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Re-introduction to the wild

re-intro-to-wild

David Attenburgh is sitting in a pre-production meeting for a new instalment of the superlative Living Planet.

 

Conversation (hypothetical) goes like this:

Producer: David, we have come up with a great idea, bear with us for a second.

We were thinking along the lines of studying one of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzee for the first year of its life.

David: Sounds like a great idea. How do you propose we do this?

Producer: Well due to BBC cutbacks I’m afraid we will have to study the chimpanzee’s first year at London Zoo and then we will be releasing the test subjects into the wild as we won’t be able to afford the upkeep of them at the Zoo

David: (after a pause) I have several issues with this approach.

Firstly ethically, re-introduction success rates are minimal due to the lack of natural behaviours needed for survival in the wild when raised in captivity.

Even if considerable time and money is spent preparing the chimpanzees for the wild the success rates are still minimal.

Also captive animals in general do not exhibit the same behaviours as they do in the wild, they sometimes develop purposeless and repetitive motor behaviours in captivity.

The introduction of stimuli and a partner can help these behaviours and the chimpanzee’s quality of life in the zoo.

However said stimuli still doesn’t address the issue of lack of natural behaviours and the issues of re-introduction to the wild, therefore I politely decline this opportunity.

 

David Skillenborough a skill acquisition expert and coach is sitting in pre-production meeting for a new instalment of the Golf Channel’s Big Break.

Conversation goes like this:

Producer: David, we have come up with a great idea, bear with us for a second.

We were thinking along the lines of studying participants of one of the closest sports to golf, street golf. We will follow them for the first year of their life in a golfing environment, then the best two players will gain playing rights to a professional mini-tour.

David: Sounds like a great idea. How do you propose we do this?

Producer: Well due to Golf Channel cutbacks I’m afraid we will have to study the street golfers first year at a Golf Driving Range and then we will be releasing the two best golfers onto the mini-tours.

David: (after a pause) I have several issues with this approach. Firstly ethically, as a coach, re-introducing the two winning street golfers into an environment that they haven't inhabited, and especially a competitive environment, is unethical.

Producer: Ahh, we are one step ahead of you, we are going to skill test said golfers and measure their performance against expert golfers.

David: On a Driving Range?

Producer: Yes

David: Even if considerable time and money is spent preparing the street golfers for the golf course the success rates will still be negligible if any.

Producer: I'm not with you David

David: The learning of a complex movement is highly task specific. The less the task looks and feels like real golf the likelihood of transfer to the golf course decreases. Much like chimpanzees in a zoo, golfers whom frequent a driving range often develop purposeless and repetitive motor behaviours that do not transfer to the wild (the golf course in this case).

Producer: Ok but if the skills tests show these golfers to have similar results as Pro's do surely that has some relevance?

David: Again much like the chimpanzee's in a zoo the introduction of stimuli (skills tests in this case) can help repetitive behaviours and the golfers enjoyment at the driving range. However said stimuli still doesn't address the issue of lack of natural behaviours and re-introduction to the golf course, therefore I politely decline this opportunity.

 

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