Home » Exotic Animals

Exotic Animals

Clicking Raptors in the Saguaro

We're standing on a gently sloping foothill with Tucson's jagged volcanic peaks behind us, looking across the vast, flat Avra valley far below. The hills beyond that valley are in Mexico. The desert sky is a brilliant, piercing blue, filling the eyes with light. The mild warmth of the winter sun is welcome. This is Saguaro National Park.

Polish, No Spit: Learning from Llamas

Jim and Amy Logan, llama ranchers in Washington State, were among the first to adopt clicker training in the early '90s. They were pioneers in llama applications (one of their videos shows a very nice Obedience llama, including off-lead heeling and a down.) The Logans have made clicker training the standard for training and handling llamas in the US, and are the authors of three delightful videos, well worth study by any clicker trainer, whatever the species.

What Do Dolphins Do for Christmas?

Christmas in Hawaii is always a little different. Santa might wear flip-flops instead of boots, a red pareu (sarong) around his opu (stomach), a red hat, a red lei—and nothing else. At Hawaii's Sea Life Park, where I was head trainer for a decade in the '60s, we put on dolphin shows many times a day, and sometimes had big crowds of school children. Naturally, we thought of Christmas-type events: dolphins pulling Santa's sleigh—with gift-wrapped buckets of fish and a Hawaiian poi dog riding on top of the sleigh—that kind of thing.

Angi Millwood: Natural Encounters

Angi Millwood, this month's featured ClickerExpo faculty member, is the Associate Director of Behavior Programs for Natural Encounters, Inc., an animal training and presentation company working with both the public and zoo staffs. Prior to work at Natural Encounters, Angi was the Animal Training Coordinator at the Fort Worth Zoo, responsible for the zoo's animal training programs for more than 350 animal species. She was also a member of the Disney's Animal Kingdom opening team in Orlando, Florida . She served as the project leader and co-editor of the Fort Worth Zoo's Animal Training Online website, and has conducted numerous workshops for national and international zoo staff as well as college students.

Training Trainers: An Interview with Ken Ramirez

Ken Ramirez, ClickerExpo faculty member, is vice president for marine mammal programs and animal training at Chicago's world-famous Shedd Aquarium, where he develops and supervises animal care programs, staff training, and development and public presentation programs for the marine mammal collection. Recently we asked Ken a few questions about his development as a trainer, and how he helps new trainers develop.