Why do we train the seals? That's a question that the marine mammal trainers are asked from time to time. There are lots of reasons why we train. We train so that we can keep these intelligent animals stimulated. They really seem to enjoy learning new behaviors. We train so that we can develop a close, working relationship based on trust. It's this trusting relationship that allows us to work in close proximity to them and touch them so that we, as well as our vet, can check out the condition of their entire body, including their flippers, their fur, their eyes and the inside of their mouths. We also train so that we can provide them with the best medical care possible. Taking blood samples, giving vaccinations, doing x-rays and ultrasounds are some of the important procedures that we need to be able to do. Having the animals cooperate voluntarily in the performance of these procedures minimizes stress. In the coming weeks we'll explain, as well as show you, how and "why" we train the different behaviors that we train.