<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> IRKA - Rhino Workshops - 2011 Fossil Rim
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2011 Rhino Keeper Workshop
Membership survey results


  1. Is this your first Rhino Keeper Workshop?
    55% yes
    45% no

  2. Did you receive funding to attend the workshop (either institutional or IRKA scholarship)?
    89% yes
    11 % no

  3. What do you feel was the best aspect of this workshop?
    • Opportunity to network and talk with other keepers (cited 45%)
    • Working groups (cited 28%)
    • Variety of presentations and content (cited 15%)
    • Well organized and planned (cited 4%)
    • 2 % of surveys cited these topics:
      • Mixture of academic and keeper presenters
      • Got new ideas
      • Problem solving
      • Trip to fossil rim
    • What was your favorite topic?
      • Updates on conservation topics including efforts, poaching, and population numbers (cited 24%)
      • Nutrition information that was provided (cited 19%)
      • 11% of surveys cited these topics:
        • Research updates
        • Foot care
        • Keeper talks
      • Treating granulomas (cited 9%)
      • Breeding issues (cited 6%)
      • Iron storage disease and housing designs (each cited 4%)
      • World population status and numbers (cited 2%)
  4. How can Rhino Keeper Workshop be improved?
    • No suggestions (cited 30%)
    • Enforce time limits on presenters (cited 13%)
    • PhD speakers need to bring down technical expertise to keeper level (cited 9%)
    • Reduce number of talks on same topics, seems redundant (cited 6%)
    • 4% of surveys cited these improvements:
      • Review common problems and their respective resolution
      • Increase number of European and international keepers
      • Make better travel and transportation arrangements
      • Have sharpie permanent marker available so delegates can label mugs given in “welcome bag” and use those instead of Styrofoam cups for breaks, lunch, etc
      • 2% of surveys cited these improvements:
        • Discuss behavioral issues
        • Have videos of training, keeper demonstrations, facilities, medical cases, etc.
        • Put job titles on delegate list
        • Brief talk about each institution and their facilities
        • Encourage participants to bring pictures
        • Increase vegetarian meal choices
        • Jax should have had a table to sell t-shirts, etc
        • More husbandry presentations
        • Extended round table discussion for topic of hemolytic anemia
        • Increase number of posters
        • Round table discussion on how to discuss stress and other issues with managers as they relate to black rhinos (since lot of problems seem to be attributed to exhibitory stressors)
        • Training and behavior management in variety of management styles
        • Try to be more species specific
        • Propose task forces to address issues (ex – raising money for specific in situ conservation efforts, gather information on all rhino holding areas dealing with “X” issue) and present results at next RKW
        • All day lectures are too tedious
        • Put survey results on website
        • DJ at auction
  5. Are you going to try and attend next Rhino Keeper Workshop in 2013?
    85% yes
    11 % uncertain
    4 % no
  6. What topics would you like to see addressed/covered in 2013?
    • Nutrition (cited 30%)
    • Information on both basic and advanced training procedures (cited 21%)
    • Conservation updates and enrichment topics (each cited 15%)
    • How can keepers assist researchers in projects like translocation, behavior studies, ecology studies, etc. (cited 13%)
    • Increase number of black rhino topics (cited 11%)
    • 4% of surveys cited these topics:
      • Management of same sex groups
      • Research updates
      • Breeding challenges and breakthroughs
      • Behavioral information
      • Calf proofing ideas
      • Footcare
      • 2% of surveys cited these topics:
        • Guidance on how to set up inter-institutional study
        • Working group on exhibit design
        • Birth sex ratio biases
        • Fund raising
        • Dental care and concern
        • Pressure sores and resultant issues
        • Match up people doing renovations and designing new exhibits with those that have already completed theirs
        • Aging rhinoceros husbandry and management practices
        • How to do more with less money
        • Aggression and how to deal with it (both animal and public issues)
  7. Was the keeper talk working group and presentations helpful to you?
    58% yes
    9% didn’t attend
    • What would you suggest to improve?
      • Didn’t really need this topic addressed (cited 21%)
      • Needed more structure (cited 11%)
      • Videotapes of people doing presentations at their facilities (cited 4%)
      • 2 % of surveys cited these improvements:
        • Opportunities to ask questions
        • Giving ideas to improve talks
        • Reduce time given to present the actual talks
  8. Was the immobilization working group and presentations helpful to you?
    58 % yes
    19% no comment
    13 % no
    2% didn’t attend
  • What would you suggest to improve?
