2015 Midyear Ungulate TAG Meetings

 March 21 (workshops) and March 22-23 (meetings)

The 2015 Ungulate TAG Midyear meetings will be held on March 22 and 23 from 8:30 am - 5:30 pm in conjunction with the 2015 AZA Midyear Meeting at the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina (March 21-27, 2015).  Before the meetings, on March 21, there will be an all-day workshop on ungulate behavior management and an additional equid hoof trimming workshop, now available for registration — see details below.

If you or a member of your team would like to present on ungulate care/management/training/enrichment, provide a report from the field, or a paper in the annual Ungulate Research Symposium (or on any topic related to ungulates), please contact Martin Ramirez, martin.ramirez@zoo.org. If you are interested in presenting as a part of the Ungulate Research Symposium, please contact Linda Penfold, linda.penfold@sezarc.com.

Registration and housing information are now available at https://www.aza.org/midyearmeeting/.

 Hoof Mapping & Hoof Trimming Workshop

Saturday March 21, 2015

This workshop is not a part of the regular conference program and requires a separate fee of $50 to cover the costs of materials and supplies.  Riverbanks Zoo has graciously provided working space at the zoo, and the farriers are donating their time.  Space is limited to 15 participants. 

You can reserve your spot by e-mailing Dan Beetem dbeetem@thewilds.org 

Maintaining exotic equid’s feet in a captive environment can be challenging.  The amount of time between trims, the existence of hoof distortions due to extended trimming periods, and lameness or pathology problems are all circumstances that add difficulty to the task.  The Equine Lameness Prevention Organization farriers, in cooperation with the Denver Zoo, worked diligently for several years to not only develop a safe and effective approach to trimming exotic equids, but also conducted a yearlong study on using external hoof references to locate internal anatomy without the need for radiographs.  This workshop will go into the “hoof mapping” research product in great detail and give you the practical information required to accurately locate the distal phalanx or coffin bone within the hoof capsule of your exotic equids without that added cost and time required to take radiographs.  From there, the workshop will cover the basic hoof trimming protocol used to eliminate pathology-causing hoof capsule distortions and maintain well balanced, properly functioning hooves.  This workshop will help exotic equid caretakers and hoof care providers a useful set of guidelines that will ultimately reduce the time required to keep the animals anesthetized, reduce the number of trims required per year, and decrease the instances of foot related lameness issues.

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM  - Lectures (Powerpoint)
                                       - Hoof Mapping Research Project
                                       - Trimming Protocol for Exotic Equids
    12:00 PM – 1:00 PM - LUNCH
     1:00 PM – 3:30 PM - Hands-On Mapping & Trimming of Cadaver Feet


 Ungulate Behavior Management Workshop

Saturday March 21, 2015

The Ungulate TAGs are hosting a one-day ungulate behavior management workshop focusing on applied behavior in managed ungulate systems.  The workshop will feature paper presentations, lecture, and round table discussions. 


8:30 AM – 10:30 AM  – Lecture by Darren Minier examining behavior management
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Group Work
   12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – LUNCH
           1:00 PM to end – Conclusion + Presentations from Attendees

Do you have a challenging ungulate behavior case to share?

We are seeking submissions on challenging behavior based management and training scenarios for problem solving in a group setting.  In one paragraph, no more than 250 words, please describe your challenging case and the desired training or management goal.  Please include any accompanying photos and videos as necessary. Submissions should be sent to amyp@oaklandzoo.org no later than Monday, March 9th.  

Do you have an ungulate behavior management story to share? 

We are seeking submissions of paper presentations to be shared with attendees.  If you have an ungulate behavior management success story, an interesting case study, a behavior management focused research project, or an ungulate behavior management innovation to share with your colleagues at the workshop, we would love to have you share it with us! In one paragraph, no more than 250 words, please describe the success story, case study, research, or management innovation you would like to share. Submissions should be sent to Amy Roberts at Amy.Roberts@CZS.org no later than Monday, March 9th.  

Workshop Details

The opening lecture will examine all aspects of behavior management, including:

  • Managing and measuring behavior
  • Maximizing use of current facilities
  • How we move animals through the environment
  • Creating effective spaces for both daily life and training sessions
  • Managing human - animal interactions
  • Goal oriented training sessions

The goal of the lecture is to provide participants with a common foundation of knowledge which focuses on the ability to understand and influence behavior through the framework of “ABC Analysis” (looking at all behavior as Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence).  Re-framing our thinking and taking a positive approach, we will not look at how to avoid a negative or undesired behavior, but instead we will focus on how to achieve desired behavior. 

Darren Minier’s focus is to enhance animal welfare and conservation through the effective application of information-management techniques to managed populations. His process utilizes the collection of accurate and reliable behavioral data that is then translated into real-world, effective behavior and health management solutions. For the past 15 years, Mr. Minier has built and managed animal care, behavior management, and welfare programs with a large range of taxa - both captive and free-ranging - in zoos, marine parks, sanctuaries, animal-assisted therapy, and biomedical research facilities both nationally and abroad. Using this diverse experience, Mr. Minier identifies unique solutions to meet institutional goals and programmatic objectives. He received a Masters degree in Collections Management and Zoological Administration from George Mason University and AZA’s Zoo and Aquarium Leadership Program, BS from the University of California, Davis in Wildlife and Fish Conservation Biology focusing in Behavioral Ecology, and three degrees from the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College. Mr. Minier is a Zoological Manager at the Oakland Zoo overseeing the management of a diverse section of charismatic megafauna including ungulates, large carnivores, birds and reptiles, and primates, and also oversees the Zoo’s research and animal care volunteer programs. As a Research Affiliate for the International Institute for Human-Animal Networks in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, Mr. Minier continues his investigations on human-animal interactions and their effects on animal well-being and conservation. He currently serves as the Chief Information Officer on the Board of Directors of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance. Mr. Minier also serves on the Captive Care Committee and the Executive Review Committee of the International Primatological Society, the Animal Care Committee of the Animal Behavior Society, and an animal management and well-being reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Following the lecture attendees will be divided into groups, with each group working on a difficult, “real life” case submitted by attendees.  Each case will contain a description of the behavioral challenge, and will be accompanied by photos and videos.  Each group will problem-solve their case together, identifying solutions for this real life challenge of ungulate behavior management.  Each group will have a leader to facilitate the group discussion. Groups will then share their case(s) and solutions with the room.

The second half of the day will consist of presentations from workshop attendees.  Attendees will share ungulate behavior management success stories, interesting case studies, behavior management focused research projects, or ungulate behavior management innovations!  Be inspired by your esteemed peers!