EAI provides Compassionate Elephant Care (CEC) instruction with mahouts in Asia. The CEC program includes Positive Reinforcement Target Training (PRTT) which uses rewards, such as a treats and praise, for desired behaviors. PRTT is used to gain an elephant’s voluntary cooperation for medical procedures and foot care. We start with a tool called a “target”—a flexible pole with a spongy end—to give the elephant a neutral object to focus on. We touch the elephant gently with the target while naming the different body parts such as foot, forehead and ear, followed by a whistle and treat. Elephants quickly connect the whistle with touching the target and, of course, the treat with the whistle. In a very short time, elephants search out the target with the requested body part in order to receive a treat.
Since training treats are essential for using positive reinforcement, EAI provides these daily food items to keep the program sustainable. Your $10 donation keeps the treats flowing for one day. Donate now to help us continue this sustainable, positive change.