Operant-conditioning programme for White rhinoceros, Black rhinoceros and Indian or Greater one-horned Asian rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum, Diceros bi cornis and Rhinoceros unicornis at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, Dunstable, UK

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Abstract

This paper describes the development of an operant conditioning programme for rhinoceros at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, Dunstable, UK. The programme was designed to facilitate the treatment of a range of health conditions and to allow husbandry procedures to be carried out without the need of anaesthesia. A successful conditioning programme requires good planning, consistency and precise record keeping. Routine management practices can be now carried out within a safe and largely stress-free environment for both rhinoceros and animal-management staff.

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