Reply To: Cricket Contest
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Oscar is indeed a grouch! You might try this trick that I have used with birds of prey that were overly anxious or aggressive during falconry training sessions. It’s sort of total immersion based stuff. When you have the time, and not at a time when he is at his most territorial, sit right beside his enclosure with a good book or Ipad or something to read. Not a phone or anything requiring vocals on your part. Pay attention only to your reading, do not make eye contact with him at all. The idea is to stimulate him into paying attention to you, while not overstimulating him into a threat display. Eventually, you will become boring to him, which at this stage is exactly what you want. It will take more than one session, but it works more often than not. I have seen this sort of habituation technique work for animals from raptors to terrified piglets to baby Ibex goats. Eventually even the most schizophrenic of raptors would sit calmly on my hand, even on my head, and piglets could not wait to scramble into my lap for a nap. Oscar may be a tough case, but the odds are good that this technique will soothe him at least a little bit. I would love to know if you do this and if it makes any difference with him. Keeps us posted here at the Critter Depot because enquiring minds want to know!