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ZAA Professional Development: Touch the Heart to Teach the Mind 2.0 - Training for Guest Experience
Touch the Heart to Teach the Mind 2.0 - Training for Guest Experience

My boss just saw your presentation, “Touch the heart to teach the mind 1.0” about guest experience and he now wants me to train and come up with some new experiences for our guests- Now what!? No need to panic, we will explore opportunities that can be achieved on a low budget as well as larger encounters which can be planned into your next exhibit design. When we think about creating new experiences, we usually think about new buildings and taking animals out of their habitats. Often times, there is untapped potential within the existing habitat, whether that be a tree that has not been climbed or rocks that have not been jumped on. In this presentation, we will cover a few examples of what can be done in these instances and illustrate ways that training can facilitate engaging guest experiences. “Touch the heart to teach the mind 2.0” will encourage you to explore opportunities to enhance guest experience with training and good animal welfare in mind, all while thinking inside the habitat.

Oct 18, 2021 07:45 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Wouter Stellaard
Animal Programs Training Director @COlumbus Zoo
Wouter Stellaard has been in the animal field for over 26 years. His passion and career began in the Netherlands while working in a wildlife rehabilitation center. He started an animal ambulance with one of his friends before he moved to the United States and attend the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. After graduating he started working for Natural Encounters Inc. As the Director of Behavioral Programs, he consulted both nationally and internationally creating zoo wide animal training programs and guest experiences. Currently Wouter is the Animal Programs Training Director at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium where he is responsible for training staff and animals in a wide variety of taxa, as well as creating unique guest experiences.