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I am a junior at Mars Hill College in North Carolina majoring in Zoology. One of the requirements for obtaining a degree at Mars Hill College is to take a class on Creativity. The major project for this class is to create a tangible product that solves a problem in the area of our major.
I was wondering if anyone would be willing to aid me in my research and discuss with me some of the problems you have encountered in your area of zoology, or perhaps problems that you have heard about from colleagues. My main areas of interests are animal care (zookeepers, etc) and wildlife rehabilitation, but I am more than willing to learn about problems in other areas of Zoology as well. These problems do not have to be related specifically to the science or research involved, but could range from inadequate food storage devices or latches for gates on animal enclosures, things that other people have created to aid the field that are in some ways inadequate.
I greatly appreciated any help that can be provided, even if it is simply pointing me towards a website or another discussion forum that you think will be more helpful. Please reply to this post or send me a message if you can be of any assistance.
Thank you so much,
As what I see in your problem here, I think you need to visit a zoological garden and coordinate with the department there. Have an interview with the concerned people within the field and see whether you could discover informative ideas from them; what you are really looking for might be discussed and could possibly give you a better hint on your next step.
In my experience when we had our on-the-job training way back four years ago, problems that I saw as a common problem in one of the zoological gardens that we had our training with was the necessary space needed for every animal that is captivated. The garden is no longer enough to contain the needs of some animals.(It's actually a zoo within one of the busiest and quite polluted cities) As I remember an area there, they were building new cages to contain birds and some horses and zebras. Another, this garden is being maintained under the budget of the local municipality. I think it is also a factor to consider. If the budget allocated won't be enough to sustain the garden's needs, that would also affect the maintenance of the garden as well. I hope that this would be alright with you.
---Just one act of random kindness at a time and you can change the world---
In your area, there's a lot of creativity in designing tests to delve into what's going on in an animal's mind - how do you tell that an animal can anticipate consequences, or interpret what another individual may be thinking? How do you assess intelligence with a test that will actually work, but for which an animal can't use special senses to "cheat the system"?
If you are limited in your test subjects, can you design a generalized test that can be repeated with just a few individuals and can give implications for the species as a whole?
Thank you to the two of you who have replied.
Spacing is always an issue, and I'm not sure there is a solution except for building up, but that kind of takes the openness of nature out of the whole design. Unless you think a design of that kind would be something to look into...
I am looking into animal enrichment. Any specifics on which animals need the most enrichment or which animals aren't given enough attention? I would love to develop a generalized test, but I'd like to focus my attention onto something specific and perhaps a little easier (or maybe not) than a broad area.
Are there any issues in the realm of interns or volunteer programs you can think of? Do the interns and volunteers are your establishment have any kind of guide they can read and use for reference? Something with examples and explanations? Or is everything show and taught to them visually? I'm wondering if this could be a route to go if anyone thinks it would be helpful. A professor mentioned to me the idea of creating a guide or instruction manual of some kind if this was something that was lacking in the field or even in one office or establishment. I'm just not sure how helpful it would be. Perhaps an interactive website? Sorry, I'm just thinking as I type... but does anyone think something along these lines would be helpful?
(I'm still looking into things along the lines of what has been posted in replies, and I am very greatful for the information provided!)
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