- Raymond Vagell
Week 1 at Duke Lemur Center
My training with the lemurs is progressing beautifully. There are already some individuals that have went past the exploration phase and are learning to use the apparatus to get a food reward. Of course, much like the universe, you have the ones that are ahead of the learning curve and ones that are way below. It's important to remember though, that sometimes animals that don't learn certain behaviors or tasks doesn't necessarily means that they are not good learners. An "easy" task or behavior for humans might be hard for animals because it might need a complicated cognitive reasoning or sometimes an animal just doesn't have the attention span to learn something. Although some of my lemurs are still exploring and unsure of the apparatus, I am confident that it is only a matter of time that they'll learn to use it. I just hope it doesn't take months hehe. Today is Friday and it's the end of my first week at the lemur center. Everything is working smoothly. There were some issues with the apparatus (and no doubt will continue to surface) but I am glad I was able to troubleshoot it ASAP. This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and the lemur center is closed on Monday. I'll have a long weekend and a short training week before I fly back to NYC for the weekend.
To follow Raymond's trials at the DLC, you can visit his blog: http://theprancingpapio.blogspot.com