Educating the Public
The Brelands' interests extended beyond training animals. They also focused on teaching scientists and the general public about the importance of understanding animal learning.
The Brelands wanted people to understand:
- Animals are highly intelligent
- Many species of animals can become household pets because they are trainable
- It is important to understand how animals act in their natural environment
- Previously conceived notions of animal behavior are not entirely accurate
- All animals are worthy of respect
Animal Behavior Enterprises demonstrated the vast possibilities of animal learning through the IQ Zoo and Animal Wonderland. By observing an animal's innate behaviors and applying the principles of reinforcement and conditioning, the staff at ABE displayed animal intelligence in a novel way. The acts showed that animals could be taught to perform a wide range of tasks. Through these public displays, the Brelands hoped to convey an interest in each individual animal and foster curiosity about animal training.
Read more about the educational features of ABE animal acts.