Chris Waldron, our speaker today, spoke to us last fall as you will recall. He was employed by the Philadelphia Zoo as a Zookeeper, Curator of Carnivores and Primates and Director of Sustainability. His degree from Penn State is in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. Chris is also an instructor at the Animal Behavior Institute an online accredited program for those seeking a career in Animal Husbandry. His topic today is moving large animals.

The old way they used to move large animals was to dart them, but the problem with that was the animals would get stressed out and with their adrenalin so high it would take a ton of drugs to knock them out. So they try to do it in a voluntary manner by training them with treats to come close and lay on a scale and then they draw blood from their tails and this is all done while the animal is relaxed. If they did need to sedate them it was much easier to do while the animal is in a relaxed state.

Some of the animals needed to be transferred to other zoos while the Philadelphia zoo was being overhauled. They needed to check them out for diseases before they ship them to other zoos. All of the training they did allowed them to easily get the animals into crates and move them in and out of the exhibits whenever they needed to.