On the 10th – 13th of November 2015, four animal management students attended the joint International Marine Animal Training Association and European Association of Aquatic Mammals workshop, held at Zoomarine, Italy.
The trip was mentioned to students interested in sealions and dolphin training by lecturer/course manager Rachel Rodgers who was presenting a talk on training the next generation of animal trainers at the event.
The students attended presentations by animal trainers and vets from all over Europe on topics such as “expanding marine mammal training and enrichment programs” by Sabrina Brando from Animal Concepts, “training with crocodiles” by Florian Ploetz from Tierpark Hagenbeck Hamburg, and “medical vs mental” by Cynthia Henderson.
Alongside talks, the students attended practical demonstrations of marine mammal training, such as pinniped displays and training sessions demonstrating artificial insemination procedures in bottle nose dolphins.
A great time was had by all, particularly at the gala meal on the Wednesday evening which allowed students to mix with industry specialists and secure work experience placements with marine mammal parks across Europe.