We have some encouraging news from the Mendoza Ecoparque: they have contracted Ingo to begin working with Tamy on the basic behaviors that he’ll need to learn for his sanitary requirements before importation to Brazil. These requirements are government dictated and were created to protect animals in Brazil. They include vaccinations, blood tests, parasite treatment, and other things. Johanna from Fondation Franz Weber is assisting and observing so that she can help the Mendoza team once Ingo has gone. Right now, it will be all about introducing Tamy to the concept of positive reinforcement training. As an ex-circus elephant, the only type of training he knows is dominance based. So, learning he is rewarded for performing a certain behavior versus punished when he doesn’t do as he is asked is a big first lesson.
This initial visit with Ingo will last for a few weeks and then the ecoparque staff will need to take what they have learned and continue on from there. This is only the beginning of Tamy’s training and he still has a lot to learn, but it’s a positive step. Tamy has shown aggression in the past, and it will be good for the staff to work through their apprehension with Tamy and for him to learn that he can have a positive and trusting relationship with humans. While we have no way of knowing when he will be ready to move to sanctuary, we’re looking forward to seeing how things develop as Tamy learns a whole new way of life.
Photo of Tamy courtesy of Humberto Mingorance on Twitter