Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Zebrahaj går i trance under træning

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Hey, my name is Melanie and I work at Den Blå Planet as a zookeeper student.

I've worked here for 6.5 years. The first 4 as a storyteller, and the last 2.5 years as a zookeeper student.

I've chosen to focus my final exam on the training of our zebrasharks.

Training sharks is a really good way to make sure the animals are doing well.

By training the sharks to come up to us, and keep calm in our presence,

we are able to health check them.

We can give them vitamines, or medicate them,

if that is necessary one day, without them getting stressed out.

When sharks are turned upside down, they are placed in a form of trance called Tonic Immobility.

It's not sure why they do this, but many researchers have a theory that it's due to their mating ritual.

When they are to mate, the male bites the female and turns her over for easier access.

In a lot of modern zoos and aquariums, it's common practice to train sharks,

in order to turn them upside down and put them into Tonic Immobility,

to be able to health check them.

And that is something we would like to be able to do.

The black platform is a training tool, and a kind of station

that we use to get the sharks to come and lay down.

It isn't far from the platform to the surface,

which makes It easier for us to reach the sharks and see them up close.

To begin with, I feed the sharks every time they come up to the platform,

this encourages them to come up and check for more food.

When they've understood that they should go up to the platform when they are called,

I slowly begin to feed them when the sharks are being calm,

and relaxed, and this encourages the calm behaviour.

I am also trying to slowly get them used to being touched,

so that they learn that being a touch is a positive thing,

so that we can examine them, without them perceiving it as a negative experience.

I am not exactly afraid of being bitten, but I am of course extremely

careful not to have my hands too close to their mouth.

If I was to get bitten, it would definitely by my own fault and not the sharks,

as they aren't trying to eat me, but to eat the fish that I have in my hands.

The best part of it all is that they have started behaving calmly after a very short training time,

and many of them lay down on the platform and relax,

which is the goal of the training.

The Description of Zebrahaj går i trance under træning