  • 11% cited these suggestions for improvement:
    • Definitely need to make sure information is put on website for reference
    • Videos of procedures showing “normal” versus “abnormal" responses to immobilization would have been helpful
    • Difficult to give comments since conversations were monopolized by some individuals, people were trying to talk over each other and needed improved structure and moderator monitoring/involvement (cited 9%)
    • Concern because any keeper knowledge gained will be “wasted” since veterinarian generally excludes keepers from planning and participation (4%)
  • 2 % cited these suggestions for improvement:
    • Information would help keepers prepare for the “unexpected”
    • Would be nice to have list of drugs commonly used and their possible interactions and/or side effects
    • Nice being able to share ideas and experiences
    • Need to have smaller groups to facilitate discussions
    • May have been more helpful if we had been able to discuss approaches to specific situations and treatments commonly performed
  1. What working groups would you like to see for 2013?
  • Training (cited 38%)
  • Facility design (cited 11%)
  • Enrichment (15%)
  • Fund raising and Nutrition (each cited 13%)
  • Foot care (9%)
  • Introductions and mixing rhinos (cited 4%)
  • 2 % cited these options as working groups:
    • Restraint design
    • Crate design
    • Round table discussion with smaller, focused groups to connect specific individuals with particular topic
    • Staff development
    • Birthing protocols
    • Skin lesions
    • Black rhino diseases
    • Conservation
    • Assessing body condition
  1. What, and/or how, can the Board of Directors improve to address your concerns?
    (comments in red are BOD responses to your suggested improvements)
  • No comments or improvements suggested in 66% of surveys
  • Coordinate speaker time better and streamline excessive content (cited 11%) – will be addressed in 2013 with implementation of podium timer for speakers
  • 4% cited the following concerns:
    • Continued professional development options for members
      – will investigate participation in in-situ conservation projects
    • Increase the number of poster presentations
      – will try to encourage more submissions 2013, so take some time to think of ideas for workshop and design poster
    • Include more video presentations
      – discussed and will try to implement in 2013
    • Increase more communication among yourself regarding attendees
      – registration was not forwarded until a few days prior to departure for RKW –apologize for the inconvenience and/or confusion this may have caused, will strive to improve
    • Try to reach more European keepers
      – have already formed International Liaison committee and have requested some new members to participate on this committee
  • 2% cited the following concerns:
    • Tell members how to get involved in working with conservation groups
      – working on how to make that connection, keep reminding us!
    • Continues to be well organized
      – thanks, we are trying
    • Selection of speakers was great
      – thank you
    • Increase funding for keepers to attend
      – for 2011 RKW, BOD allocated $8,000 in scholarships. Historically there has not been an application denied for scholarship as long as they followed the submission guidelines.
    • Provide updates on project progress, breeding successes, etc
      - keep reading g- mail and/or newsletter for these types of updates
    • Address vegetarian concerns
      – will definitely address, apologize for this oversight
    • Make papers available to download on website
      – will discuss with webmaster
    • Need to have better balance between conservationists, PhD, research scientists and zookeepers
      – All keepers whom submitted abstracts for this workshop were able to make presentations and in 2013 we will strive to have a blend of keepers, and other rhino-related professionals. Take the time to plan now so you can submit your abstract and will be able to present at the next Rhino Keeper Workshop.
    • Suggested ice breaker activity - bring institution’s rhino information and create a family tree to make connections with rhinos and/or institutions
      – thanks for suggestion, will forward it to RKW chairperson
    • Establish standards to help keepers push improvements at facilities
      - new rhinoceros husbandry manual is due out in 2011 and the RAG has updated the standards in this document
    • Continue implementing our feedback – lots of improvements noticed from 2009 RKW
      - thank you for your suggestion(s)
    • Encourage participants to share and use the information gained with colleagues at their institution
      - we try to provide a diverse format so that attendees can gain knowledge, and encourage dispersal of information as well
    • Increase number of younger BOD members
      - Paige and Dorothy are the newest (youngest) members on BOD, now is the time to nominate someone you feel could contribute to the organization

    Thank you for your participation and honest responses to this survey, your BOD appreciates it !!