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Precision Behavior is the best choice to help improve elephant welfare through developing behaviorally-focused elephant programs, regardless of location or facilities. We have positive-reinforcement training (PRT) experience with both African and Asian elephants, from ages one to 60+. Because the most important component of any animal management program is the behavioral knowledge and skills of the handlers, we can help improve both with a combination of classroom instruction and coaching in practical situations.

Protected-Contact (PC) training was an important advancement in elephant care approximately 30 years ago. But PC was developed to address occupational safety issues, and while it can help facilitate positive-reinforcement training, PC is not synonymous with PRT and the two should not be confused. Elephants and handlers raised in a free-contact system may need help from knowledgeable, experienced PRT pro's in order to thrive in today's (and tomorrow's) programs. 

We can help elephant programs in zoos, sanctuaries, reserves, preserves, tourism, government, and breeding facilities take the next step in developing teams and protocols to meet the physical, mental, social, and emotional needs of these complex species. We know that every elephant program is unique and we offer assistance tailored to your situation and objectives. So, whether you are interested in the basics to help transition to PC, or if you're already PC and want to go beyond target training to advanced techniques, please contact us to discuss how we can help.

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Asian elephant ear-present for voluntary blood-draw

What is Next-Level behavior management?

  • Providing elephants with Choice and Control

  • Stimulation: Effective use of reinforcement variety

  • Effective, precise bridging

  • Using Natural Reinforcement (variable) schedules 

  • Conditioning and using tactile reinforcement

  • Relationship-centered training

  • Goal-focused enrichment

  • Proper application of the LRS

  • A reduced dependence on food as a reinforcer

  • Differential Reinforcement techniques

  • Interactive play and behavior as a reinforcer

  • Positive-focused practices require no aversive tools

  • Voluntary husbandry procedures don't require the use of restraint or sedation

  • Building high achieving, trust-based teams

  • Safely working around elephants

  • Aggression reduction techniques

  • Reducing routines for increased engagement

  • Advanced desensitization practices... and more! 

Partial list of PB services & advanced topics:

  • Voluntary husbandry training

  • Socialization concepts & techniques 

  • Environmental enrichment

  • Effective reinforcement

  • Shaping new behaviors

  • Teaching fun behaviors and increasing play

  • Create revenue-generating, interactive programs for guests

  • Develop educational and entertaining public presentations

  • Establishing behavioral and cognitive research projects

  • Improving guest and PR messaging

  • Building a positive, forward-focused elephant team and a culture of trust

Obtaining trunk-prints with an African elephant
Conditioning an Asian elephant for voluntary digital x-rays
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