Sunday, July 02, 2006

Children's Home Visits Big Cat Rescue

On Thursday, June 30, we hosted a special tour for twelve children from The Children's Home. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms brought the kids out as part of the new Wild Adventures Program that Chris has developed.  The children heard stories about our cats and how they became residents of Big Cat Rescue.  They were especially impressed when Operations Manager Scott Lope demonstrated Operant Conditioning with Bengali the tiger.  Placing "meat on a stick",  Scott encouraged Bengali to stand.  In this way, Scott explained to the children, we can observe the tiger's paws, tummy, teeth, etc.  This helps us to make sure our cats stay healthy.
It was one of the hottest days yet, but that didn't deter the kids from enjoying the Cats and their hero Chris.
...And, I received an autographed football!  Thank you Chris Simms.
***Operant Conditioning - is a type of learning in which behaviors are altered by the consequences that follow them. The behaviors are not forced, but "caught", reinforced and therefore trained.  We train only natural behaviors, no entertainment types of behaviors.

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