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



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.