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They're intelligent, playful and can perform impressive tricks.
But this kind of performance has taken these seals and their trainers a lot of hard work!
Trainer: So are you ready for him to come over to the front? Ready?
[Audience] “YES!”
Trainer: All right then, over to the front we go… all the way over there Mali
Taronga Zoo has several seal trainers including Elly.
Trainer: 1, 2, 3 [Audience yells something]
The animals really are watching our body language and our body signals, so they're all trained
to respond to a cue or a signal, and that could be something as simple as a tap of our
foot, or it can be as obvious as a wave.
One technique Elly uses is target training.
So to train a wave is a lot of little steps, so we'll start of by touching her flipper,
good girl, and every time we touch her flipper she gets a fish. Then what will happen is
she'll move her flipper to touch her hand like that, touch her hand, touch her hand,
(this is an old one for you) and that's how we get a wave!
So just through all those little steps.
It's genius isn't it?
It is quite genius isn't it Maya.
[Seal makes raspberry sound]
Now Maya wasn't just being cheeky! If you were looking closely enough, you might have
noticed Elly's cue!
As much as I'd like to be a seal trainer, I can't simply do a cue and expect Maya to
follow it. But if Elly walks in dressed in her zoo outfit and with fish on her belt and
does the cue, off she goes!
Seals use their sensitive whiskers to feel for objects like when balancing a ball on
their nose. But these kinds of tricks can take a while to master.
Some behaviours can take two days, a behaviour like a ball balance can take up to two years.
Trainer: Lets see how he goes [Audience cheers]
Trainer: How about that! Very Good Mali.
Pretty Impressive?
It was really astonishing how they can just move the animals
around by their signals that they use.
My favourite part was balancing the ball on the nose.
Yeah it looks like they had practiced it for months and months.
The seal show isn't just about entertainment, it also teaches people on how we can help
seals survive in the wild.
I think the biggest message for kids today is that one of the greatest threats to marine
animals is that we're eating the same food that they are and there's just not enough
for everyone.
The reality is if seals can't find any fish, they often try stealing them from fishing nets.
Trainer: It's a very, very sad ending. Bit of a drama queen, but you get the idea.
That doesn't mean you have to stop eating seafood. You can find this logo at shops and
restaurants, which means the fish has come from a certified sustainable source.
Whether the seals are on stage as teachers or as entertainers, the trainers make sure
they're always being treated with love and respect.
They do want to come out, they do enjoy it, it's very stimulating, it's very enriching.
But there are days just like us that they don't wanna get out of bed and we respect
that as well and they can just have a day, chilling out with their friends in the pool.
And part of their job is building a strong relationship with their finned and flippered friends!
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Seal Show - Behind the News

669 Folder Collection
minipa published on March 14, 2016
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