– Kris Hern, Twycross Zoo animal training manager
We began the training roughly six months ahead of the extension area being completed, using a target and the tortoises’ favourite foods. We held the target a few centimetres in front of them and when they touched it with their nose we gave a verbal bridge ‘good’ and fed them a piece of food; we then moved the target further away and repeated the process which encouraged them to move along at a steady pace. As the behaviour got stronger we gradually increased the distance between them and the target.
An extension area to the giant tortoise exhibit at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire has prompted keepers to develop a new training programme to help bring these slow moving creatures indoors.