Thoughts for Behaviour: Save the World with Animal Training!
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Thoughts for Behaviour: Save the World with Animal Training!

Save the World with Animal Training!

img_7188Ok, I want to point out that im a dreamer. A day dreamer I have to say and I recognize that with myself and sometimes in others. I remember when I was in school and I was just 12 years old. I had a point of view where I knew what I wanted to do. I guess my parents and teachers knew more about reality back then but they both asked me Peter what if you can’t make it? What will you be doing? My beautiful mother even asked me Peter why don’t you go into the army? I answered my school with “you know what that’s not an option”. I will make it! The response was a grinchy smile with an Ok Peter but what IF? I said nicely there is no IF and that was a quick end to our conversation. Now my mom…. When I was younger I looked a lot more agile than now so her thought was well placed believing in her son (today my agility is a different story) anyway, I told my mom look I want to do this and believe it or not she bought it  quickly and said Ok if you want this you should do this. My mom is an amazing lady that supports her kids to the fullest in everything we want to do, although she is realistic what I love about her. She makes me daydream for hours at a time from day-to-day about many subjects.

The question of why we do what we do is a common thought that I have. Lately I have been talking with many people who had a major impact within the zoological community and their conservation efforts etc. to mention Dr. Grey Stafford, Julie Scardina, and advocates like Carolyn Hennesy. I can keep going but then this bog is just about calling out names. Those people started somewhere and with talking to them they had to be that daydreamer I am today. The difference is that they made a voice and they made actions out of their daily dreams. Look we love to train our animals and we love to interact in a way that we see a reflection of a relationship we have with our animals. We all love this, to be honest I do too but Animal training is not just to be efficient or to give the animal a better health or physical and mental stimulation.

We are the difference for the wild counterparts. Face it or not but we are going into a 6th grade of extinction. We can change this but we have to stand together. What is not an easy task I got that but lets start a revolution to save species. There for we need to start to make our day dreams reality and ask our self’s why do we do what we do? Lets change the focus of saying we don’t have time for training or training is not natural or whatever every body’s quotes are…

Animal Training can safe the world!


You might ask yourself WOW Peter you are daydreaming but like x 100000000! To be honest that’s where it starts. Animal training within our zoological societies should be with the thought of saving the species I think we all agree onto this. With animal training we can do research that has never been done before with species where we know nothing about. For us Marine mammal trainers it’s a pretty normal way to go although there are plenty of Zoos that do not prioritize training. I’m lucky enough that I work for a Zoo who does support Animal Training in such a way. We know that training should be the care what we provide to the animal. It is even more important to train for research these days due to the extinction rate whats going on the world right now. It’s a small focus point but turns out big when we do so. We all love training animals so why not change the focus and make training part of their daily care because it is important.

Getting blood from the animals is amazing for the veterinarian to check the animals health but its an amazing research tool to get to know more. I remember that we did an radiography (unfortunately not under stimulus control because the animal was just a baby) but we discovered that this type of animal had something unusual. The bones had quite some space in between each other, can you imagine when we can train radiography and do actual studies on these topics? We will get to know the animals more and more. This is just an example what medical behaviours can do for research projects.


If we know more about our species we know more about why and how we can protect these animals. I think everybody saw the video about the wolves changing a whole ecosystem. Maybe more animals are able to do this. We have to figure this out and one way is ANIMAL TRAINING!

Let’s put the focus on research from out medical and husbandry training because we have to act now. Train because you want to know more about the species not because you feel forced to train.


“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

Peter Giljam

“Thinking Outside the Zoo”

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