Hello, today we visit Cologne Zoo. We are here in the bull area in the elephant park of Cologne Zoo. Without the boxes, this area is 750 square meters big, the cow area is 2,000 square meters big. In addition, the animals can use a big outdoor area. All in all we house 16 Asian elephants. Thirteen are part of the cow group and we house three bulls. This is a medical training session with one of the bulls. First of all, we train that we are able to look at and touch all body parts of the elephants by using the target sticks you can see. They are made of baboo and help us to position the elephants. Now you can see how we ask them to show us one side. Now we can have a look at the tail, we can ask them to present us an ear to look at, and we could look at the eye for example. That’s why we train this behavior. Soon we will see how the elephant presents his back side to have a look at it. He also learned to present a foot to us, so that we can have a look at the sole and nails. We contantly do chiropody which is neccessary every few months in elephants. That’s why this training is neccessary: we can have a look at the whole foot, can take care and do chiropody that benefits the elephants. His trunk is pretty long which is why we use long target sticks which benefits our security. Did you see that he tries something else sometimes in order to test, if this is okay? But this is not what the trainer wants. He should present his front side to the target and give the food to us. That’s why we use two targets to show that. The whistle means that the elephant did something correct and then he gets reinforcement. All this is done voluntarily. If the elephants isn’t interested he will just get no training and apples and after 2-3 days, they will show interest in both and await the training session because they like training and apples. Now, he got a banana. This is why he did something especially brilliant. So, we use different kind of reinforcement to be able to show when the elephant did very, very good: he gets a banana instead of an apple. Now, he tries out another behavior again. He shall go back, but he shows his mouth. This is not what he shall do. This was what he should have done in the first place because we want to be able to position the elephant in the box and not only at the grid but in the whole box. Here you can see a small crack in the nail – that’s why medical training is so beneficial. Thanks to the training we are able to treat this with tools in order to prevent that the nail cracks further. We start training with them at an early age on voluntarily basis as well: If they don’t participate, that’s okay but they should grow acusstomed to being touched and investigated, presenting an ear or a tail. These are pretty sensitive part of the body. When an elephants turns bis back side to us he needs to trust us because he’s very vulnerable and that’s what the young animals should learn. That’s why we start training early. In this position, we could ask him to present the tail and could treat it in case of a situation that would make this neccessary. That’s why it’s important to train the animals this way in protected contact: to be able to investigate them. This is a new quirk of him. He didn’t used to do this but he seems to like playing more the older he grows. It’s really important to be able to look into his mouth. We could also use targets now to ask him to open the mouth even wider to have a look at the teeth. This is very important as well. At the end of the training, the elephant gets a so-called jackpot. You can see now he gets signifcantly more reinforcement which communicates to the elephant that the session is over. He is happy, we are happy and he did an amazing job. The elephant we saw is called Bindu, he’s 50 years old, weighs 5,4 tons and is one of Europe’s biggsest Asian elephant bulls and a beautiful animal. Write your questions in the comment section below, don’t forget to give this video a thumb up and in order to never miss a new video subscribe for free.