Part 1 of special report on animals with Daniel James (ZOOT), Caleb Ross (LEX), Meryl Cassie (EBONY) and animal trainer Carolyn Press
Ol’ McDonald had a farm, and on that farm he had… Not nearly as many animals as we have seen on the Tribe.
When we asked members of the Tribe casts what animals they would want to be if they were animals we weren’t too surprised with the answers.
Meryl Cassie said a dolphin. Caleb Ross, Daniel James and Michelle Ang all said some type of big cat, like a tiger or the panther.
What animals have been in the Tribe so far?
Let’s see… there’s been Bluebell the cow, Henrietta the chicken, Bob the dog, Cloudy the dog, Porky the pig, rats, spiders, a horse, a cat and many more.
But where do all these animals really come from?
Cloud 9 employ an animal wrangler her name is Carolyn Press. It’s her job to find different animals for the show. She reads the script to see what animals are required. Then sets out to find them. Her first port of call is her own backyard. Carolyn lives on a farm not far from the Cloud 9 production center and she has about 30 animals. Everything from a Magpie called Scooter to a really big Clydesdale horse called Drum. She also has an ugly spider, rats, pigs (including Porky), a goat, the lamb that was born during Tribe 2, a cow, cats, chickens, birds, two dogs – Cloudy and Nugget and a baby faun like Bambi.
Members of the Tribe cast also have animals. Caleb Ross has a dog, two cats, goldfish and mice. Daniel James has a dog. Meryl Cassie had two dogs and a guinea pig when she was little.
If Carolyn requires an animal she doesn’t have she needs to call around and see if she knows anyone that can help. As a trainer Veterinary Nurse Carolyn knows a lot of people with a lot of animals. So she calls around her clients and friends to see if she can borrow animals to use in the show. But don’t worry about the animals they are all very well looked after. Cloud 9 pay for all the vet fees, food and lodgings.
Carolyn also knows a lot about the behavior of animals and what they like and don’t like. For example, when Porky was painted with black and red stripes or Bob having a blue circle around his eye, it’s Carolyn that makes sure the paint is safe for animals and that they are comfortable working like that.
She trains the animals with a technique called Positive Reinforcement and Conditioned Response Training. What this means is instead of telling animals when they do something wrong you reward them when they do something right. This is usually done by giving them a hug or a treat. But, if they are always told off they get scared to try new stuff.
Some animals even gets so keen to do cool stuff for you they show you tricks that they’ve made up themselves. Then you can teach your animals special commands so they will do tricks when you want them to.