A review of Asian and African elephant gastrointestinal anatomy, physiology and pharmacology

Elephants are susceptible to a variety of gastrointestinal problems. Knowledge of elephant nutrition and gastrointestinal anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology is essential for successful treatment, especially because diagnostic options are limited. The horse is considered the most appropriate model for extrapolation to the elephant. While similarities do exist, elephant-specific information is needed, especially in the areas […]

The ties that bind: Genetic relatedness predicts the fission and fusion of social groups in wild African elephants

Many social animals live in stable groups. In contrast, African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) live in unusually fluid, fission–fusion societies. That is, ‘core’ social groups are composed of predictable sets of individuals; however, over the course of hours or days, these groups may temporarily divide and reunite, or they may fuse with other social groups […]

African elephant status report 2007: An update from the African elephant database. Occasional paper series of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, No. 33.


Social factors influence ovarian acyclicity in captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Nearly one-third of reproductive age African elephants in North America that are hormonally monitored fail to exhibit estrous cycle activity, which exacerbates the nonsustainability of the captive population. Three surveys were distributed to facilities housing female African elephants to determine how social and environmental variables contribute to cyclicity problems. Forty-six facilities returned all three surveys […]

Statement and Resolutions on the Role of Captive Facilities in In Situ African Elephant Conservation

The IUCN Species Survival Commission African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) membership, at its general meeting in Burkina Faso in January 1998, debated the role played by captive facilities in the conservation of the African elephant. The Group areed on the following:

Loxodonta africana

species monograph

Rumble vocalizations mediate interpartner distance in African elephants, Loxodonta africana

The ability to utilize contact calls to facilitate reunions with social partners has been documented in a number of species showing a fission/fusion social organization. Field observations and playback experiments suggest that African elephants use low-frequency rumble vocalizations to reunite with their herd members following periods of fission. Using a digital audio and GPS recording […]

Sexual dimorphism in the performance of chemosensory investigatory behaviours by African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Sexual dimorphism in morphology can be accompanied by behavioural differences between the sexes. We examined if investigatory behaviour involving the trunk of African elephants showed sexual dimorphism. Males compete and search for females, but they have a lengthy period of development before they are socially viable mates. Receptive females are relatively rare. We hypothesized that […]

Elephant sociality and complexity: The scientific evidence


Behavioural and endocrinological parameters of female African and Asian elephants

Reproduction of African elephants Loxodonta africana and Asian elephants Elephas maximus has in the past been poor in European zoos and juvenile survival has been low. A range of potential complications, such as stillbirths or maternal aggression towards the calf, makes it imperative that the date of parturition is predicted as accurately as possible. Behavioural, […]