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In August 2019 Global Animal Welfare organised a workshop at Al Ma’Wa for Nature and Wildlife, a sanctuary in Jordan created by the Princess Alia Foundation (PAF) and Four Paws. Al Ma’Wa was established in order to provide a regional solution for rescued wildlife. There are two entities under the project; the sanctuary in Jerash and New Hope rescue centre in Amman. The goal of the workshop was to develop the knowledge and skills of staff at both facilities.

Nic Field and Annemarie Weegenaar were joined by Shae Holden, an animal training and management consultant from Australia. The twelve participants included keepers, supervisors, site manager and veterinarians from Al Ma’Wa and New Hope as well as the CEO from the Princess Alia Foundation. Animals at Al Ma’Wa include Asiatic black bears, Syrian Brown bears, lions and tigers. At New Hope there are a range of species including primates, wolves and hyenas.

Lectures covered topics ranging from the principles of animal welfare, natural behavioural biology and the need for seasonal diets for bears to health assessments and health & safety for staff and animals. Practicums included adesensitation and crate training demonstration using positive reinforcement and making enrichment items with a set of items provided.

Problem-solving workshops covered behaviour and health problems encountered by staff and how these could be solved and participants also decided on an enrichment device which would promote the natural behaviour of animals in their care.

The participants engaged in the problem-solving workshops and practicums with a great deal of enthusiasm and creativity. They further expressed a lot of interest in lectures, asking many questions and providing information and examples from their own experiences.