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ABE staff trained several kinds of animals to walk tightropes.  The Tightrope Walking Hen seen to the left was the most interesting perhaps because it appears so cumbersome, but it accomplishes its task with surprising grace.  On the other hand, animals like the coatimundi (below) appear to be in their element on the highwire.

Animals were reinforced each time they walked the rope.  To shape this behavior, the trainer could start with having the animal walk only a short distance and increasing the distance as needed. 


Photo Gallery (click on each photo to enlarge)


Video Clips

Coatimundi trains as a rope-walker

[Fast DL: 1.40MB]

Both Ferret and Opossum show instinctive balance

[Fast DL: 497KB]