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Positive Reinforcement Training

services-khan_webservices-elephants_webservices-primates1_web AE specializes in the use of positive reinforcement ¬†training techniques to improve the care and welfare of captive animals. Through training we gain the animals’ voluntary cooperation in husbandry behaviors and medical procedures, enhance their social behavior, and improve their physical and psychological well-being. Since 1994, when we introduced the concept of Behavioral Management, we’ve fine-tuned our approach by integrating positive reinforcement training and environmental enrichment techniques into a pro-active, problem-solving approach to animal care that has proven to be highly effective.View positive reinfocement training photos >>


AE designed and developed Protected Contact (PC), a positive reinforcement based system for managing elephants. PC has been recognized by both the zoological and animal welfare communities as being a safe, effective, and humane method for managing captive elephants. Since PC was unveiled in1991, we have assisted many institutions in the establishment of PC systems throughout the world. At present, over half the zoos in the US have converted their elephant programs to protected contact. However, it is important to note that we are opposed to the use of an ankus in PC. It is unnecessary and violates the basic tenets of a positive reinforcement-based system.


AE staff are leaders in the application of positive reinforcement training techniques to improve the care and welfare of laboratory primates. Recognizing the unique needs of these animals, we work with the biomedical research community to improve the lives of countless animals through training to reduce stress and to gain the animals’ voluntary cooperation in activities from daily husbandry to veterinary treatments to research procedures.

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