June 19 - Baby zebras get a new home at the Pittsburgh Zoo, but before their public debut, they must undergo special training. Vanessa Johnston reports.
Baby zebras arrive for training at the Pittsburgh Zoo Wednesday. The one-year-old zebras came from a breeder in Pennsylvania. Now they must learn to adapt to their new environment. Jesse Peters normally trains horses, but he plans to apply the same methods with the zebras. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TRAINER JESSE PETERS SAYING: "We think, act, feel and play like a horse, and that's kind of the goal. Once the zebras realize we're not here to hurt them, we're not going to do anything bad to them, that we do love them, then we want to bring in language and leadership." Zoo President, Dr. Barbara Baker, says the training methods are also used on other animals, from elephants to sea lions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PITTSBURGH ZOO PRESIDENT AND CEO, DR. BARBARA BAKER, SAYING: "What it's about is building up a positive relationship with an animal. And what we are about at the Pittsburgh Zoo is doing the very best we can to take care of our animals. This is another way to do that." The zebras are expected to make their public debut on Fourth of July weekend.