Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) engaged Clarity Partners to design and develop an application for Brookfield Zoo animal keepers that will help them collect data on animal behavior and eventually predict their behavior for guidance and greater well-being. Clarity will build the application in close collaboration with an experienced research staff, who has been studying animal behavior and welfare for over a decade.

Clarity plans to build a machine learning algorithm using Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning module on a .NET application. Once trainers have the opportunity to collect data over a period of time, the machine learning algorithm will guide trainers to introduce certain environmental enrichment at certain times to drive optimal behavioral diversity that improves animal welfare and visitor experience. Environmental enrichment is defined as “a dynamic process for enhancing animal environments within the context of the animals’ behavioral biology and natural history.” Examples of enrichment can include training, toys, and food.

Scientific research supports the theory of predictive animal behavior and CZS is confident that the application will help put the theory into practice. Clarity will use its experience in predictive analytics to help CZS meet its goal.

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. In addition to conservationists, the Society inspires and engages children, students, teachers, and others among the general public to make a positive impact on the natural world around them.