Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since Keeper Cassidy has left, and I’ve taken over training (for the time being) the red ruffed lemurs. They are really neat to work closely with– such different personalities from the more hyper ringtails!
It took a few weeks for Cassidy to transfer the lemurs over to me. First, I just stood there while she trained and watched her hand cues, listened to her verbals cues, and made sure I was noting exactly when she was bridging the behavior (using her clicker to let the animal know “That right there is the exact behavior I’m asking you to do!”). Then, Cassidy would ask for a behavior and click it, and I got to hand out all the treats ( kiwi and craisins). Once they were comfortable with that, she’d ask, I’d click (getting politely corrected when I did it wrong) and give the treat. Finally, I got to do all three steps with Cassidy around, and then alone. The ruffed did a great job transferring over; they really didn’t seem to have any issues with a new person. This is good, because eventually I will transfer them again to a new keeper!
Here’s a video of Cassidy working with Cynthia. You can see her calling her to come, touching her tail, feet, rib cage and neck, and lifting up her hand. “Hand” is in it’s earliest stages… eventually we’d like to be able to manipulate and get a good look at their hands without them pulling away.