Laryssa Rote, CPBT-KA, took a moment to share with us.
“Starting in Pennsylvania with an internship at the Tamarack Wildlife Center, I fell in love with the avian world. I had originally seen myself working with big cats or reptiles, but it’s been 8 years and I haven’t looked back. My internship with Tamarack led me to an internship with the World Bird Sanctuary where I realized for the first time that I could become a raptor trainer. For someone who had been in love with dinosaurs from the time I could walk, this was a dream. Performing at their Milwaukee Zoo show was an astounding experience where I learned what force free training was capable of. I brought those skills back home to the Tamarack center where I stayed for 5 more years—also obtaining my falconry permit within those 5 years—alternating between volunteer, educator, avian trainer, and finally: Rehabilitation Manager. Wanting to spread my wings a little more, I moved west and took a position with the Montana Wildlife Rehabilitation Center as the Animal and Facility Caretaker. All the skills I’ve learned have accumulated here as I work with 14 avian ambassadors. My supervisor and myself thought it time that we obtain the Avian Trainer Certification for credibility and a chance to broaden our training knowledge. The biggest takeaway was not simply the certification, it was being able to come together as a better team for our birds and our volunteers. Being able to go through the certification process together (which really tested our ability to work as a team because we only had two weeks to prepare due to scheduling difficulties and one set of the books to share between us!) contributed to happier ambassadors and happier volunteers—mainly because, through us, our volunteers were able to get a better idea of how and why the birds were trained in specific ways. Sensitivity to bird body language and stress levels also increased in our volunteers. We have even talked of holding classes for the volunteers who would like to grow their understanding of training in general. If I had to offer any advice to those about to take the certification test, it would be to definitely make sure you have the time to study! We didn’t and it really bit us in the tail feathers. But more than that, we didn’t have the time to savor the reading material which was interesting in and of itself. We have gone back to reread the books because we found them so insightful and interesting. It was so worthwhile to the whole center to have gone through this process that I would tell anyone to go for it, especially if you have a buddy. It brings a whole new meaning to “birds of a feather.”
We would love to highlight you or your facility in our newsletter and on our Facebook page. Let us know the amazing things that you are doing to help raise the bar! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Want to find out more about setting these types of standards within your facility or becoming certified? Contact the IATCB board by visiting our website!
Are you a Hopeful Certificant?
Looking for the study guide for the CPAT- KA exam? Click here
Looking for the study guide for the CPBT- KA exam? Click here
2021 Testing Dates
September 15, 2021
October 16 – October 30, 2021
*Applications will not be accepted after 11:59pm Eastern on this date
Our testing company, PTC has partnered with Prometric for Computer-Based Testing. Learn More here. With Prometrics there are no additional International Testing fees!!
The CPBT-KA and CPAT-KA credential is valid for 5 years from the date it is awarded. To renew the credential a certificant must either re-take the examination after 5 years or accumulate sixty Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) by attending IATCB approved workshops, seminars, classes, or conferences. Head over to here to check out a list of approved CEUs!
IATCB requires proof of completion of the above events. In the case of events that provide a cetificate of completion please email a copy of this to IATCB. In cases where where no certificate is provided please contact IATCB for the required form before attending so that the host may complete and sign it. Again, send a copy of the form to IATCB.
Please note that all CEUs MUST be claimed within two (2) months of the event, submissions will not be accepted after this period!
Once awarded the CEUs will be posted to the certificants online profile.
“Satu, a 17-year-old Bornean orangutan, is the first great ape at Zoo Atlanta to be trained for a voluntary electrocardiogram (EKG) using the KardiaMobile finger EKG. Here at the Zoo, many of the great apes are trained for various voluntary medical procedures, including echocardiograms, injections, blood pressure measurement, X-rays, and blood collection. In this way, the apes are participating in their own healthcare – while also enjoying a fun game that includes great treats.
Stay tuned a bit later today for more on this training accomplishment, plus a video of Satu in action! #OnlyZooATL (photo: Orangutan Care Team) See it here!
Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) are currently found on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo and generally inhabits swampy and hilly tropical rainforests. Bornean orangutans have a patchy distribution throughout the island and is completely absent from the southeast region. Bornean orangutans are arboreal and rarely descend to the ground. They generally live in the old growth forests ranging from the lowland swampy areas to the dipterocarp forests. Bornean orangutans have orange-red hair and long arms, which are advantageous for traveling through the canopy. Bornean orangutans are frugivorous, and spend two to three hours in the morning feeding avidly. Their diet consists of forest fruits, leaves and shoots, insects, sap, vines, spider webs, bird eggs, fungi, flowers, barks, and occasionally nutrient rich soils. Bornean orangutans have been documented eating more than 500 plant species as part of their diet. Bornean orangutans grasp with both their feet and hands, which suites their arboreal life. Both sexes have throat pouches for calling but the male’s throat pouches are larger than the females. Female Bornean orangutans invest a lot of time in their offspring, taking care of them until they reach adolescence at around 6 years of age.
Since Bornean orangutans are semi-solitary in nature, the males have very little contact and no investment in their young. From birth, the offspring will be in constant contact with the mother for 4 months and will be carried everywhere the mother goes. The offspring remains completely dependent upon the mother for the first 2 years of life. At about 5 years of age, the offspring will begin to make short trips on its own, usually staying within sight of the mother. They are listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN. The two major reasons why most Bornean Orangutans populations are in sharp decline are (1) destruction, degradation and fragmentation of their habitats, and (2) hunting. Recurrent forest fires, especially in peat forests, cause additional sharp declines about once every decade. Bornean Orangutans decreased by more than 60% between 1950 and 2010, and a further 22% decline is projected to occur between 2010 and 2025. Lack of awareness. A recent study suggested that 27% of the people in Kalimantan did not know that orangutans are protected by law (Meijaard et al. 2011). Campaigns to effectively inform the public and encourage rural people to support the principles of environmental conservation and be actively responsible for the management of their resources are therefore a crucial requirement for successful orangutan conservation.
The International Avian Trainers Certification Board and the International Animal Trainers CertificationBoard, IATCB, offers you a way to gain professional credibility, increase your earnings potential, and advance your career. We live in a competitive world, and animal trainers are no different than anyone else looking for advanced knowledge and skill in their profession. IATCB endorses voluntary certification by examination for all professionals involved with animals, including trainers, educators, handlers, veterinarians, and all others involved in the care and handling of animals.