The Successful Reintroduction Of A Beluga Whale Calf Based On Observational Learning, Surrogate Rearing & Husbandry Techniques (1410)
Public and Corporate Practice |  Comparative Medicine
Saturday |  2:00 PM -  2:50 PM
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center||217C



Steven Aibel BA
SeaWorld San Antonio

As Assistant Curator at SeaWorld's Discovery Point, Steve Aibel coordinates and directs the animal training, husbandry, and enrichment efforts of trainers at SeaWorld San Antonio. With 29 years of animal training experience, Steve's expertise is with cetaceans and pinnipeds, but has focused primarily on killer whales, bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales. <br><br>Steve has consulted with many different organizations such as Service Dogs Inc. on applying the principles of positive reinforcement methodology.<br><br>Steve is a professional member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) and Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA) and has presented both papers and posters focusing on behavior, training, and husbandry of marine mammals. At SeaWorld, Steve has presented Whale Done seminars to large corporations emphasizing the benefits of positive reinforcement in the corporate environment. Finally, Steve holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware and has previously worked at SeaWorld Orlando, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

Presentation Info

CE Credit(s): 1.00
CE Level: 1


In this talk, we will describe the techniques utilized when conditioning a beluga whale cow/calf pair to bond and nurse. This talk will center on learning techniques used to insure that the cow was exposed to proper nursing practice as well as milk sample conditioning. It will also focus on steps taken to insure the calf thrived during the timeframe where to cow was learning to care for the calf.

Learning Objectives

1. Pending

2. Pending