香港オーシャンパーク
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Husbandry

Daily Care

Animals in Ocean Park are provided with sufficient nutritious food and an appropriate environment to maintain their physiological needs. These include growth and seasonal variations in weight consistent with animal health and psychological states, and opportunities for social engagement and fostering natural abilities. Veterinarians and husbandry staff collaborate with experts to design and implement the most suitable diets to cater for different animal demands. They develop diet and nutrition programmes that include ongoing monitoring and diet adjustments for individual animal care. Husbandry staff observe the behaviour of animals throughout the day and conduct regular body checks and routine examinations, monitoring such things as body temperature, weight, blood pressure and blood values. Laboratory specialists analyse samples such as food, water, and urine.

Providing food appropriate for each species
Providing food appropriate for each species
Taking seawater samples from the Grand Aquarium
Taking seawater samples from the Grand Aquarium
A specialist in our microbiology laboratory
A specialist in our microbiology laboratory

    Husbandry Training

    Husbandry staff engage with the animals through the positive application of operant conditioning. By training animals to respond to various stimuli in their environment, we can gather information not otherwise available to husbandry and veterinary staff. An example of this includes gaining the animal’s cooperation for taking blood samples and body temperatures and for X-rays and ultrasonography. Such information, gathered from animals within a zoological environment and combined with the results of field observations, can also help us understand wild populations and the stresses of natural environment that impact on survivorship.

    Positive reinforcement is the only training principle adopted at Ocean Park, ensuring that the various “reinforcements” used by husbandry staff are rewarding for the animals. A whistle is used as a secondary reinforcement to communicate with the animals when an instructed behaviour is correctly presented. An appropriate response or behaviour is followed by a short sound of the whistle, followed by reinforcement in the form of food or something else that is desirable to the animals such as petting. Punishment is not used if the animal fails to respond to a cue. Rather, a brief pause in the training is applied before restarting with something easy and positive, only then going back to the behaviour that may be new or for some reason problematic. Husbandry training strengthens the trust and bonding between the animals and staff, enhancing the efficiency of husbandry programmes and medical treatment.


      Enrichment

      Have you seen our animals playing with their “toys”? These “toys” are designed for the animals’ environmental enrichment, with safety as an important consideration. The goals of our enrichment programme are to provide mental and physical stimulation for the animals. Research shows that such stimulation can enhance mental acuity and social bonds. For animals within zoological settings, it can also offer physical benefits such as improving fitness and promoting breeding, as well as reducing potential stress. Another goal is to encourage appropriate and naturalistic behaviours in each species, thereby mitigating stereotypic behaviours and increasing activity within conspecific and multispecies groups.


        Exchange

        We are always keen to share our knowledge and experience with peers. Not only do we participate in workshops and training programmes, we have also been honoured to host international and regional events that facilitate information sharing on animal husbandry and conservation. For instance in 2012, the Park has hosted the 40th Annual Conference of the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA), and in 2013 the Third Cross-Strait Giant Panda Conservation and Education Conference.


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          Daily Care Routine of Bottlenose Dolphins
          See how we take care of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from day to day, and find out what daily husbandry care routines they undergo—and the occasional dental treatment!
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          Penguin Adventures
          Follow us to the penguin habitat, purpose-built to cater for our cuddly sub-Antarctic penguins!
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          Animal Surgery Up-Close: Cataract Removal for Harbour Seal
          As animals age, they may experience eye conditions that are associated with advanced age. We have successfully combined a traditional method with advanced technology to perform a world-first cataract removal operation on a harbour seal to restore her vision.