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Dave Munger over at Cognitive Daily has a great post on how zoos use operant conditioning for the welfare of their animals. They use operant conditioning on basically all mammals, maybe even most vertebrates there, for everything from teeth brushing to herding of animals in case of an emergency:
Conditioning, Jayne told us, was a much safer and effective way to care for the animals than older methods like shooting the animals with tranquilizer darts. Even dangerous animals like grizzly bears can be trained to rear up onto a special apparatus, placing their claws and snouts in designated spots, and exposing their razor-sharp teeth for brushing. "The animals love to be trained," she said. The sea lions used to get so excited in anticipation of a training session that their behavior became unnatural for several hours each day, so trainers had to vary the training schedule in order to avoid this problem.
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