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Stewards to a Kingdom of Animals

ATEC 2013 - Leading The Way In Animal Care And Welfare In Indonesia

(12/27/2013) Animal care and wildlife specialists from more than 10 countries across the globe recently departed Bali after spending a memorable four days attending the inaugural Animal Training and Education Conference (ATEC) held at the Bali Safari and Marine Park.

The conference held December 1-5, 2013 saw leaders in the field of animal training from as far afield as the U.S.A., Kuwait, Sweden, Russia, Qatar, Singapore and Australia gather to share in the latest thinking and methodologies in animal welfare and care; learning how to enrich the lives of all captive animals in zoos, sanctuaries and animal shelters.

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Guided by a shared commitment to non-coercive training and the creation of stimulating living environments for captive animals, the ATEC 2013 participants heard world experts in the field share their knowledge on best practice within the setting of the award-winning Bai Safari and Marine Park located on the outskirts of Bali’s capital city of Denpasar.

In keeping with Bali Safari and Marine Park’s commitment to animal enrichment and captive breeding programs of endangered species, ATEC 2013 presented a rare opportunity for young professionals from zoos, animal rehabilitation centers and veterinary hospitals centers from across Indonesia to obtain hands-on experience in a world-class facility in sessions led by highly regarded animal handlers and animal park designers.

Reflecting a world trend for compassionate care of captive animal population, notes were exchanged on the use of non-invasive and non-stressful animal handling techniques. The somewhat serendipitous discovery of the delegates at ATEC 2013 is that when caregivers focus on enriching the lives of the animals in their care the job satisfaction of those providing the case is also augmented.

The 5-days of lectures, seminars, demonstrations and animal training sessions were conducted in both English and Indonesian reflecting the inclusive approach to training and sharing embraced by ATEC 2013’s organizers. Several lead zookeepers from the Bali Safari and Marine Park shared their knowledge both through formal presentations and behind-the-scenes encounters with some of the more than 400 animals from 6- species that make their home at the Park.

One of the ATEC 2013 exhibitors, Aussiedog - an Australian company specializing in enriching toys and equipment for donated a wide range of their product line to the Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBSI) for distribution to worthy zoos in Indonesia.

ATEC 2013 received high marks from delegates, both from Indonesia and abroad, who universally praised the knowledge and experience gained from sharing five days with world experts in animal care and training at the Bali Park with its highly skilled zookeping staff internationally recognized for their “best practice” in nurturing captive animals.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for all the local zoo industry participants who from zoos in Surabaya, Bandung, Jakarta and Bali to gain a vast amount of knowledge from the international experts in animal welfare and care,” said Hans Manansang, general manager, Bali Safari & Marine Park. “Exchanging experience and learning is the key to advancing forward in any industry and this event has given a real boost to our zoo keepers and veterinarians here at the park,” he added.