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Monday, December 15, 2014

6 Strange Skills People Taught Animals

The animal world is filled with smart critters that just wow us with their ability to learn. Thanks to behavior modification and patients, people have taught animals skills that they don’t really need, but are interesting anyway.

Below are a few skills that people have taught animals, just for the heck of it.

Mice and Surfing

Rodents have been known to be good swimmers. They survived boats sinking and swam to the nearest island and populating it. but can they really swim? Shane Wilmott, an Australian, has been teaching his pet mice how to ride the waves for more than 25 years. He made his little pets miniature surfboards. They started out in the bathtub until the mice gained confidence to get into the water and actually go.

Elephants and Basketball

Elephants, like basketball players, are big and tall. So zookeepers at the Island Safari Center in Koh Sumai Thailand thought it would be a good idea to teach them how to shoot a few hoops. Organizers say it took the trainers around three months to teach these giants how to play the game. They hold the basketballs in their trunks, walk to the hoop, stand on their hind legs and then dunk the ball. You can actually go see these elephants in action.

Horsing Around with A Cow

Imagine going through an equestrian track riding a horse. 15 year old Regina Mayer spent some two years teaching their family cow, named Luna, how to jump over hurdles like a horse. She rides the cow though a number of hurdles and the bovine preform these tricks without any problems, but don’t expect it to be as graceful as a horse.

Dogs and Parkour

This is not your usual agility contest. Parkour has gotten a lot of popularity over the years, and people are getting their dogs into it. Tret, a 5 year old Staffordshire bull terrier was trained by his owners how to Parkour. This little pup is able to run along walls, spring up over gates, climb to the top of poles, basically what Parkours do. His owner doesn’t even have to lead him through the session, he just runs from point A to B as fast as he can passing through the obstacles.

Lizards and Modeling

Henry Lizard lover, yes that’s his real name, has been teaching his pet iguanas how to pose for the camera for years. He’s been taking care of these lizards for 30 years and realized that he can actually teach them to stay very still for the camera. He positions them in fun, quirky poses and takes pictures of them with props and even dolls. His pets are quite cooperative and freeze when placed in a certain position.

Dogs and Math

Dogs are actually capable of learning how to do basic math solutions. They can actually understand the logic behind addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Beau, a black Lab that can do simple math, astonished everyone with his ability to provide the right answer by barking it. Ask him any simple math problem and he’ll answer it for you, as long as you give him a treat afterwards.

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