Turns out reptiles can actually be trained. At zoos, this can be helpful for animal care and research. By training the reptiles when they are young, they grow to recognize and understand specific cues that help animal care technicians feed them, monitor their health, and conduct research on behavior and biological changes. Through food rewards, the reptiles can be trained to enter crates for transport or weighing, leave an enclosure based on a verbal cue, or move an animal from one area to another.
For example, the Cuban Crocodile is a dangerous predator in the wild. It is an endangered species, with only about 3,000 animals living in the wild. For this reason, certain zoos are working to increase the Cuban Crocodile population through breeding programs. In order to learn more about their fertility, the care takers can verbally send the crocodiles into their pens so they can collect samples from the enclosure.