A few years ago, we began a Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) program with the chimpanzees here at the sanctuary. (See this post for an introduction to PRT including how it works, why we feel it’s important, and how it improves the chimps’ lives.)
All seven chimps have made incredible strides since we began the program. Some chimps were enthusiastic participants right from the start while others have chosen to take part at their own pace and in their own time.
Negra has always been a little touchy when it comes to, well, being touched. She’s still working on moving past her decades in research labs where she was poked and prodded against her will. Probably for that reason, she wasn’t always a big fan of PRT. She voluntarily participated, but she would be sure to let her caregivers know when she had reached her limit. At the very beginning of the program, she was even scared of the sound of the clicker.
As you’ll see in this video, she’s certainly come a long way…