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Re: Moving forward with Welly
Posted by: FR
Date: November 06, 2017 09:11AM
You know I love your work, but you do have some misconceptions. Savannahs are indeed prey, even the adults. They are shy, elusive, animals that even the adults have many many predators, from cats to canine, birds to snakes, and including humans. Thus eye to eye contact is not favored by varanids, especially African varanids. One thought, varanids are a favorite prey item of many types of snakes. around the world.
That said, varanids are quick to learn what is harmful and what is not. They are quick to learn you. Your habits, etc,
As a zoo keeper, we learned that reptiles like monitors and Crocs, of all types, were keen on anticipating. That is, get a head start of what ever feeding program there was. To know when your going to feed and when your not. So we could work with that.
The bucket or wheel barrow with crocs. They knew it was time to feed. But sometimes, we did not always feed every cage daily. So for a cage your going to feed, wack the bucket, they will come running, don't, they just lay there. One cage, wack it twice, the other cage, once, etc. They learn which signal is theirs. And you the keeper only have to practice a routine, you do not have to trick or train, its what they do.
One zoo trained Mertens to colored lites. each individual had its own color, and it worked, at least for the video they made.
So, you know most of your barn yard animals do this.
So, all you have to do is listen, and you have that covered. So this taming, would go a lot easier and faster, if you just gave them more credit. Yea, yea, Of course I would say that. They will indeed try to train you. And you have seen that before.
So what confuses me is, Why you make it so hard? I can only think, its because you want to, And that is fine. I imagine, you receive a joy in that. Yet, they will tame themselves. But then, I/we love the stories of these adventures. So I am conflicted in this reply. I love reading about your misadventures.
That said, Early on, I said, get them healthy, check, you got that, At least I think you do, this winter will tell for sure. Then learn what is normal to them. Its here, I think you have limited yourself. With heat, We tried to test how much heat they can take(tolerant) so you can learn what working temps are. We have no need to test cold.
What you may be missing, or at least I have not heard you talk about it, is, You do not have a handle on how much they can eat at one setting, or a 24 hour period. And please, its not that its necessary to feed them full up, particularly non breeders. ITs just good to know, like your comment on 18 worms. That seems like a snack to me. You do know, in nature they will fill their stomachs up, and have food hanging out of their mouths while whats in their stomach is being digested. Prey items 1/3 to 1/2 or over their own weight. So 18 worms, well its only 18 worms, wheres the rest??
You should place more food then both could eat, in one spot, like where the worm bowl is. Then pull up a chair and watch what happens.
What you will learn is, they treat all feeding events based on that type event. Again, with the normal, normally, if you offer less then they want at the time, they fight over the food. more then they can eat, they do not fight, in fact become very calm and share the food. Small live food is treated one way large live food, larger then one individual can handle, is treated in another way. Like they know when they need help.
So, such simple mistakes as, feeding each individual, their portion, is not the best way to get them to become friends or form a bond. As they are always competing for food. Give them more then they can eat in one pile, they can form a bond of sharing. As you know, bonds form more bonds, etc.
As discussed a long time ago, you including yourself with food, is the most common way to start a working bond with the animal. Positive reward training, works so well with monitors, as long as they are healthy and working at normal metabolism. But you know that.
What you may be missing is their own natural behaviors, like making them competitors, instead of partners.
I told the story of the Three amigos, do you remember that?