In the training units that are voluntary for the elephants and are carried out through positive reinforcement, Penzi continues to improve. In training sessions, animal owners can evaluate the elephants and make sure they are healthy.
She comes when her name is mentioned and listens during “target training”. This is an exercise that teaches the elephants to follow the keepers. She also becomes more patient.
Penzi is able to put her suitcase back if she receives a cue that allows the zookeepers to look at her mouth and tongue. Penzi has also learned to open her mouth when the zookeepers give her a cue.
Penzi’s first snow meeting
Like everyone else in Tucson, the elephants were more than delighted with Tucson’s recent snowy day.
Most of the zoo animals decided to stay in their heated night houses when it started snowing, but the herd of elephants decided to stay outside and play in the thunderstorms.
“It was really fun to see how excited they were when it snowed,” says Dodds. “I told my kids about this and how excited they were when they saw snow.”
“(Penzi) had a great time that day,” says Dodds. “We were watching the weather and when the snow started falling she was very excited – she was running around and sliding around in the mud.