CZAAWE Resource Article

The use of classical and operant conditioning in training aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantea) for venipuncture and other husbandry issues
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
A variety of nonhuman animals in zoo and research settings have been the subjects of classical and operant conditioning techniques. Much of the published work has focused on mammals, husbandry training, and veterinary issues. However, several zoos are training reptiles and birds for similar procedures, but there has been little of this work published. Using positive reinforcement techniques enabled the training of 2 male and 2 female Aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantea) to approach a target, hold steady on target, and stretch and hold for venipuncture. This article discusses training techniques, venipuncture sight, and future training.