Workshop at Zoo de La Flèche, France
Zoo de La Flèche wrote recently on their Linkedin page: "Last week we were pleased to welcome Sabrina Brando, an international animal and human wellbeing consultant.
Sabrina founded AnimalConcepts and has been working with wild animals in human care worldwide for over 30 years. She promotes a concept which considers the lives of animals 24/7 across lifespan, including the time when the animal caretakers.
For 5 days, Sabrina collaborated with the park's animal care and veterinary teams to establish an animal welfare report for the individuals in the Zoo. These 5 days were punctuated by workshops and behavioural studies in the field in order to highlight opportunities and challenges and provide food for thought to be implemented in the daily work by the animal care staff.
"I was delighted to work again alongside the animal care teams at Zoo de La Flèche. We had an interactive week with a 24/7 workshop, as well as other topics...
New free-access article published on primate wellbeing
The responsibility to provide a complex environment and environmental enrichment is an essential element of primate wellbeing programs that should be approached from a 24-h perspective and planned according to the species and individual needs. It is necessary to be aware that animals’ care needs may vary over a 24-h period, and the necessary provisions for good welfare at night and out-of-office hours when care staff are not present may not be the same as during the day. The present review presents a case for increased attention to the welfare of non-human primates during night hours when care staff are not on site, including relevant topics concerning the care of animals during these hours and the use of related technologies to both assess and facilitate wellbeing overnight.
You can download the paper free of charge HERE
Compassion for others and for yourself
This month on the human-wellbeing platform our focus is...
I SEE YOU
Our I SEE YOU flower has developed over years of thinking about how we at AnimalConcepts embody a culture of care. This includes the animals in our care, people, the greater community of life, and the planet we share. Notice a theme here? Yes! Also this connects to INTERBEING and everything and everyone being interconnected. Compassion is an important way of being and skill. We often say that compassion is empathy combined with action. We invite you to explore the I SEE YOU flower and through this lens explore your views, beliefs, and actions towards others of all kinds. While created before AnimalConcepts became an Earth Charter International friend and partner, it aligns with its spirit. The month of April on the human wellbeing platform is all about compassion. The I SEE YOU concept has, and will continue to evolve, expanding the circle of kindness and compassion for all beings of all kinds and this beautiful planet we share.
Celebrating our renewed corporate...
HOT OFF THE PRESS:
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center, in collaboration with Kore Zoo, AnimalConcepts and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance recently published a groundbreaking study titled Environmental Enrichment Devices Are Safe and Effective at Reducing Undesirable Behaviors in California Sea Lions and Northern Elephant Seals during Rehabilitation
The use of environmental enrichment with wild animals in rescue and rehabilitation facilities has not always been welcomed, appreciated for its opportunities, or utilised. This collaborative study was conducted by the staff and volunteers at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in California, USA on Northern Elephant seals and California sea lions. The positive outcomes hopefully encourage more organisations to use as well as study the benefits of environmental enrichment to support positive wellbeing through cognitive, social, physical, and other challenges. Enrichment devices can assist young animals during critical...
Integrate values and learnings
Our focus for March on the planetary wellbeing platform was on values and learnings integration, and how to develop our own morals, values, and code of ethics in the direction of positive change. Irma Verhoeven, Programme and Partnership Development Manager at Earth Charter International Secretariat, shares in this podcast her insights and experiences on why education plays such an important role in human behaviour changes and empowerment. AnimalConcepts is a proud Earth Charter International Partner since 2020.
Interested in education, conservation, and research? Want to learn about animal, planetary and human wellbeing? INTERBEING is the podcast series by AnimalConcepts that shares stories, experiences, science, and practices related to animal welfare and care, and the wellbeing of animal care professionals as well as the Earth Charter related to planetary wellbeing, and ultimately wellbeing for all. Listen to it HERE
The importance of...
Fish cognition and welfare
This month on the animal wellbeing platform is about animal cognition. This concept refers to a suite of mental processes of non-human animals, including perception, learning, decision-making, and memory.
Research on animal cognition has revealed that many species of animals possess complex mental abilities that were once thought to be unique to humans. For example, chimpanzees have been shown to be able to use tools, solve complex problems, and communicate with each other using a complex system of gestures and vocalisations. Birds have demonstrated the ability to use tools, recognise themselves in mirrors, and remember the location of hidden food caches.
Over the last decades, we have seen an increased interest in fish cognition and welfare. The ability to feel pain has gained interest in research, with several studies focusing on understanding pain experiences and welfare issues in fish. This Science into Practice resource of a review article by Lynne U....
Team Building with BITE & AnimalConcepts at Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac
Team Building with BITE has been invited to work alongside AnimalConcepts in France at Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac on a 9-day practical & team building project, specifically focused on designing for elderly animals and captivity building and staff training. TBWB was founded in 2015, under the expertise of Mark Kingston-Jones and Chris Hales in animal welfare and behaviour. The project aims to help increase animal welfare through species-specific feeders and furniture in animal facilities worldwide, to provide animal keepers with items for their animals that they are unable to create due to lack of time or resources, and to provide their corporate teams with unique and fun days with an incredible reward, and where their efforts will make a genuine difference.
Prior to the arrival of TBWB, AnimalConcepts worked with the animal care staff at the zoo on the holistic approach to animal wellbeing through the lens of...
Animal Sentience and Welfare: A Self-help Guide by Professor Emeritus John Webster
"For more than 50 years my thoughts and deeds have focused on animal sentience and animal welfare, viewed, so far as possible through their eyes, not ours. I offer this site as an introduction to these things, as I understand them, for all who care, whatever their age and experience. My approach is based on the principle of Reverence for Life. My rules of engagement are constrained by the principles of sound science. Together, these drive me to the conclusion that all life is worthy of respect and no species is better or more worthy of our respect than any other. My aim throughout this brief introduction to the philosophy, science and practice of animal welfare is not to suggest what you should think but to present structures upon which you can develop your own thoughts and interpret your experience. There are links for those who want to dig deeper. I have put these ideas on a website...
Enrichment office hours with ATA Founder Ryan Cartlidge
"Meeting our animal's needs can feel overwhelming and stressful at times! And at Animal Training Academy, our members know what this feels like. Therefore we were super grateful to have Sabrina Brando bring her decades of knowledge and experience to our community [in January] to help grow our skills, knowledge and confidence in this area – thanks so much, Sabrina!" said Ryan Cartlidge, Founder of the Animal Training Academy.
The Animal Training Academy (ATA) recently had a month dedicated to environmental enrichment. Founder Ryan Cartlidge shared a short example: "Sabrina and I discussed the importance of an excellent environmental enrichment program to help us meet our animals' needs! One example discussed was training penguins to use foot baths to help with bumble-foot (bumble-foot is lesions or sores on the underside of bird feet). We talked about how we could easily train a penguin/s to stand in a foot bath. However,...
Purposeful porpoise training at Fjord&Bælt: The first 25 years
A new paper on a historical overview of the Fjord&Bæl's (F&B) work on harbour porpoise care and wellbeing as been published. From the original idea of establishing a marine research institution to build animal care and training programs. This paper describes in detail the story of specific porpoises, from the moment they arrived at the centre, and how they engaged in husbandry and training routines. Sabrina Brando is one of the co-authors.
You can read more about the historical perspectives of F&B in the peer-reviewed journal Aquatic Mammals and download the paper HERE
Online webinar on global collaboration for animal wellbeing and conservation with University Centre Bishop Burton College
Last month Sabrina Brando connected with University Centre Bishop Burton College. Staff and students from the Human-Animal Interactions, Psychology MSc students as well as MSc Applied Animal Behaviour &...