him run, swim, splash, and showcase his skills. Through their training our animals allow our guests to walk away with a greater appreciation for how amazing they are. Hopefully, this appreciation leads to a whole new generation of people that respect and care for the animals and their environment. That’s really the point, isn’t it?