Carrie Davis

Carrie Davis

Training Snakes! Choice and Control for Every Individual

Training Snakes! Choice and Control for Every Individual.

How do you train a snake and what are the benefits? Can training improve quality of life and decrease stress for reptiles in human care? How can we objectively measure what a stressed animal looks like? Reptelligence aims to answer these questions and more. Through re-designing habitats to give more options for choice and control over how and when they behave, offering both natural and non-natural feeding enrichment that allows ectotherms to go through their entire foraging action patterns, and using operant conditioning with non-food reinforcers for a variety of training, a marked difference in the body language of snakes when in hand as well as in habitat has been found.

In this session, Carrie will discuss how training and enrichment is good for both ectotherms and their caretakers’ well being. We will look at the importance of natural history, ecology and reading body language and how behavioral and environmental enrichment can help identify behavior motivators and reinforcers. We will look at potential non food reinforcers and look at training examples.

About Carrie:

Carrie Davis is an avid herpetologist, and animal trainer with 15+ years experience in professional dog training, working primarily with dangerous dogs and dogs with fear and anxiety disorders. In 2012, while working for San Diego Zoo Global, Carrie founded Reptelligence with her co-worker and good friend Alex Konold, with the intention of exploring and showcasing the cognition abilities of reptiles and amphibians. Since that time, the Facebook page Reptelligence: Enrichment, Training and Education has gained an international following including pet owners, veterinarians, zoo curators, professional animal keepers and trainers of all species. Carrie was able to fill many
roles during her 5.5 years with San Diego Zoo Global, including working at the world famous Reptile House. From late 2016 through mid-2018, Carrie worked as a reptile trainer and educator for the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, with a primary focus of improving welfare for program animals through increasing choice and control. In 2018, Reptelligence expanded to create and manage the online educational group Reptile Enrichment and Training (RET). Carrie has worked closely with a variety of species from rhinos to roaches, parrots to porcupines, cheetahs to kestrels, and Tuataras to Tarantulas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Biola University is currently studying through the online program at The Ethology Institute at University of Cambridge. She is a teacher of all species and an ever-curious learner.

Listen to this podcast with Carrie Davis (Kish) by ccc2019 partner Animal Training Academy!