Klyde’s crate training was a success! He walked right in this morning and is now safely on his way to Sedgwick County Zoo.
Klyde’s two main keepers, Marjorie and Randy, will be accompanying him on the drive to his new home, where he will get to meet his new girlfriend and keepers. They are not willing to let him go it alone. They will also have the opportunity to teach the keepers that will be working with him all of his behaviors and favorite foods, toys, and treats. Even though this is going to be a HUGE transition, Marge and Randy are making it as smooth going as possible.
Last week had ups and downs for Klyde and the staff in the Veldt. Klyde went from many good days in a row to having a few days that set him back. When an animal get set back, you have to return to the stage that they are willing to work with you and then move forward again. Usually the progress is a faster progress than the first time, at least that’s what most trainers bank on!
Little things could have set Klyde back, from someone starting a blower on the path way below him, as he first enters the crate in the morning, to a cart driving by. New noises, smells, and sometimes the unknown will make an animal decide that something it has been doing reliably for days is no longer alright. When you are training animals, patience is a virtue and a requirement.
When Marge let me know that Klyde was starting to regress, we talked about the pros and cons of how to move forward. We decided to go back to plan A and back to when he was successfully coming in and comfortably staying in. Instead of adding people to the outside making noise around the crate, something he will have to deal with, once he is in the crate for his move, we decided it would be more beneficial to get him used to someone standing on top of the crate, as this will be imperative to shutting the back door of his crate.
Many days were spent getting Klyde comfortable again with coming in, including allowing him access at night. Once he was back on track we added a piece of plywood to the top of his enclosure so someone could stand on it, and not totally scare him. Then we had one keeper go up top, before Klyde had access to the crate area, and a second keeper called him in. This way Klyde was able to get used to hearing a voice from above him as well.
All of this work resulted in a smooth transition into the crate. Bye Klyde! We will miss you.