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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tuberculosis in Elephants in North America

Within the past 4 years, tuberculosis (TB) has emerged as a disease of concern in elephants. The population of elephants in North America is declining [Wiese, 1997], and transmissible diseases such as TB may exacerbate this trend. Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants, which require the screening of all elephants for TB, were […]

Review of a Newly Recognized Disease of Elephants Caused by Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses

There are two newly recognized herpesviruses that cause a fatal disease syndrome in elephants. They are known as the elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses, of which one is fatal for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and the other for African elephants (Loxodonta africana) [Richman et al., Science 283:1171–1176, 1999a]. The disease syndrome affects predominantly young elephants and has […]

The Sizes of Elephant Groups in Zoos: Implications for Elephant Welfare

This study examined the distribution of 495 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and 336 African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in 194 zoos, most of which were located in Europe (49.1%) and North America (32.6%). Cows outnumbered bulls 4 to 1 (Loxodonta) and 3 to 1 (Elephas). Groups contained 7 or fewer: mean, 4.28 ( D 5.73). One […]

Skewed birth sex ratio and premature mortality in elephants

Sex allocation theories predict equal offspringnumber of both sexes unless differential investment is required or some competition exists. Left undisturbed, elephants reproduce well and in approximately even numbers in the wild.We report an excess of males are born and substantial juvenile mortality occurs, perinatally, in captivity. Studbook data on captive births (CB, n = 487) […]

Role of delinquent young “orphan” male elephants in high mortality of white rhinoceros in Pilenesberg National Park, South Africa

We describe white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) mortality at Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa, focussing on mortality caused by African elephant (Loxodonta africana). We reconstructed records from a range of historical sources, and estimated that up to 49 rhino were killed by elephant. There was confirmed mortality in 1994 and 1996, and based on patterns, we […]

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, […]