In an Australian first, guests can now enjoy the spectacular sight of ‘rofalconry’ during Lone Pine’s Free Flight Raptor Show.
Rofalconry is a revolutionary new training concept featuring robotic prey (‘roprey’), and ‘Maverick’, the sanctuary’s resident peregrine falcon, offers guests the rare opportunity to see it in action.
Peregrine falcons are the fastest animal on the planet, and the adoption of rofalconry at Lone Pine allows Maverick to exercise his full potential as a highly-skilled aerial hunter.
With his roprey in full flight, Maverick has learnt to analyse the speed and direction at which his prey is flying, capture it, and then land it in a safe location, using his own strength and natural hunting abilities. With his roprey weighing significantly heavier than Maverick himself, this is no mean feat.
“Lone Pine’s raptor team is extremely excited to offer this new form of enrichment to Maverick, whilst also showcasing his incredible hunting abilities to our guests”, says the sanctuary’s curator, Frank Mikula.
“Watching Maverick go through the transition from traditional lure chasing, to hunting robotic prey, has been a real eye-opener. It has allowed Maverick to hone his natural chasing instincts, to a level simply not possible with traditional falconry methods.
“Being within the zoo and aquarium industry, we are all aware that animals have a high level of intelligence. We hope that through introducing new training and enrichment concepts to our public presentations, and highlighting this intelligence, that our guests will develop a higher level of respect and understanding for all animals, great and small.”
By Amy Swinn, Communications Coordinator, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary